The Relationship between Social Anxiety and Social Support in Adolescents: A Test of Competing Causal Models

By Calsyn, Robert J.; Winter, Joel P. et al. | Adolescence, Spring 2005 | Go to article overview

The Relationship between Social Anxiety and Social Support in Adolescents: A Test of Competing Causal Models


Calsyn, Robert J., Winter, Joel P., Burger, Gary K., Adolescence


Social anxiety, particularly in children and adolescents, has received considerable attention over the years (see Chorpita & Barlow, 1998 and Patterson & Ritts, 1997 for reviews). Social anxiety is correlated with a number of other negative behaviors and cognitive responses including avoidance of others, decreased verbal and nonverbal interaction in the presence of others, negative thoughts, negative self-evaluations, irrational beliefs, and evaluation apprehension (Patterson & Ritts, 1997). In addition, previous studies have indicated that anxiety was often a precursor to depression in adolescents (Cole, Peeke, Martin, Truglio, & Seroczynski, 1998; Reinherz, Giaconia, Pakiz, Silverman, Frost, & Lefkowitz, 1993).

Prior cross-sectional research also revealed that more anxious individuals report receiving less social support than do less anxious individuals (Caldwell & Reinhart, 1988; Haemmerlie, Montgomery, & Melchers, 1988). In discussing the relationship between social anxiety and social support, most researchers have employed a social causation model, i.e., they have assumed that lack of social support causes social anxiety (Johnson, 1991). The social selection model, on the other hand, argues that social anxiety causes social support (Johnson, 1991). According to this hypothesis, individuals who are more anxious are less able to attract and maintain supportive relationships than are less anxious individuals. A combined causal model, known as the reciprocal effects model, argues that the causal relationship between social support and social anxiety is largely reciprocal. Thus, although social support impacts subsequent social anxiety, social anxiety also affects subsequent social support (Stice & Barrera, 1995). This model is similar to the transactional model of Sameroff and Fiese (1990) proposed for younger children.

Longitudinal data on both social support and social anxiety is needed to adequately test these competing causal models. We are not aware of any longitudinal panel studies that have examined the causal relationship between social anxiety and social support. However, several longitudinal studies have compared the social causation versus the social selection model in examining the relationship between social support and other measures of psychological adjustment, particularly depression. One study with older adults supported the social causation model (Krause, Liang, & Yatomi, 1989). Two studies supported the social selection model, one study with middle age adults (Johnson, 1991) and the other study with older adults (Cutrona, Russell, & Rose, 1986). The combined reciprocal effects model was supported in three studies with adolescents (Compas, Wagner, Slavin, & Vannatta, 1986; Lakey, 1989; Stice & Barrera, 1995), and four studies with adults (Turner, 1981).

One contribution of this study is the distinction between two indices of social support: perceived support and enacted support. Perceived support is the perception that support would be available if needed, whereas enacted support is measured by asking respondents if certain supportive acts (e.g., loaned money or gave advice) were actually provided the respondent over a specified period of time. (See Barrera, 1986, for more detailed descriptions of enacted and perceived support.) With the exception of the Johnson study (1991) which assessed social networks contacts, all previous studies used a measure of perceived support in examining the causal relationship between social support and psychological functioning. None of the longitudinal studies included a measure of enacted support.

This study also seeks to further the research in this area by proposing a mediated reciprocal effects model. A mediated model tests whether a hypothesized cause-effect relationship can be better explained by specifying a construct that is more closely related to the outcome. We believe that perceived support mediates the effects in the reciprocal effects model for several reasons. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Relationship between Social Anxiety and Social Support in Adolescents: A Test of Competing Causal Models
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.