Peer Victimization and Social Anxiety in Adolescence: A Prospective Study

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This study reports a one-year prospective investigation of the relations between overt and relational victimization and social anxiety and phobia in a sample of adolescents. The Social Experience Questionnaire-Self Report Form (SEQ-S), Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A), and Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C) were administered to 144 ninth grade adolescents. A follow-up assessment with the SEQ-S, SAS-A, and SPAI-C was conducted one year later. Results indicated that relational victimization predicted symptoms of social phobia but not general social anxiety and avoidance one year later. Overt victimization was not a significant predictor of social anxiety and phobia one year later. Social anxiety and phobia did not predict peer victimization one year later. However, increases in social anxiety and social phobia symptoms (for boys) over time were positively associated with increases in relational victimization over time. Implications of these findings for peer victimization and social anxiety in the development of social phobia and negative peer experiences are discussed.



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