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Punks, Goths, and Other Eye-Catching Peer Crowds: Do They Fulfill a Function for Shy Youths?
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3504-9037
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research)
2009 (English)In: Journal of research on adolescence, ISSN 1050-8392, E-ISSN 1532-7795, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 113-121Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adolescent peer crowds such as Punks and Goths are mainly identified by their strikingly unusual or even shocking appearances. Although many studies find these crowds, few have tried to explain why some youths take on these startling or shocking appearances. We hypothesized that an off-putting appearance is a way to cope with behavioral inhibition by limiting social contacts. Using data from 1,200 7th - 11th graders, we compared peer crowds characterized by their startling appearance (“Radical” crowds) with three theoretically relevant comparison groups. Results showed that youths affiliating with Radical crowds were more inhibited than other youths, including those in crowds previously shown to be shy or socially anxious. Inhibited Radicals, however, had poorer emotional adjustment than inhibited youths in other crowds. If Radical styles are a way for inhibited youths to cope by limiting social contacts, the strategy does not seem to be beneficial for emotional adjustment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hillsdale, N.J.: Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Vol. 19, no 1, p. 113-121
Keywords [en]
Behavioral inhibition, Appearance, Peer crowds, Depression, Adolescence
National Category
Psychology Social Sciences Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6573DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-7795.2009.00584.xISI: 000263521200007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-60649098579OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-6573DiVA, id: diva2:214304
Note

Part of thesis: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6590

Available from: 2009-05-04 Created: 2009-05-04 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. At first blush: the impact of shyness on early adolescents' social worlds
Open this publication in new window or tab >>At first blush: the impact of shyness on early adolescents' social worlds
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Shyness as a behavioral characteristic has been in focus of research in psychology for a number of decades. Adolescent shyness has, however, been relatively overlooked compared with studies conducted on children and adults. This dissertation concentrated on adolescent shyness, aiming to attain a better comprehension about how shyness during this developmental phase might affect, and be affected by social relationships. The first aim of this dissertation was to study in which way shyness influences and is influenced by significant people in adolescents’ lives: peers, friends, and parents. Study III showed that shy youths socialized each other over time into becoming even more shy. Study VI demonstrated that youths’ shyness affected parenting behaviors, more so than parent’s behaviors affected youth shyness. The second aim of this dissertation was to investigate what shyness means for adolescents’ choices of relationships with friends, whereas the third aim focused on whether adolescents’ ways of dealing with peers would have consequences for their internal and external adjustment. As Study I showed, youths might take on off-putting, startling appearances in order to cope with their shyness. This strategy seemed, nonetheless, not particularly successful for the shy youths in terms of emotional adjustment. Study III showed that adolescents who were shy tended to choose others similar to themselves in shyness as friends. Study II showed that shyness might indeed have some positive implications for adolescent development, as it was found to serve a protective role in the link between advanced maturity and various types of problem behaviors. Overall, the findings point to some gender differences regarding all of the abovementioned processes. In sum then, the studies in this dissertation show that even though youths’ shy, socially fearful characteristics affect their emotional adjustment and those around them, shy youths are part of a larger social arena where they are active agents in shaping their own development. Although adolescent shyness might be linked with several negative outcomes, however, it might be other people’s reactions to socially fearful behaviors that help create and/or maintain these outcomes over time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2009. p. 86
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 16
Keywords
shyness, adolescence, social relationships, friends, peers, parents, social identity, socialization, problem behaviors
National Category
Psychology Social Sciences Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6590 (URN)978-91-7668-667-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-29, Hörsal L2, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-05 Created: 2009-05-05 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Besic, NejraKerr, Margaret

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