Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
The present study examined the relationship between anxiety and premature termination, and the effect of depression and a proxy measure of impulsivity on this relationship. Extensive research has been conducted that has focused on the prediction of premature termination from psychotherapy, but many of the results have been inconclusive. One common result from the extant literature is that nearly half of therapy clients reportedly terminate from therapy prematurely, but there has been little consensus regarding which variables best predict dropout. Some evidence has suggested that more severe symptoms, such as anxiety, might predict persistence in therapy. Accordingly, it was hypothesized that clients with higher levels of physiological hyperarousal, a specific component of anxiety, would be less likely to terminate prematurely. This prediction was thought to be evident only in clients with low levels of social anxiety; higher physiological hyperarousal was predicted to increase odds of premature termination in clients with higher levels of social anxiety. In addition, it was hypothesized that clients with higher levels of depression would be more likely to terminate therapy prematurely. The possible moderating effect of a proxy measure of impulsivity on the hypothesized relationships was also examined. To test these hypotheses, hierarchical logistic regression analyses were applied to a sample of client data from a large university outpatient therapy clinic. Analyses were repeated for the total sample, high social anxiety group, and low social anxiety group. Although the results did not support the primary hypothesized relationship between physiological hyperarousal and premature termination, trends were present that suggested some limited support for the proposed predictive relationship between depression and premature termination, even after controlling for initial symptom severity. Limitations and recommendations for future premature termination research are discussed.
Psychotherapy, Anxiety, University Clinic, Premature Termination
Date of Defense
June 29, 2007.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Psychology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Ellen Berler, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Thomas Joiner, Professor Co-Directing Dissertation; Mark Winegardner, Outside Committee Member; Joyce Carbonell, Committee Member; Jon Maner, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Use and Reproduction
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.