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Positive Beliefs about Post-Event Processing in Social Anxiety Disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2021

Ariella P. Lenton-Brym*
Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Olivia Provost-Walker
Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Virginia Tsekova
Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Randi E. McCabe
Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Karen Rowa
Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
*Corresponding author: Ariella P. Lenton-Brym, Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5B 2K3. Email:


Background: Post-event processing (PEP) is an important maintenance factor of social anxiety disorder (SAD). This study examined psychometric properties of the Positive Beliefs about Post-Event Processing Questionnaire (PB-PEPQ; Fisak & Hammond, 2013), which measures metacognitive beliefs about PEP. Method: Participants receiving treatment for SAD (n = 71) and other anxiety and related disorders (n = 266) completed self-report questionnaires at several timepoints. Results: Confirmatory factor analysis did not support the PB-PEPQ's proposed unidimensional model. Subsequent exploratory factor analysis yielded a three-factor structure consisting of engaging in PEP to (1) review negative events (Negative scale), (2) review positive events (Positive scale), and (3) better understand one's social anxiety (Understand scale). Within the SAD subsample, PB-PEPQ scales demonstrated good internal consistency (α = 0.83–0.85) and test–retest reliability (r = 0.65–0.78). Convergent and criterion validity of the PB-PEPQ Negative scale were supported. PB-PEPQ scale scores were significantly higher within the SAD group, as compared with the other groups (generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder and agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder), supporting the scales’ discriminative validity. Conclusion: Findings support the reliability and validity of the PB-PEPQ in a clinical sample and reveal the measure's multifactorial structure.

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Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy

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