The importance of avoidant personality in social anxiety disorder with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  • Caner Yoldas
  • Bilge Dogan
  • Oktay Kocabas
  • Cagdas Oyku Memis
  • Doga Sevincok
  • Levent SevincokEmail author
Original Article


In the present study, our primary aim was to compare the generalized social anxiety (GSAD) patients with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in terms of avoidant personality disorder (AVPD), and some clinical variables. We also investigated the relationship of AVPD and depression with ADHD and GSAD. We hypothesized that ADHD may be associated with AVPD in patients with GSAD. Seventy-six patients with GSAD were evaluated for depression, AVPD, and childhood and adulthood diagnoses of ADHD. The GSAD patients with (n = 34) and without adulthood ADHD (n = 30) were compared with respect to some sociodemographic and clinical variables. GSAD patients with adulthood ADHD had significantly higher comorbid diagnosis of AVPD, more avoidant personality and depression symptoms than those without ADHD. Pearson’s correlation coefficient in total sample (n = 76) showed that the mean number of AVPD criteria was significantly associated with the severity of Beck Depression Inventory, Wender Utah Rating Scale (WURS), and inattention symptoms of ADHD. There were no correlations between the total and subscale scores of Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale and the mean number of AVPD criteria. The scores of WURS significantly predicted the mean number of AVPD criteria (β = 0.305, p= 0.007). The severity of current depression (β = 0.143, p = 0.30) and inattention symptoms of adulthood ADHD (β = 0.112, p = 0.46) were not associated with the severity of AVPD symptoms. These results might demonstrate that comorbid AVPD in adult SAD patients was related to a childhood ADHD independent from depression, and inattention symptoms of ADHD in adulthood.


Social anxiety disorder Avoidant personality disorder Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Depression 



The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of this article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and publication of this article.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caner Yoldas
    • 1
  • Bilge Dogan
    • 1
  • Oktay Kocabas
    • 2
  • Cagdas Oyku Memis
    • 1
  • Doga Sevincok
    • 3
  • Levent Sevincok
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryAdnan Menderes UniversityAydinTurkey
  2. 2.Psychiatry ServiceTurhal State HospitalTokatTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryAdnan Menderes UniversityAydinTurkey

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