This was an empirically based study that examined the prevalence of social interaction anxiety, worry, state anxiety, and trait anxiety in individuals with a nut allergy. Three different groups were used, the first being the ‘nut allergy’ group (N = 24) consisting of individuals with a self-proclaimed nut allergy, and two comparison groups: the ‘other allergy’ group (N = 17) consisting of those with other (non-nut) allergies and the ‘allergy free’ group (N = 31) consisting of individuals who had no known allergies.
The main hypotheses were that there would a direct relationship between the occurrence of a nut allergy and social interaction anxiety, worry, state anxiety, and trait anxiety. To test these hypotheses, all individuals completed 5 questionnaires: The Nut Allergy Inquiry Form, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS), the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), the State-trait Anxiety Inventory-State (STAI-S), and the State-trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait (STAI-T). These questionnaires were intended to measure social interaction anxiety, worry, state anxiety, and trait anxiety respectively. After conducting an analysis of variance to test each of the four hypotheses, it was determined that none of the hypothesized results of this study were significant. Therefore, the overall conclusion of this research is that there is not a direct relationship between the occurrence of a nut allergy and social anxiety, worry, state anxiety, or trait anxiety. However, it should be noted that the size of the Cohen d estimates indicated that some of the differences in means were practically significant. This is an indication that the present study lacked the power to fully test the hypotheses; it could be viewed as exploratory in nature with an eye toward a more comprehensive study.