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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Feb;45(2):189-98. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Socially anxious adolescents' perception of treatment by classmates.

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Department of Psychology, Section of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands.


This study addressed the question if socially anxious adolescents have a negatively biased perception of the way they are treated by their peers. A total of 998 high school students from Grades 8-10 were categorized as socially low, middle, or high anxious on the basis of their SAS-A score. The perceived behavior of classmates was measured using three lists that described class behaviors during oral presentations of students, one list was concerned with the behaviors directed towards the student him/herself and the other two with behaviors directed towards a hypothetical high and low socially anxious peer, respectively. The results indicated that high socially anxious students felt negatively treated by their peers and that the other students too perceived that socially anxious classmates were treated more negatively. This suggests that the perception of the high socially anxious students is not distorted but based on the actual treatment they receive from their classmates.

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