Factors associated with social interaction anxiety among Chinese adolescents

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Journal Article
East Asian Archives of Psychiatry, 2011, 21 (4), pp. 135 - 141
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Objectives: To investigate potential risk factors for social anxiety, particularly social interaction anxiety among the Chinese adolescents. Methods: A cross-sectional health survey was conducted in Guangzhou city of the Guangdong Province where high school students aged 13 to 18 years were recruited. The sample was selected from all high schools in the city using a 2-stage random cluster sampling technique. Social interaction anxiety was assessed using the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale. Information collected in the survey included: demographics, self-perception on school performance, relationship with teachers and peers, satisfaction with self-image, achievements, and parenting style of the mother. The parent-child relationship, specifically the relationship between respondents and their mothers, was assessed using the mother attachment subscale of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment. Self-esteem was assessed using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. The multiple linear regression technique was applied to investigate associations between selected potential risk factors and social interaction anxiety, with adjustments for cluster sampling. Results: Lower family income, lower self-esteem, and hostility were significantly associated with social interaction anxiety among adolescents. Variables identified as risk factors of anxiety disorder in the literature, such as gender, were not associated with social interaction anxiety in this sample. Conclusions: These results were consistent with those of other studies conducted mainly in the United States and Europe. Regarding non-significant results related to gender, they need viewing in the context of parenting styles of Chinese mothers. © 2011 Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists.
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