Individual Day-to-Day Process of Social Anxiety in Vulnerable College Students

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Abstract

Transitions requiring the creation of new social networks may be challenging for individuals vulnerable to social anxiety, which may hinder successful adjustment. Using person-specific methodology, this study examined social anxiety in vulnerable university freshman away from home during their first semester of college to understand how day-to-day processes of social anxiety influenced future social anxiety and social withdrawal. Participants completed daily measures of four components of social anxiety which were examined as a process during a single day, and as a process affecting social anxiety and social withdrawal the next day. For most individuals, same-day fear of negative evaluation was associated with maladaptive cognitive processes (anticipatory processing and post-event rumination) and influenced social withdrawal behaviors. Across time relations were less robust and varied between participants suggesting the importance of situational factors and individual differences. These findings may have implications for the effectiveness of various intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Developmental Science
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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