Links between peer relationships and social anxiety across adolescence: The moderating effects of interpersonal competence, self-worth, and gender
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Date of Graduation
Master of Arts (MA)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Jessica G. Irons
Bryan K. Saville
Links between interpersonal relationships and psychological functioning have been well established in the literature. Specifically, during adolescence, success or distress in peer relationships may have distinct effects on psychological functioning, especially with regard to the development of later social anxiety. The present study aims to examine the ways in which different adolescent peer relationships (i.e., close friendship quality and social acceptance) can predict later social anxiety development. Further, the study considers how different developmental stages of adolescence may impact these relationships, in addition to considering possible conditional effects of interpersonal competence, self-worth, and gender. Early adolescents (age 14) and late adolescents (age 17) and their closest friend were asked to report on their perceived close friendship quality and social acceptance. Participants were assessed again at age 19 for interpersonal competence, self-worth, and social anxiety. Results of several hierarchical regression analyses revealed several direct effects and an interaction effect that provided both supporting and conflicting evidence for the proposed hypotheses. The current findings suggest the importance of self-perception of social acceptance and self-worth when predicting social anxiety, and also revealed distinct gender differences when examining the relationship between friendship quality in early adolescence and the development of later social anxiety.
Shah, Emily N., "Links between peer relationships and social anxiety across adolescence: The moderating effects of interpersonal competence, self-worth, and gender" (2022). Masters Theses, 2020-current. 144.