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Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 665–677 | Cite as

Social Phobia and Educational and Interpersonal Impairments in Adolescence: A Prospective Study

  • Klaus Ranta
  • Annette M. La Greca
  • Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino
  • Mauri Marttunen
Original Article

Abstract

We examined longitudinal associations between social phobia (SP) and educational and interpersonal impairments among Finnish adolescents. Participants were 3278 adolescents (9th grade; M age = 15.5 years) who completed measures of SP and depressive symptoms; 2070 participated in follow-up two years later. Indicators for educational and interpersonal functioning were assessed for each sex separately. Multivariate analyses, controlling for depression and relevant socioeconomic covariates, indicated that for boys, age 15 SP predicted slow academic progression, being without a close friend or not having a romantic relationship, and poor support from friends and significant others at age 17. However, for girls, age 15 SP only predicted not having been involved in a romantic relationship by age 17. In conclusion, we found striking sex differences for adolescent SP as a predictor for subsequent educational and interpersonal impairments in late adolescence. SP may have a more devastating effect on boys' social and academic functioning relative to that of girls.

Keywords

Social anxiety Social phobia Adolescents Impairment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Ranta
    • 1
  • Annette M. La Greca
    • 2
  • Riittakerttu Kaltiala-Heino
    • 3
    • 4
  • Mauri Marttunen
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Adolescent PsychiatryHelsinki University Hospital (HUS)HelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  3. 3.Medical SchoolUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  4. 4.Department of Adolescent PsychiatryTampere University HospitalTampereFinland
  5. 5.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  6. 6.Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse ServicesNational Institute for Health and WelfareHelsinkiFinland

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