Social anxiety and posttraumatic stress in combat veterans: Relations to well-being and character strengths

Academic Article


  • There are few studies examining the relationship between psychopathology and positive experiences and traits. Although initial studies suggest persons with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for excessive social anxiety, there have been no studies to date evaluating how these conditions might interact to affect positive experiences and traits. Using self-report scales, informant ratings, and experience-sampling methodologies, we examined the association of social anxiety with well-being and character strengths in veterans with and without PTSD. Controlling for PTSD and trait negative affect, social anxiety was negatively related to global ratings of well-being and character strengths. Social anxiety also accounted for incremental variance in day-to-day well-being (i.e., daily affect balance, percentage of pleasant days, positive social activity, self-esteem, gratitude) over a 14-day assessment period. Although veterans with PTSD reported lower levels of global and daily well-being and character strengths than veterans without PTSD, a diagnosis of PTSD failed to exhibit unique relationships with these constructs. Building on a growing body of work, these data suggest that social anxiety is uniquely associated with disturbances in positive experiences, events, and traits. Our findings support the value of directly addressing social anxiety in the study and treatment of PTSD. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kashdan TB; Julian T; Merritt K; Uswatte G
  • Start Page

  • 561
  • End Page

  • 583
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 4