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CNS Spectr. 1999 Nov;4(11):20-9.

The shyness spectrum.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.


Debate continues regarding the relationship between shyness and social phobia. Some have proposed that this relationship is best understood by adopting a spectrum approach where increasing levels of shyness eventually merge into the clinical disorder of social phobia. This paper begins to explore the validity of this spectrum by reviewing similarities and differences between shyness and social phobia and investigating how shyness relates to social phobia subtypes. This paper will also explore precursors to social phobia, namely childhood behavioral inhibition.

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