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29-10-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2016

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 4/2016

Social Phobia and Educational and Interpersonal Impairments in Adolescence: A Prospective Study

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 4/2016
Auteurs:
Klaus Ranta, Annette M. La Greca, Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino, Mauri Marttunen

Abstract

We examined longitudinal associations between social phobia (SP) and educational and interpersonal impairments among Finnish adolescents. Participants were 3278 adolescents (9th grade; M age = 15.5 years) who completed measures of SP and depressive symptoms; 2070 participated in follow-up two years later. Indicators for educational and interpersonal functioning were assessed for each sex separately. Multivariate analyses, controlling for depression and relevant socioeconomic covariates, indicated that for boys, age 15 SP predicted slow academic progression, being without a close friend or not having a romantic relationship, and poor support from friends and significant others at age 17. However, for girls, age 15 SP only predicted not having been involved in a romantic relationship by age 17. In conclusion, we found striking sex differences for adolescent SP as a predictor for subsequent educational and interpersonal impairments in late adolescence. SP may have a more devastating effect on boys' social and academic functioning relative to that of girls.

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