First, I will present results from a micro-trial study into the effectiveness of individual treatment components for social anxiety in children. Second I will present a new and innovative brief intervention: using positive feedback from age peers to prevent and reduce social anxiety in early adolescents. I will present findings from two pilot studies, integrating the effects of positive feedback on emotion, cognitive, and physiological components of social anxiety. My talk will finish with a hypothesized Reinforcement Model of Peer Feedback in Adolescence to Reduce Social Anxiety and Enhance Social Wellbeing.
Anne Miers is Associate Professor at the department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Leiden University.
Anne received her Bachelor degree in Psychology (1st class honours) from University College London, in 2001. Between 2001 and 2003 she worked as a Quantitative Researcher at National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), London where she was involved in large scale longitudinal studies, e.g., Millenium Cohort Study. Following this, Anne obtained her Master degree in 2004, in Child Development (with distinction), from the Institute of Education, London. Hereafter, she moved to the Netherlands where, in 2010, she obtained her PhD from Leiden University, entitled “Bias or Reality? Negative perceptions of ambiguous social cues, social performance and physical arousal in socially anxious youth”.
In her current research Anne aims to discover new ways to improve interventions that target the reduction of social anxiety complaints in teenagers. A key focus is the influence of the social context, particularly same-age peers, and of digital add-ons, in the form of blended-care. Do same-age peers have a positive influence on the thoughts, behavior and feelings of socially anxious teenagers? Is the peer influence strongest at a particular age? Does a blended-care approach, via an app, enhance the effectiveness of an intervention? Anne uses different and varied methodological approaches in her studies: self-report questionnaires, behavioral tasks and observation, and neurophysiology. These will be enriched through experience sampling methodology, in order to gain a more accurate picture of the daily fluctuations in thoughts and feelings of socially anxious teenagers. In her research Anne collaborates with different partners (e.g., the Leiden University Treatment and Expertise Centre, LUBEC; secondary schools) and her studies are supported through grants from Leiden University Funds (LUF) and The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw).