Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder, previously called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by a general intense fear of, or anxiety about, social or performance situations. People with social anxiety disorder worry that actions or behaviors associated with their anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. This worry often causes people with social anxiety to avoid social situations. Social anxiety disorder can manifest in a range of situations, such as within the workplace or the school environment. Learn more about social anxiety disorder.
Join A Study
For opportunities to participate in NIMH research on the NIH campus, visit the clinical research website. Travel and lodging assistance may be available.
Featured studies include only those currently recruiting participants. Studies with the most recent start date appear first.
Start Date: June 20, 2020
Location: Denver, Colorado
Eligibility: Ages 10–17, Does Not Accept Healthy Volunteers
Anxiety is the most common mental health problem in children and adolescents. This two-phased study will test the effects of an experimental computerized intervention aimed at reducing threat-based thinking (i.e., interpretation bias) in anxious youth. Participants in both the R61 (N=46) and R33 (N=72) trials will be youth ages 10 to 17 with a primary anxiety disorder (Separation, Social, Generalized). In the R61 trial, youth will be randomly assigned to receive 16 sessions over 4 weeks of either a personalized cognitive bias modification program for interpretation bias (CBM-I) or a computerized control condition (ICC). If CBM-I reduces interpretation bias significantly more than the ICC, the R33 trial will commence. In the R33, youth will be randomly assigned to either CBM-I or an equal amount of time in a cognitive restructuring intervention, which also aims to reduce threat-based thinking in anxiety.
Start Date: December 31, 2016
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Eligibility: Ages 7–17, Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Anxiety is among the most prevalent, costly and disabling illnesses and tends emerge early in childhood. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the first-line treatment for early life anxiety, but as many as 40% of young patients who receive CBT fail to get better. The proposed study will examine brain changes marking positive response to CBT for anxiety and how these changes may differ in children compared adolescents. By helping us to understand how CBT works, this study will pave the way for new treatments to stop anxiety early.