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Processes and conditions underlying the link between shyness and school adjustment among Turkish children
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4568-2722
University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland, USA.
Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
2016 (English)In: British Journal of Developmental Psychology, ISSN 0261-510X, E-ISSN 2044-835XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study examined the underlying processes and conditions that contribute to the school adjustment of shy children in Turkey, where children's interpersonal relationships in social settings and academic achievement are highly emphasized. First, we examined the unique mediating roles of children's feelings of social anxiety, depressive symptoms, and loneliness in the associations between shyness and indices of school outcomes (academic achievement and school liking/avoidance). Second, we explored the moderating role of children's peer acceptance in these associations. Fourth- and fifth-grade children (N = 599; Mage  = 10.11 years, SD = 0.65; 48% girls) provided information on shyness, social anxiety, depressive symptoms, loneliness, and school liking/avoidance. Head teachers in each classroom reported on students' academic performance. The peer nomination method was used to assess children's peer relationships. Results revealed that when children displayed shy behaviours, they reported more depressive symptoms that were, in turn, associated with poorer academic performance, less school liking, and higher school avoidance. Moreover, shyness negatively predicted school liking at low levels of peer acceptance, suggesting that difficulties in peer relationships increased shy children's risk of school dissatisfaction. Overall, our findings support the importance of the interpersonal relationship context for children's adjustment within the Turkish cultural context. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Shy children have difficulties initiating and maintaining social interactions, which put them at risk for a wide range of socio-emotional difficulties. Shy children have poor academic performance and experience school adjustment difficulties in North America. What does this study add? Shyness is an important risk factor for poorer academic performance and adjustment among children in Turkey. The association between shyness and difficulties at school is explained by children's experience of depressive symptoms. Difficulties with peer relationships increase shy children's risk of school dissatisfaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
West Susex, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Turkey, academic performance, school adjustment; shyness, social withdrawal
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-52521DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12158PubMedID: 27653012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-52521DiVA: diva2:974332
Available from: 2016-09-26 Created: 2016-09-26 Last updated: 2016-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Bayram Özdemir, Sevgi
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School of Law, Psychology and Social Work, Örebro University, Sweden
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