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J Youth Adolesc. 2010 Dec;39(12):1498-507. doi: 10.1007/s10964-009-9463-3. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

Nervousness and performance characteristics as predictors of peer behavior towards socially anxious adolescents.

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  • 1Institute of Psychology, Unit Developmental and Educational Psychology, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333, AK Leiden, The Netherlands.


Social anxiety in adolescents has frequently been linked to negative outcomes from social interactions. The present study investigated whether socially anxious adolescents are treated negatively by their classmates and which characteristics of socially anxious adolescents could explain negative social responses. Classroom observations of class behavior were made during oral presentations of 94 students (60% females) in the ages of 13-18 years. Speakers' social performance, speech quality, and nervousness during the presentation were also rated. Findings showed that the social performance of socially anxious students was a predictor of class behavior, whereas their overt nervousness was not. Surprisingly, the quality of their speech was negatively related to class behavior. Implications of these findings for the treatment of socially anxious adolescents are discussed.

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