Date of Graduation
Interrelations among social anxiety, peer status, and friendship variables were investigated in an elementary school-aged sample (N = 490). Sociometric procedures, child-report, and teacher-report measures were administered on a single occasion during the fall semester. Relative to other sociometric groups, peer-rejected children reported higher levels of social anxiety and depression and were perceived by teachers as exhibiting more externalizing and internalizing difficulties and less socially skilled behavior and academic competence. Peer status and friendship variables were related to child-, peer-, and teacher-reported internalizing symptoms and externalizing behaviors. Regarding the identity of children's best friends, results varied by informant source, with teacher and peer reports supporting behavioral and emotional similarities among best friend dyads. Finally, perceived positive and negative friendship qualities made incremental contributions to children's social anxiety scores, even after controlling for peer-derived ratings of acceptance. Friendship quality did not moderate the relation between social preference and social anxiety scores for boys. Low-accepted girls, however, experienced heightened social anxiety when their best friendships were rated high in negative qualities, thereby supporting the moderator model for girls. Results corroborated and extended previous research and provided information regarding two levels of peer relations. Clinical implications, methodological constraints, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Greco, Laurie A., "Social anxiety and peer experiences in middle childhood: The importance of group acceptance and close dyadic friendships." (2003). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8952.