Social phobia in Swedish adolescents: Prevalence and gender differences
2009 (English)In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, ISSN 0933-7954, E-ISSN 1433-9285, Vol. 44, no 1, 1-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Background The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of self-reported social phobia in a community sample of Swedish adolescents in junior high school, at the risk-period for developing social phobia. Of particular interest was to investigate gender differences in prevalence across ages. Prevalence of sub-threshold social phobia was also studied. Methods Students in grades 6-8 (aged 12-14) from seventeen schools in five Swedish municipalities were screened by means of a self-report questionnaire, the social phobia screening questionnaire-for children (SPSQ-C). Results Data from a sample of 2,128 students were analysed and showed a point-prevalence rate of 4.4% (95% CI 3.5-5.2) and a significant gender difference (6.6% girls vs. 1.8% boys, P < 0.001). No significant differences in prevalence of probable cases emerged across the ages. At sub-threshold level, marked social fear of at least one social situation was reported by 13.8% of the total group. "Speaking in front of class'' and "calling someone unfamiliar on the phone'' were the most feared social situations. In the social phobia group, 91.4% reported impairment in the school-domain due to their social fear. Conclusion Social phobia is a common psychiatric condition in Swedish adolescents, especially in girls. As impairment in the school-domain is reported to a high degree, professionals and teachers need to recognize social phobia in adolescents so that help in overcoming the difficulties can be offered.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 44, no 1, 1-7 p.
prevalence, social phobia, adolescents, gender
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-129112DOI: 10.1007/s00127-008-0400-7ISI: 000265311300001PubMedID: 18665316OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-129112DiVA: diva2:337647