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Emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal assessment of social phobia in adolescents

Kenneth Scott Walters, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study examined the utility of a comprehensive assessment of emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal correlates of social anxiety. Participants included 96 adolescents (43 boys and 43 girls), who were classified into one of three groups based on a diagnostic interview; socially phobic, subclinically socially anxious, and normal. Participants completed self-report measures of social anxiety, positive and negative affect, differential emotions, and interpersonal problems. An assessment of participants' interpersonal styles was also obtained from their parents. In addition, participants completed two anxiety provoking behavioral tasks; a conversation with a stranger and an impromptu speech. From these tasks, a comprehensive assessment of behavioral ratings was obtained on various dimensions relevant to social anxiety. Results indicated that socially phobic youth demonstrated higher levels of self-report social anxiety and both trait and state negative emotions than did normals. Socially phobic youth also demonstrated greater anxiety indicated by behavioral ratings, as well as interpersonal styles marked by greater introversion and submissiveness. These assessment variables demonstrated moderate ability to distinguish socially phobic from normal youth, although socially anxious youth were poorly classified. Finally, the variables in the study did not yield a meaningful higher-order factor structure. Implications of these results for the assessment of adolescents with social phobia are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Walters, Kenneth Scott, "Emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal assessment of social phobia in adolescents" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9977031.