RESULTS OF COGNITIVE REORGANIZATION AND SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING ON SOCIAL PHOBIA AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN KADUNA CITY, NIGERIA 

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RESULTS OF COGNITIVE REORGANIZATION AND SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING ON SOCIAL PHOBIA AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN KADUNA CITY, NIGERIA 

Abstract

This study investigated the Effect of Cognitive Restructuring and Social Skills Training  on Social Phobia among Secondary School Students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria. Seven (7) Objectives were set to guide this study,and Seven (7) null hypotheses were formulated and tested. Quasi-experimental design involving pre-test, post-test on two (2) experimental groups was used. The population was made up of 1742 students who exhibited symptoms of social Phobia in Kaduna metropolis, Nigeria. A sample size of 40 students was selected through purposive sampling technique. An instrument tagged Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN) was used for data collection. Mean, standard Deviation and t-test statistics were used to analyze data. Findings reveal that students exposed to Cognitive Restructuring (CR) had a reduced Excessive Fear of Social Interactions (p=0.000),  that   students exposed to Social Skills Training (SST) had a reduced Excessive Fear of Social Interactions  (p=0.000),  students exposed to Cognitive Restructuring (CR) had a reduced Physiological Manifestations of Social Phobia  (p=0.003),  students exposed to Social

Skills Training (SST) had a reduced Physiological Manifestations of Social Phobia

(p=0.000),  students exposed to Cognitive Restructuring (CR) had a reduced Avoidance of Social Interactions (p=0.000), students exposed to Social Skills Training (SST) had a reduced Avoidance of Social Interactions (p=0.000) and that there was a significant differential effect of  Cognitive Restructuring and Social Skills Training (p=0.009) on Social Phobia among secondary students. The researcher therefore concluded that Cognitive Restructuring and Social Skills Training are effective in reducing Social Phobia among secondary school students. And that Social Skills Training is more effective than cognitive Restructuring in handling Social Phobia.  Based on the findings of this study it was recommended among others that Psychologists and Counsellors should be encouraged to use Cognitive Restructuring (CR) and Social Skills Training (SST) in handling Social Phobia among secondary school students so as to develop their social interactions and competency in learning.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

                                1.1       Background to the study

Social Phobiais one of the most prevalent and chronic disorders worldwide and it affects occupational, educational, and social affairs of the individual. It is also known for its association with depression and substance use disorder. Social Phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is the third most common mental health disorder after depression and substance abuse, affecting many people worldwide. It is a disorder involving intense distress in response to public situations. It is a strong fear of being judged by others and of being embarrassed. This fear can be so strong that it gets in the way of going to work, school or doing other everyday activities. People with Social Phobia are afraid of doing common things in front of other people; for example, they might be afraid to sign a check in front of people, or they might be afraid to eat or drink in front of other people

It is normal to be a little bit nervous, at one time or another, especially when meeting new people or giving a speech, but people with Social Phobia worry about these and other things for weeks before they happen, they end up staying away from places or events where they think they might have to do something that will attract other people‘s attention to them. This can keep them from doing the everyday tasks of living and from enjoying times with family and friends. With the publication of fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), social phobia is formally diagnosed as Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). When anxiety is disruptive, it is associated with a host of cognitive, behavioural, physiological and emotional problems.

When the problems are pervasive and severe, they may be diagnosed as anxiety disorders. A diagnosis of Social Phobia is meant to denote a condition that is highly disruptive of the daily functioning and that requires an intervention. The diagnosis is intended for those whom social interactions consistently provoke distress and whose fear or anxiety is out of proportion (in frequency and duration) to the situations they are experiencing. Criteria also include that social interactions are either avoided or painfully and reluctantly endured and that the individual‘s problems often are specific to social settings where the person feels concern about being noticed, observed, judged or embarrassed. In such settings, the individual fears displaying anxiety and experiencing social rejection. The anxiety and fear usually is accompanied by autonomic arousal, for example, sweating. Trembling, tachycardia, and even nausea. The symptoms may arise in reaction to strangers or acquaintances (Matos, Tome, Borges, Manso, Ferreira, & Ferreira, 2008). Moreover, care must be taken not to see shyness and introversion that are within normal limits as Social Phobia, they further explained.

As noted by the National Institute of Mental Health (2014), occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. A student might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, like going to another school for a competition, before taking an examination, or making an important decision. But Social Phobia involves more than temporary worry or fear, for a person with this disorder the worry and fear do not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.Social phobia (SP) represents a mental health problem withdisabling characteristics. The most common is fear of beinghumiliated or mocked in social situations by having improperattitudes or anxiety symptoms such as tremors, sweating and inattention. Social interaction becomes more threatening whenassociated with lack of motor control seen in behavior such asdrinking, eating or writing.

Students often feel anxious about some activities at school, they frequently behave in ways that lead others to avoid and even reject them, they also lack interactions with peers  and this can negatively lead to social and emotional  problems as loneliness and isolation. Sociallyphobic students are trapped in a vicious cycle of anxiety, negative expectations about their social performance, and negative peer responses, it is a complex task to break this vicious cycle. Interventions can be usedto address a variety of factors, notably negative thinking and poor social skills.

Social Phobia is a prevalent problem among young people. Although

identification and treatment of the disorder often do not occur until early adulthood, approximatelyhalf of those treated for Social Phobia indicate an earlieronset during childhood or adolescence (APA, 2013). According to the Discovery Education (2015) report, Social Phobia affects between 2% and 4% of the population and it is the most common type of mental disorder in the United States. Erk (2014) estimates the prevalenceof anxiety disorders among children from 5% to 18%.Another study by Emslie (2018) reports higher numbersin the range of 6% to 20% of children and

adolescents.Observation shows that social Phobia is not just a problem for adults; it isalso a problemfor young people, often manifesting itself in the schoolsetting. Bella and Omigbodun (2009) revealed that despite the early onset, chronic course and co-mobidity of Social Phobia, there is virtually no information about it in sub-Saharan Africa. However, their study revealed that the prevalence of Social Phobia was 9.4% among

University students in Nigeria.

According to Wagner (2015), about half of students diagnosedwith Social Phobiaexperience significant difficulty functioning at school. It lowers academicperformance and productivity, although students withmild levels of Social

Phobia can sometimes over-come it and improve usingpersistence and hard work. Tardiness, absenteeism, andperfectionism, common with more severe levels of social phobia,can lead to incomplete work, test failure, or possiblerepetition of a grade. He further stressed out that dropout rates are high among students with high level social phobia, but these figures aresometimes attributed to substance abuse and truancywhich can mask untreated Social Phobia.Students with social phobia are adept at avoidingsituations that may evoke fear or anxiety. In a studyof approach and avoidance goals and plans, MacLeod (2014) found that adolescents with high Social Phobia were more motivated to generate avoidance goals and plans and were less specific in forming approach plans.If socially phobic individuals expect an unpleasant situation or failure,they are more inclined to avoid the situation rather thanapproach the situation and plan how to deal with it. Forexample, a student may anticipate failure on an oral presentation assignment or project and, therefore, choose not to attempt itat all or stay away from the school.

In spite of its prevalence and impairing effects, students with social phobia can benefit from support and treatment from  therapistsand other individuals in learning toapproach rather than avoid threatening situations.Therefore  it  is  critical  to  identify  strategies  that  intervene effectively  with  youth  who  have  social phobia  in  schools  and  that  will  interrupt  the progress to more serious problem. Psychotherapy is considered to be the most effective and more permanent treatment for this condition.

Social Phobia  is  treated  by  using  many  therapeutic  approaches  like  cognitive behavioral  therapy,  social  skills  therapy,  life  skills  therapy,  differential  reinforcement technique,  miscellaneous  behavior  change,  self-instructional  strategies,  assertiveness `training among others which many researches show their  effectiveness in the treatments of Social Phobia.  Therefore, this  work  was conducted to  find out  the  effect  of  two  therapeutic techniques on SP; that is Cognitive Restructuring (CR) and Social Skills training (SST)

Cognitive Restructuringinvolves identification of distorted thoughts,conditional beliefs and the patient‘s core belief, thus allowing thetherapist to gain insight into the patient‘s cognitive processes and functioning to modify the identified distorted thoughts.  It focuses onpractical discussions performed during sessions and homeworkassignments to be conducted by the client. Studies have shown that, for circumscribed Phobia, 12 to16 group or individual sessions are enough to significantlyreduce the symptoms. For generalized Social Phobia, treatment responsedepends on the number of co-morbidities and symptom severity;treatment is usually longer.Cognitive Restructuring is proved to be effective in the treatment ofschool refusal as revealed by King (2014) and many other psychological and behavioural problems like school phobia (Shina2015), avoidant behavior(Lawan2016), school refusal (Bernstein et al, 2014),test anxiety (Goldfried,Linehan, and Smith 1978) and so many other psychological issues.

Social Skills Training is proved to be an effective therapy on social phobia as shown in the work of Beidel, (2014). It is also proved to be effective on other psychosocial problems like Avoidant personality Disorder (Lawan2016), social anxiety (Bolsoni-Silva, and Loureiro2014)Aggressive behaviour (Alavi, Savoji, Amin  2013) and many other social problems.

                                1.2       Statement of the problem

Secondary school students who are mostly adolescents spend a great deal of their daily life at school, necessitating a considerable amount of social interaction. For the socially phobicstudents, the school environment presents many potentially stressful situations such as giving an oral presentation, answering questions in the class, making friends, and participating in group activities. The socially phobic student may stop socializing with classmates and friends, may stop attending certain classes, or even refuse to attend school completely, and this may lead to poor academic performance, and eventually drop out of school.

Poor academic achievement is one of the major problems faced by students with the symptoms of Social Phobia because they tend to avoid any academic activities that required group work or expressing their views in public as a result of distress or feeling of inadequacy. It is reported that about 19.5 % of junior secondary students display symptoms of social phobia (Kaduna state school survey report, 2016/17). Social Phobia if left unchecked is a risk factor that leads to a serious delinquency such as truancy, school drop-out, drug addiction, unwanted pregnancy and other psychological problems like stress, depression, anxiety and the likes. It is against this background that this study investigates the effect of Cognitive Restructuring and Social Skills Trainingon social phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna metropolis, Nigeria.

                                1.3       Objectives of the study

The objectives of the study are:

  • To examine the effect of Cognitive Restructuring on fear of social interactions among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  • To examine the effect of Social SkillsTraining on fear of social interactions amongsecondary school studentsin Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  • To find out the effect of Cognitive Restructuring on Physiological Manifestations of social phobia among secondary school studentsin Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  • To find out the effect of Social SkillsTraining on Physiological Manifestations of social phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  • To determine the effect of Cognitive Restructuring on social interactions avoidance among secondary school studentsin Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  • To determine the effect of Social SkillsTraining on social interactions avoidanceamongsecondary school studentsin Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  • Tofind out the differential effect ofCognitive Restructuring and Social SkillsTraining on Social Phobia amongsecondary school studentsin Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.

                                            1.4    Research Questions

The study answers the following question:

  1. What is the effect of Cognitive Restructuring on fear of social interactions among secondary school studentsin Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria?
  2. What is the effect of Social Skills Training on fear of social interactions among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria?
  3. What is the effect of Cognitive Restructuring on Physiological Manifestation of social phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria?
  4. What is the effect of Social Skills Training on Physiological Manifestation of social phobiaamong secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria?
  5. What is the effect of Cognitive Restructuring on social interactions avoidance among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria?
  6. What is the effect of Social Skills Training on social interactions avoidance among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria?
  7. What is the differential effect of Cognitive Restructuring and Social Skills Training on Social Phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria?

 

1.5 Hypotheses

The following hypotheses are formulated to guide the study:

  1. There is no significantdifference between pre-test and post-test score of students exposed to Cognitive Restructuring on fearof social interactions among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  2. There is no significantdifference between pre-test and post-test score of students exposed to fear of social interactions among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  3. There is no significantdifference between pre-test and post-test score of students exposed toCognitiveRestructuring on Physiological Manifestationsof social phobiaamong secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  4. There is no significantdifference between pre-test and post-test score of students exposed to Social Skills Training on Physiological Manifestationsof social phobiaamong secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  5. There is no significantdifference between pre-test and post-test score of students exposed to Cognitive Restructuring on social interactions avoidanceamong secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  6. There is no significantdifference between pre-test and post-test score of students exposed to Social Skills Training on social interactions avoidanceamong secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  7. There is no significantdifferentialeffect of Cognitive Restructuring and Social Skills Training on Social Phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis,

Nigeria.

                                1.6       Basic Assumptions

The following are the basic assumptions of the study:

  1. Some secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria experience social phobia.
  2. It is possible to reduce/manage social phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.
  3. Psychological intervention may assist in reducing/managing social phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria.

 

1.7 Significance of the study

The findings of this study will add to theory building in Cognitive Therapy and Social SkillsTraining in handling social phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna metropolis, Nigeria and other parts of the world. Therefore, the work will be of immense benefits to the following stakeholders concerned with the affairs of student in Kaduna metropolis:

Through this work, psychologists and counsellors will be exposed to theories, causes, and nature and treatment techniques of social phobia. They will also derive empirical data for reducing it among the students. Thus, they will be able to handle and guide the students in such a way that challenges of social phobia will be reduced and performance be enhanced.Psychologists and counsellors especially those in secondary schools will derive a great benefit from the study, in that they will be acquainted with the various issues on social phobia.

The students would be well assured and becoming more independent and cognitively active to learning by freely participating in activities such as attending assembly, quiz competitions, clubs activities, making friends and other socialactivitieswithin and outside the school system when exposed to cognitive and social skill training techniques.

Teachers will also benefit from this study in the sense that they would realize the socio-psychological factors underlying social phobia  and how to use the two techniques in helping the affected students. Thus, they would refer affected students to psychologists or counsellors and give necessary accurate information to such clients.

School authorities including the head teachers, principals, vice principals, nonteaching staff, proprietors and the likes will no doubt benefit from this study. The work will inspire them in giving their own support to reduction of Social Phobia among the students. The study will guide the aforementioned staff in term of staging and approving programmes, materials and necessary funds to help in reduction of Social Phobia among the students.

Furthermore, medical doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, and other professional helpers would derive benefit from this work. The above mentioned professionals will be exposed to materials in terms of symptoms, causes, management and methods of reducing Social Phobia among primary school pupils. Thus, the experts will be able to refer the clients for psychological intervention and as at when due.

There is no doubt that parents too will benefit from this work. Parents who have been disturbed by their children‘sSocial Phobia will have a proper understanding of the nature, management and methods of reducing the phenomenon. It is expected that they will take appropriate active steps in reducing Social Phobia among their wards or children. Parents will also beexposed to guidance on socio-psychological and pathological factors involved in Social Phobia and therefore prevent their children from falling into factors that can lead to the development of the problem.

This work will be very useful to the research community. It would provide instruments, empirical data and several references to interested researchers working on Social Phobia, Cognitive therapy and Social Skills Training. They may therefore, comment, adopt, and or modify as deemed fit by their studies.

Stakeholders in school affairs will definitely benefit from this work in the sense that they may understand all issues related to Social Phobia among the students and be able to influence decisions concerning the affairs of the schools. They will be able to influence funding, staffing, and provision of necessary materials to psychologists, counsellors, teachers, and students with a view to reducing Social Phobia

                                1.8       Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The main focus of this study is to assess the effect of Cognitive Restructuringand Social Skills Training in reducing Social Phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna metropolis. The scope of the work covers Junior Secondary School One (JSS I) students where both male and female studentswereinvolved. The reason for involving JSS I students is thatstudents  at this level are newly admitted into secondary school and are likely to face the challenges  of  beingin a new environment where they meet and interact with new teachers and fellow students. Another reason why JSS I students were used for the study is that many literature reviewed show that Social Phobia emanates in school setting during transition periodand adolescence stage as such treatment at the onset may be more effective. The study was conducted in public secondary schools; hence primary schools, private secondary schools and higher institutions of learning were not part of this study. Two techniques; Cognitive Restructuringand Social Skills Training wereused in this study to reduce social phobia among secondary school students in Kaduna metropolis, Nigeria.

RESULTS OF COGNITIVE REORGANIZATION AND SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING ON SOCIAL PHOBIA AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN KADUNA CITY, NIGERIA 

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