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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Nov;45(11):2773-9. Epub 2007 Jul 4.

Peer behavior toward socially anxious adolescents: classroom observations.

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Leiden University Institute for Psychological Research, Developmental Psychology Unit, Leiden University, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands.


This study focused on the relation between adolescents' social anxiety and the way they are treated by classmates. The link between class behavior during oral presentations and the social anxiety of the speakers was investigated. Social anxiety was measured both as a trait variable and as manifest in two state anxiety characteristics. A group of 55 students from Grades 8 and 9 were selected to participate in the study. Class behavior during their presentations was rated by the students themselves, their teacher, and an independent observer. Results showed that negative class behavior was related to social anxiety, particularly when behavior was rated by the independent observer. The data suggested that this negative social outcome is related to longer lasting social interactions in the classroom and not to specific state anxiety characteristics.

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