Social Anxiety and Adolescents' Friendships: The Role of Social Withdrawal

Bridget K Biggs, Eric M. Vernberg, Yelena P. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research indicates social anxiety is associated with lower friendship quality, but little is known about the underlying mechanisms. This 2-month longitudinal study examined social withdrawal as a mediator of the social anxiety-friendship quality link in a sample of 214 adolescents (Mage = 13.1 years, SD =.73) that included an oversampling of adolescents recently relocated to the community (n = 155). Findings provided preliminary support for the hypothesized models, in which social anxiety is associated with social withdrawal, which in turn is related to lower companionship and intimacy in adolescents' friendships. Analyses testing whether relocation to a new community intensifies these associations indicated additive, but not multiplicative, effects of social anxiety and relocation on friendship companionship and intimacy. Implications include the importance of increasing socially anxious youths' social engagement and skills with friends as well as with less familiar peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-823
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes

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withdrawal
friendship
Anxiety
anxiety
adolescent
move
intimacy
social research
community
longitudinal study
Longitudinal Studies
Research

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • developmental psychopathology
  • friendship
  • social competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Social Anxiety and Adolescents' Friendships : The Role of Social Withdrawal. / Biggs, Bridget K; Vernberg, Eric M.; Wu, Yelena P.

In: Journal of Early Adolescence, Vol. 32, No. 6, 12.2012, p. 802-823.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Biggs, Bridget K ; Vernberg, Eric M. ; Wu, Yelena P. / Social Anxiety and Adolescents' Friendships : The Role of Social Withdrawal. In: Journal of Early Adolescence. 2012 ; Vol. 32, No. 6. pp. 802-823.
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