Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Relationship between Shyness and Adolescent Problems

Academic journal article Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology

Relationship between Shyness and Adolescent Problems

Article excerpt

Shyness is a common emotion of expression a human mind portrays. It is displayed by every human being, but may be restricted in some socially well-nourished beings. Shyness is a behavioral issue characterized by inhibition in some situations. The agony of shyness transcends expatriate boundaries, or divisions of age, sex, race, and nationality and may interfere with pursuing one's interpersonal or professional goals, it is vital to add an appreciation of the extent to which, human actions may come under situational influences that can be quite powerful. Using the same background this study is conducted. Christian, Steffen, and Langmeyer (1982), are of the opinion that excessive self-focus, preoccupation with one's thoughts and feelings and physical reactions contribute to shyness.

Shyness reactions can occur at many levels of understanding: cognitive, affective, physiological and behavioral, and may even be elicited by a wide diversity of provocative cues (Watson, 1987). The cues include authorities, one to one opposite sex interactions, intimacy, strangers, taking initiative individually in a group, instigating vague societal actions etc. The basic paradigm to be present here illustrates the relative ease with which "ordinary," good men and women are induced into behaving "indifferently" by turning on or off one or another social situational variable, Schroeder (1995). D'Souza and Urs (2007) in their study found that shyness is more common early adolescence than late adolescence. By the age of twenty years many have either overcome or reduced the shyness. Shy students have feelings of loneliness, depression (Somesha & D'Souza, 2009, 2010), anxiety (D'Souza, 2003, 2005), fear (D'Souza, Gowda, & Gowda, 2006) and are less happy (Natesha & D'Souza, 2011), and they have more limited interpersonal contact with others. In a recent study by Chandrashekar and D'Souza (2013), it was found that shy adolescents experienced higher levels of emotional and social maladjustment. The effect of physical transformation between adolescent ages, which further continue till early twenties, where a series of physical and emotional changes occur, which may lead to higher levels of shyness. Kagan, Reznik and Snidman (1999) found that girls extremely inhibited at age two continued to act inhibited, as well as subdued and fearful, at 13 too. In contrast, by age 13, inhibited boys did not act inhibited, but were emotionally unresponsive, non-spontaneous, and had more reservations. Social pressures make boys hide their shyness, Kagan, Reznik and Snidman suspect. Among Chinese children Chen, Wang and Wang (2009) found that shyness lead to social and school problems among rural children and among urban children shyness was associated with depression.

In the present study, an attempt is made to find out the relationship between shyness and adolescent problems in at least 11 areas, since previous studies have shown the effect of shyness on limited variables. It is hypothesized that shyness and adolescent problems are significantly related to each other.



Atotal of 600 adolescent boys and girls were randomly selected from in and around Mysore city. They were studying in high schools or pre university schools studying both in Kannada and English mediums. They were selected through stratified random sampling.


Shyness assessment test: It was developed by D'Souza (2006) of Maharaja's College, University of Mysore. It consists of 54 items and requires the subject to indicate his/her response by marking Yes or No. The items in the test pertain to three domains of shyness- Cognitive/ Affective, Physiological and Action oriented. Item analysis of the scale using SPSS program resulted in Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.817 for the Indian population. Further, the scale had sufficiently high validity.

Problem Check-list (PCL): Joshi and Pandey in 1964 developed the Indian adaptation of High School Form (H) for adolescents, which is a self-administering checklist. …

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