The efficacy of video feedback on self-evaluation of performance and treatment of bilingual participants : a linguistically and culturally sensitive intervention for public speaking anxiet



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Abstract: The present study culturally modified a procedure known as video feedback that is being used to enhance exposure-based treatment for social anxiety. The video feedback intervention was modified in two ways. First, the video feedback procedure was modified to be administered in a bilingual fashion by having bilingual participants conduct their speech exposures in both of their known languages. Second, bilingual participants were asked to conduct their speech exposures in front of an audience composed of White or Latino members. The primary objective of the study was to investigate the potential treatment effects that the combination of treatment type (bilingual or English only) and audiencerace/ethnicity (White or Latino) had on speech anxious bilinguals’ outcomes of public speaking and social anxiety measures. Participants who were of Mexican descent, English-Spanish bilingual, and were experiencing moderate degrees of public speaking anxiety were randomized to one of four treatment conditions: (a) bilingual treatment in front of a White audience, (b) bilingual treatment in front of a Latino audience, (c) English-only treatment in front of a White audience or (d) English-only treatment in front of a Latino audience. Assessments were conducted at pre-treatment, post-treatment and a two week follow-up. Results indicated that participants assigned to the White audience conditions showed a modest degree of improvement on speech anxious thoughts associated to their Spanish speech performances and fear of being negatively evaluated by others. Participants assigned to the English-only treatment in front of a White audience showed the greatest degree of improvement on the general trait measure of public speaking anxiety and social anxiety. The four conditions, however, did not differ across time on measures that assessed for state-related measures of public speaking outcomes. The results of this study highlight the importance of implementing specific cultural modifications to make exposure tasks more closely resemble the cultural reality of minority students attending predominantly White institutions. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.