Social anxiety (SA) and depression are marked by enhanced avoidance motivations (apprehensions) and reduced approach motivations (aspirations). Integrating an approach/avoidance motivational model with the evolutionary-inspired motivational perspective, we examined the associations of SA and depression with apprehensions and aspirations in the domains of social status. In two cross-sectional samples of young adults (N1 = 277; N2 = 256), we found that, whereas apprehensions concerning the loss of social status contributed to both SA and depression, aspirations and apprehensions concerning social status ascendance uniquely contributed only to SA. Additionally, the effects of social-status avoidance motivations on SA were partly accounted for by social-status aspirations: enhanced apprehensions were associated with reduced aspirations, which were associated with more severe SA. Finally, partial support for gender-specific links between social status motivations and SA was obtained. Our results highlight the potential of integrating the motivational frameworks of approach/avoidance and affiliation/social status to understand shared and specific components of SA and depression.
- Evolutionary approach
- Social anxiety
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology