Experiential Avoidance as a Mediator between Rejection Sensitivity and Social Interaction Anxiety

[Speaker] Sintos, Marcella L:1
1:De La Salle University - Manila (Philippines)

This study aimed to look at the relationships of some concepts in interpersonal sensitivity by explaining the mediating effect of experiential avoidance on rejection sensitivity and social interaction anxiety. One hundred fifty-nine undergraduates within the National Capital Region, aged 16 to 40 (M = 19.29, SD = 2.89) and comprising of 89 females and 70 males participated in the study. Results show that both rejection sensitivity and experiential avoidance significantly affect social interaction anxiety. However, when experiential avoidance served as a mediator, the effect of rejection sensitivity on social interaction anxiety becomes non-significant - hence, a full mediation. This occurence is explained through habitual coping, whereby the cognitive aspect of behavior becomes dormant and unnecessary. Thus, this study purports a different perspective of the cognitive behavioral theory which may also serve as basis for a new modality of cognitive behavior therapy when treating anxiety.
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