ISSN : 2733-4538
In an attempt to assess the stability of social anxiety in childhood and adolescence and identify variables contributing to the stability, a total of 1255 children and adolescents(364 4th-5th graders, 518 7th-8th graders, and 373 10th-11th graders) were given self-report measures of social interaction and performance anxiety, retrospective account of behavioral inhibition, traumatic experience, family environment, dysfunctional cognition, depression and interference. The same measures of social interaction and performance anxiety were repeated 6 months later. The correlation between the 1st and 2nd social anxiety scores in the 3 age groups ranged from .54-.74. and approximately half of the high anxiety group (with anxiety score 1SD above the mean) showed a drop in their anxiety scores below the criterion at the 6 month follow-up. Multiple regression analyses revealed the level of social interaction and performance anxiety at the 1st assessment, behavioral inhibition and traumatic experience to be significant contributing factors to the social interaction and performance anxiety at the 2nd assessment. In addition, internalizing behavior problems emerged as a significant contributing factor in the group of 10-11th graders. Those with high level of anxiety at both assessments had higher initial anxiety level, behavioral inhibition, and traumatic experience scores compared to those with transient anxiety. The persistent anxiety group also had higher depression and negative cognition measures.