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Cognitive content of socially anxious adolescents: Behavioral and physiological correlates across two behavioral tasks

Judith A Jordan, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The relationship between social anxiety and cognitive content, or self-statements, has been researched in the psychological literature. To date, research has primarily focused on the self-statements of adults and children with social anxiety; a review of the literature is provided. The purpose of the current study was to examine the self-statements of socially anxious adolescents across two behavioral tasks. Three hundred and sixty-two adolescents were divided into three groups (socially phobic, socially anxious, and nonanxious) based on a diagnostic interview and two self-report measures of social anxiety. The relationship between self-statements and behavioral performance and self-statements and physiological arousal was investigated during the two tasks, an impromptu speech and a conversation with a similar-aged peer. Heart rate was monitored during both tasks. Following the tasks, the adolescents completed a self-statements questionnaire. Behavioral performance during the tasks was later rated by independent observers. Results generally suggest that adolescents, in general, experienced more negative self-statements during the speech task than the conversation task, and the socially phobic and socially anxious adolescents experienced more negative self-statements than the nonanxious adolescents. Self-statements often predicted behavioral performance, while self-statements did not significantly predict heart rate during the two tasks. Implications for research and practice are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Jordan, Judith A, "Cognitive content of socially anxious adolescents: Behavioral and physiological correlates across two behavioral tasks" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3307713.