Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Assessment and Management of Shyness Using Group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy among Selected Nigerian Adolescents

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Assessment and Management of Shyness Using Group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy among Selected Nigerian Adolescents

Article excerpt

Abstract.

Shyness is a term that is often used to describe discomfort people feel in social situations. It does not only describe a feeling state rather characteristics of some individuals that have hindered them from achieving their potentials. This condition has been found to be more among adolescents and it ranges from mild, moderate to severe levels with the impact debilitating to self-development. Yet due attention has not been paid to studying this condition. This study assessed shyness in adolescents and managed it using group cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) among those with high level of it. The participants were 240 secondary school students comprising 120 males and 120 females, aged between 10 and 19 years (Mean = 14.63, SD = 2.47) selected using stratified random sampling from a private secondary school in Lagos. Shyness Scale 34 (SS-34) was administered to them and 36 of them whose scores indicate high level of shyness were identified. They were then divided into 2 groups of treatment and control using odd-even random assignment While the treatment group was subjected to 10 sessions of group CBT, nothing was done to the control group. Employing a pretest-posttest design, Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to analyze the data. The result shows that after adjusting for pretest scores, there was a significant effect of the between subjects factor groups, F (1, 33) = 47.70, p < .00, partial η^sup 2^ = .59. Adjusted mean recognition scores suggest that group cognitive behavioural therapy lowered the level of shyness significantly thereby making it a useful technique in the management of shyness. The result was discussed in the light of the need to assess and manage shyness in adolescent toward empowering them to realize their potentials.

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Introduction

Shyness is a term that enjoys several definitions in literature. However, it is generally seen as an emotion that affects how a person feels and behaves around others. Cheek and Buss (1981) defined it as the presence of inhibition and discomfort in social situations. It can mean feeling uncomfortable, self-conscious, nervous, bashful, timid, or insecure in social situations. People who feel shy sometimes notice physical sensations like blushing or feeling speechless, shaky, or breathless. They often hesitate before trying something new and prefer watching others before joining in on a group activity. They usually take longer to warm up to new people and situations and it has been found to be at the highest level during adolescence (Simmons & Rosenberg 1975). Adolescence is a developmental transition between childhood and adulthood. It is generally considered to begin with puberty-the process that leads to sexual maturity-at about age 11 or 12years and to end in the late teens or early twenties. However, its physical basis has actually begun long before, and its psychological ramification may continue long after. The chief task of this stage of life according to Erikson (1968) is to resolve the conflict of identity versus identity confusion-to become a unique adult with an important role in life, and this involves learning the skills that will enhance interaction with others. This stage of life is often regarded as a period of storm and stress because of the conflicts and exploration that characterize it. Adolescence, being a period of rapid change and development, is often associated with experiences of turmoil and anxiety. Shyness is veiy common as the adolescent attempts to explore boundaries, gain self-knowledge and form an identity or because of disruptions or problems in development, most especially those involved in the establishment of a personal identity (Asendorpf 1989; Buss 1984). In addition, during adolescence, shyness is likely to be intensified by the physical impact of puberty as well as changes in social context in the adolescent's life that may contribute to disturbances in self-image. …

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