Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Sarah Hayes-Skelton

Second Advisor

Lizabeth Roemer

Third Advisor

Abbey Eisenhower


Cognitive reappraisal is considered to be an ‘adaptive’ emotion regulation strategy as well as an important process and mechanism in cognitive therapies for the treatment of emotional disorders. However, findings from research investigating the association between cognitive reappraisal and emotional symptoms are contradictory and, furthermore, few studies have investigated cognitive reappraisal as a treatment process and mechanism. Aside from cognitive reappraisal, metacognitive emotion regulation strategies such as acceptance and self-compassion, may also represent important treatment processes. The primary purposes of the current study were to investigate the role and utility of the cognitive reappraisal in facilitating symptom change over the course of cognitive-behavioral group therapy for social anxiety disorder; and how cognitive reappraisal compares and interacts with metacognitive strategies. A sample of seventy-eight individuals with social anxiety disorder was recruited and participated in twelve weeks of cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT). Participants also completed self-report measures of social anxiety symptoms, cognitive reappraisal, acceptance and self-compassion at five timepoints over the course of treatment. Results indicated that gains in cognitive reappraisal over the course of treatment was associated with reductions in social anxiety symptoms. However, when examined in conjunction with acceptance and self-compassion, cognitive reappraisal no longer uniquely predicted change in social anxiety, while changes in acceptance and self-compassion emerged as robust predictors of symptom change. Additional analyses showed that changes in acceptance and self-compassion failed to moderate the longitudinal association between cognitive reappraisal and social anxiety. Mediation analyses revealed that acceptance and self-compassion may represent indirect pathways through which cognitive reappraisal leads to treatment-related social anxiety change.


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