Social anxiety and quality of life in adolescents: cognitive aspect, social interaction and cultural tendency
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AbstractAim: In recent years, research has concluded that social anxiety plays a key role in quality of life. The overall aim of this research was to evaluate social anxiety in adolescents with respect to determining how social anxiety affects quality of life. Method: This study was a cross-sectional study. A pilot study was conducted to cross-culturally adapt all scales by the recommended translated and back-translated method. The correlations of socio-demographic parameters with the SAS-A scores were examined. Data from a sample of 564 students (273 boys 48.4%, 291 girls 51.6%) were analysed. Adolescents from Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom were screened and compared. Confirmatory factor analysis was utilised to build the proposed model based on prior research and theoretical findings. Finding: No significant sex difference in the SAS-A total score, fear of negative evaluation and social avoidance were found. Comparing the boys and girls on SPIN scores, Fear, Avoidance and Authority Problems, the results showed that boys reported higher in SPIN total, fear and avoidance (except authority problem subscale score) than did girls. SAS-A scores were higher in those with a low socio-economic level. Moreover, social anxiety symptoms among Saudi adolescents were more severe in boys. Results showed that adolescents without social anxiety scored higher on quality of life and its subscales than adolescents with social anxiety as measured by ASA-A. No significant difference was found in psychical health. Adolescents without social anxiety scored higher on quality of life and its subscales than adolescents with social anxiety as measured by SIAS. Adolescents without social anxiety scored on Positive Individualism more than adolescents with social anxiety. No significant difference was found in Positive Relatedness. In the cross-cultural study, the results showed no significant difference on SIAS scores for Saudi adolescents and British adolescents. However, a marginally significant differences was found on BAI scores, where Saudi adolescents reported higher level of anxiety than British adolescents. The British sample reported higher on the fear of negative evaluation than the Saudi sample. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was utilised to test hypotheses on the links between scores on the study scales. The findings indicate that the overall fit of the SAS-A model was acceptable. Direct effects between the study variables and significant positive correlation between cognitive factors and social anxiety were found. Mediation effects of SAS-A and SPIN were investigated by reporting direct effects, indirect effects and total effects. Results indicte that social anxiety significantly mediated the relationships between subjective anxiety, positive individualism, and cognitive and environmental health. Conclusion: It is therefore imperative that socially anxious students be provided with appropriate consultations and treatment so that they can improve their quality of life through integrating better with social institutions. If untreated, the impairment caused by social phobia could lead to poor academic and professional outcomes, as well as poor psychosocial outcomes.
CitationAlkhathami, S. (2014) 'Social anxiety and quality of life in adolescents: cognitive aspect, social interaction and cultural tendency'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
SponsorsROYAL EMBASSY OF SAUDI ARABIA
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