Skills training for dating anxiety

by [anonymous]2 min read19th Jun 201611 comments

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A half-baked literature review: Skills training for dating anxiety


In order to infer whether sociosexual skills training is a useful adjunct to standard treatment of anxiety, the first page of Google scholar was systematically reviewed for unique interventional studies that include with any measure of anxiety as an outcome, studies with comment on methodological issues or otherwise theorising with implications for the interpretation of the empirical evidence were discovered using the search terms: (1) social skills training for anxiety and (2) heterosexual social skills and (3) dating anxiety. And (4) behavioural replication training and (5) sensitivity training 10 studies were found, each very dated. The search space was expanded from (1) to searches (2) till (5) due to the keywords found in potentially relevant studies.


Studies that did not contextualise in terms of sexual motivations (e.g. dating) were excluded (namely: the study - Social skills training augments the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy for social anxiety disorder : www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005789405800619)


The studies found were (strike out: excluded):


 

  • Social skills training and systematic desensitization in reducing dating anxiety: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0005796775900546
  • Treatment strategies for dating anxiety in college men based on real-life practice.: psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1979-31475-001
  • Evaluation of three dating-specific treatment approaches for heterosexual dating anxiety.: psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/43/2/259/
  • A comparison between behavioral replication training and sensitivity training approaches to heterosexual dating anxiety.: psycnet.apa.org/journals/cou/23/3/190/
  • Social skills training and systematic desensitization in reducing dating anxiety: www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0005796775900546
  • Social skills training augments the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral group therapy for social anxiety disorder : www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005789405800619
  • Skills training as an approach to the treatment of heterosexual-social anxiety: A review.: psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/84/1/140/
  • Self-ratings and judges' ratings of heterosexual social anxiety and skill: A generalizability study.: psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/47/1/164/
  • Heterosexual social skills in a population of rapists and child molesters.: psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/53/1/55/
  • The importance of behavioral and cognitive factors in heterosexual-social anxiety1: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1980.tb00834.x/abstract

 


The search is halted prematurely due to the discovery of a systematic review (see: Skills training as an approach to the treatment of heterosexual-social anxiety: A review.: psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/84/1/140/) However, other studies emerged after the review anyway. In any case, the review’s conclusions are likely to hold true and they do suggest that there is promise to sociosexual skills training, but methodological issues will hold back good empirical research. Therefore, it is not expected to be productive to continue this review.


It is hypothesised that the evidence is so dated due to changes in terminology. The literature approximates exposure treatments for social phobia or social anxiety. However, searches of the first page of Google Scholar (exposure therapy and social anxiety; exposure therapy and social phobia) yield no results except where pharmacotherapies are in adjunct to the therapy) which are inappropriate for our purposes.

 

Tl;dr. See: Skills training as an approach to the treatment of heterosexual-social anxiety: A review.: psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/84/1/140/

 

Research translation idea

 

I have an idea for teaching certain vulnerable young people the skills needed to achieve social skills without intoxication. I was wondering if you have any feedback for my proposal so that I can revise it. Many students report they drink or get high for the disinhibiting effects that help them socialise with the other sex. It is hypothesised that this is because of latent anxieties and inproper self-medication. Due to the irresponsiveness of the target population at universities to respond to demand reduction programs and health promotion, the inflexibility of the university’s institutions to delivering supply reduction campaigns,  and the relative resource intensity of harm minimisation programs, alternative, innovative interventions are sought. One innovative strategy is to treat the underlying anxiety that motivates substance use in young people. The purpose of this social skills training program is to train groups of young people to socialise romantically and sexually with the opposite sex to replace substance-assisted romantic and sexual initiatory behaviour. Initial steps will be surveying the evidence-base, followed by the design, implementation and evaluation of a pilot program. This will be disseminated for critique by the broader scientific and clinical community before scaling if and as appropriate. The success of the program will be evaluated by structured interview eliciting psychological distress.


Background reading

 

Gender differences in social anxiety disorder: results from the national epidemiologic sample on alcohol and related conditions. - www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903358

 

Examining Sex and Gender Differences in Anxiety Disorders - www.intechopen.com/books/a-fresh-look-at-anxiety-disorders/examining-sex-and-gender-differences-in-anxiety-disorders

 

not academic but interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSZky8dk7OE

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