Boelen, P. A., & Reijntjes, A. (2009). Intolerance of uncertainty and social anxiety. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23, 130-135.


Research has shown that intolerance of uncertainty (IU)-the tendency to react negatively to situations that are uncertain-is involved in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). There is uncertainty about the specificity of IU. Some studies have shown that IU is specific for GAD. Other studies have shown that IU is also involved in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). No studies have yet examined IU in social anxiety, although it is possible that IU plays a role in anxiety responses that can be experienced in social-evaluative situations. This study examined the relationship between IU and social anxiety among 126 adults. Findings revealed that IU explained a significant amount of variance in social anxiety severity when controlling for established cognitive correlates of social anxiety (e.g., fear of negative evaluation) and for neuroticism. Furthermore, it was found that IU was related with symptom levels of GAD, OCD, and social anxiety, but not depression, when controlling the shared variance among these symptoms.