This study examined the utility of modifying the Social Anxiety Scale for Children—Revised (SASC-R) for use with adolescents, and examined associations between adolescents' social anxiety (SA) and their peer relations, friendships, and social functioning. Boys (n = 101) and girls (n = 149) in the 10th through 12th grades completed the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) and measures of social support, perceived competence, and number and quality of their best friendships. Factor analysis of the SAS-A confirmed a three-factor structure: Fear of Negative Evaluation, Social Avoidance and Distress in General, and Social Avoidance Specific to New Situations or Unfamiliar Peers. Girls reported more SA than boys, and SA was more strongly linked to girls' social functioning than boys'. Specifically, adolescents with higher levels of SA reported poorer social functioning (less support from classmates, less social acceptance), and girls with higher levels of SA reported fewer friendships, and less intimacy, companionship, and support in their close friendships. These findings extend work on the SASC-R to adolescents, and suggest the importance of SA for understanding the social functioning and close friendships of adolescents, especially girls.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (4th ed.). Washington, DC
Bentler, P. M. (1995). EQS: A structural equation program (Version 5.1). BMDP Statistical Software.
Berndt, T. J. (1982). The features and effects of friendship in early adolescence. Child Development, 53, 1447-1460.
Berndt, T. J., & Perry, T. B. (1986). Children's perceptions of friendships as supportive relationships. Developmental Psychology, 23, 583-592.
Bernstein, G. A., Garfinkel, B. D., & Hoberman, H. M. (1989). Self-reported anxiety in adolescents. American Journal of Psychiatry, 146, 384-386.
Black, B. (1995). Separation anxiety disorder and panic disorder. In J. S. March (Ed.), Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents (pp. 212-234). New York: Guilford Press.
Buhrmester, D., & Furman, W. (1987). The development of companionship and intimacy. Child Development, 58, 1101-1113.
Bulik, C. M., Beidel, D. C., Duchmann, E., Weltzin, T. E., & Kaye, W. H. (1991). An analysis of social anxiety in anorexic, bulimic, social phobic and control women. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 13, 199-211.
Bruch, M. A. (1989). Familial and developmental antecedents of social phobia: Issues and findings. Clinical Psychology Review, 9, 37-47.
Crick, N. R., & Ladd, G. W. (1993). Children's perceptions of their peer experiences: Attributions, loneliness, social anxiety, and social avoidance. Developmental Psychology, 29, 244-254.
Dusek, J. (1991). Adolescent development and behavior (3rd ed.). Palo Alto, CA: Science Research Associates.
Frankel, K. A. (1990). Girls' perceptions of peer relationship support and stress. Journal of Early Adolescence, 10, 69-88.
Ginsburg, G. S., la Greca, A. M., & Silverman, W. S. (1998). Social anxiety in children with anxiety disorders: Relation with social and emotional functioning. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
Harter, S. (1985). Manual for the Social Support Scale for Children and Adolescents. Denver: University of Denver.
Harter, S. (1988). Manual for the Self Perception Profile for Adolescents. Denver: University of Denver.
Hazen, A. L., & Stein, M. B. (1995). Clinical phenomenology and comorbidity. In M. B. Stein (Ed.), Social phobia: Clinical and research perspectives (pp. 3-42). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.
Hymel, S., & Frank, S. (1985). Children's peer relations: Assessing self-perceptions. In B. Schneider, K. Rubin, & J. Ledingham (Eds.), Children's peer relations: Issues in assessment and intervention (pp. 75-92). New York: Springer.
Ingersoll, G. M. (1989). Adolescents (2nd ed.). Englewood Clifs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Kashani, J. H., Orvaschel, H., Rosenberg, T. K., & Reid, J. C. (1989). Psychopathology in a community sample of children and adolescents: A developmental perspective. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 28, 701-706.
Kuhlen, R. G., & Houlihan, N. B. (1965). Adolescent heterosexual interest in 1942 and 1965. Child Development, 36, 1049-1052.
La Greca, A. M., Dandes, S. K., Wick, P., Shaw, K., & Stone, W. L. (1988). Development of the Social Anxiety Scale for Children: Reliability and concurrent validity. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 17, 84-91.
La Greca, A. M., & Stone, W. L. (1993). Social Anxiety Scale for Children—Revised: Factor structure and concurrent validity. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 22, 17-27.
Leary, M. R. (1983). Understanding social anxiety: Social, personality, and clinical perspectives. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Leary, M. R. (1990). Responses to social exclusion: Social anxiety, jealousy, loneliness, depression, and low self-esteem. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 9, 221-229.
Loeber, R., Green, S. M., & Lahey, B. B. (1990). Mental health professionals' perceptions of the utility of children, parents, and teachers as informants on childhood psychopathology. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 19, 136-143.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Larson, J. (1992). The worries of adolescent males and females. Unpublished manuscript, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.
Quay, H. C., & La Greca, A. M. (1986). Disorders of anxiety, withdrawal, and dysphoria. In H. C. Quay & J. S. Werry (Eds.), Psychopathological disorders of childhood (3rd ed.). (pp. 73-110). New York: Wiley.
Rosen, B. C., & Aneshensel, C. S. (1976). The chameleon syndrome: A social psychological dimension of the female sex role. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 605-617.
Schneier, F. R., Johnson, J., Hornig, C. D., Liebowitz, M. R., & Weissman, M. M. (1992). Social phobia: Comorbidity in an epidemiological sample. Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 282-288.
Schneier, F. R., Martin, L. Y., Liebowitz, M. R., Gorman, J. M., & Fyer, A. J. (1989). Alcohol abuse in social phobia. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 3, 15-23.
Silverman, W. K., & Ginsburg, G. (1995). Specific phobias and generalized anxiety disorder. In J. S. March (Ed.), Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents (pp. 151-180). New York: Guilford Press.
Silverman, W. K., La Greca, A. M., & Wasserstein, S. (1995). What do children worry about?: Worries and their relationship to anxiety. Child Development, 66, 671-686.
Strauss, C. C., Frame, C. L, & Forehand, R. (1987). Psychosocial impairment associated with anxiety in children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 16, 235-239.
Strauss, C. C., Lease, C. A., Kazdin, A. E., Dulcan, M. K., & Last, C. G. (1989). Multimethod assessment of the social competence of children with anxiety disorders. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 18, 184-189.
Turner, S. M., Beidel, D. C., Dancu, C. V., & Keys, D. J. (1986). Psychopathology of social phobia and comparison to avoidant personality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 389-394.
Vernberg, E. M. (1990). Psychological adjustment and experiences with peers during early adolescence: Reciprocal, incidental, or unidirectional relationships? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 18, 187-198.
Vernberg, E. M., Abwender, D. A., Ewell, K. K., & Beery, S. H. (1992). Social anxiety and peer relationships in early adolescence: A prospective analysis. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 21, 189-196.
Watson, D., & Friend, R. (1969). Measurement of social-evaluative anxiety. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 33, 448-457.
Weissman, M. M., Leckman, J. F., Merikangas, K. R., et al. (1984). Depression and anxiety disorders in parents and children. Archives of General Psychiatry, 41, 845-852.
About this article
Cite this article
La Greca, A.M., Lopez, N. Social Anxiety Among Adolescents: Linkages with Peer Relations and Friendships. J Abnorm Child Psychol 26, 83–94 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022684520514
- Social anxiety
- peer relations
- Social Anxiety Scale for children—Revised (SASC-R)
- Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A)
- romantic appeal
- social functioning
- anxiety disorders