Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1397-1399

Social Phobia

  • Fauzia MahrAffiliated withPenn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College Of Medicine
  • , Safia MahrAffiliated withLaboratoire EvaCliPsy, Université Paris X Nanterre
  • , R. D. FriedbergAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center


Social anxiety; Social anxiety disorder


According to DSM IV [3] social anxiety disorder is “a marked and persistent fear of one or more social performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or possible scrutiny by others.” It is a disorder with a very broad range of implications as most of our daily activities revolve around social encounters. It is especially debilitating because seemingly routine tasks become an ordeal for the individuals suffering from the disorder.


Social phobia is a common disorder with vast implications; its effects range from interpersonal problems to inability to meet developmental milestones. The socially anxious youth struggle with the inherent anxiety as well as the social implications of their anxious behavior.

Ford [6] in a personal account of social phobia described her experience in the following way

In first period chemistry, I was up to my ears in dread-dread of having to ...

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