European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 765–772 | Cite as

Social anxiety level in Turkish adolescents

  • Nursu Cakin Memik
  • Sahika G. Sismanlar
  • Ozlem Yildiz
  • Isik Karakaya
  • Cavit Isik
  • Belma Agaoglu
Original Contribution


Social phobia is a mental disorder characterized by extreme and consistent fear of meeting new people, scrutiny in a variety of performance and/or interactional situations. The aim of this study was to investigate the level of self-reported social anxiety in a community sample of Turkish adolescents and the relationship between social anxiety and some sociodemographic parameters. This study was a school-based cross-sectional study. Students in grades 6–8 (aged 10–16) from 12 schools in Kocaeli/Turkey were screened by the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A). The correlations of sociodemographic parameters with the SAS-A scores were examined. Data from a sample of 1,713 students (865 boys 50.4% and 848 girls 49.5%) were analyzed. A significant gender difference in the SAS-A points was found. Boys reported higher SAS-A total and subscale scores (except social avoidance and distress-general subscale score) than did girls. A significant negative correlation was found between socioeconomic status and social anxiety level. SAS-A scores were higher in those with a low socioeconomic level, and who were going to rural schools. The result of this study showed that social phobic symptoms among Turkish adolescents were more severe in boys. Some factors such as low socioeconomic level, and going to a rural school had impact on the SAS-A scores. As the impairment in the school-domain was reported to be quite high, professionals and teachers need to recognize social anxiety in adolescents, so that help can be offered to overcome the difficulties social phobia causes.


Social anxiety Adolescents Gender Prevalence 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nursu Cakin Memik
    • 1
  • Sahika G. Sismanlar
    • 1
  • Ozlem Yildiz
    • 1
  • Isik Karakaya
    • 1
  • Cavit Isik
    • 1
  • Belma Agaoglu
    • 1
  1. 1.Kocaeli University Faculty of MedicineIzmirTurkey

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