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01-01-2013 | Uitgave 1/2013 Open Access

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 1/2013

Trajectories of Social Anxiety during Adolescence and Relations with Cognition, Social Competence, and Temperament

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 1/2013
Auteurs:
A. C. Miers, A. W. Blöte, M. de Rooij, C. L. Bokhorst, P. M. Westenberg

Abstract

This cohort-sequential study examined developmental trajectories of social anxiety in a nonclinical sample (N = 331, 161 girls) aged 9 to 17 years at initial and 12 to 21 years at final assessment. We tested whether variables assessing cognition, social competence, and temperament discriminated between the trajectories. Variables were collected from different sources: participants, independent observers, parents, and teachers. Using Latent Class Growth Modeling (LCGM) we identified three distinct social anxiety trajectory groups: i) high and changing; ii) moderate and decreasing; and iii) low and decreasing. Multinomial regression analyses showed that the cognition variables, negative interpretations of ambiguous social situations and self-focused attention, differentiated between all three trajectories. A lack of social skills and having social problems at school were specifically related to the chance of following the high trajectory versus the moderate trajectory. Neuroticism differentiated between the low and moderate trajectories. Findings indicate that adolescents at risk of belonging to a high social anxiety trajectory can be discriminated from peers belonging to a less anxious trajectory using both cognition and social competence variables.

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