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Shyness as protective factor in the link between advanced maturity and early adolescent problem behavior
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)
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Center for Developmental Research)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6879-3022
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Advanced maturity in early adolescence has previously been linked with several problem behaviors. In this study, we examine whether shyness and gender might moderate this link. The participants were 787 early adolescents (Mage = 13.73; 401 girls and 386 boys), followed for one year. We conducted moderation analyses with shyness and gender as moderators of the links between advanced maturity and problem behaviors (drunkenness and intercourse) and between one problem behavior and another. Protective effects of shyness were found for both boys and girls. For high-risk behaviors (risky drinking behaviors and one-night stands) protective effects were found for boys. Controlling for romantic involvement did not alter the moderation effects, thus failing to support the idea that protection was due to shy youths not being drawn into advanced peer groups by romantic partners. Thus, shyness might serve as protective factor against problem behaviors in early adolescence.

Keyword [en]
shyness, drunkenness, intercourse, high-risk behaviors, early adolescence
National Category
Psychology Social Sciences Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6574OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-6574DiVA: diva2:214319
Available from: 2009-05-05 Created: 2009-05-04 Last updated: 2016-12-12Bibliographically 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. 86 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Psychology, ISSN 1651-1328 ; 16
Keyword
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: 2017-02-23Bibliographically approved

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