Invited Symposium: Development of Social Phobia



Materials & Methods


Discussion & Conclusion



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Toward an Improved Nosology of Social Phobia: Dimensional or Latent Class?

Oakman, JM (Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Canada)
Van Ameringen, M (Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University, Canada)
Mancini, C (Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University, Canada)
Farvolden, P (Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation, Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University, Canada)

Contact Person: Jonathan M Oakman (jmoakman@watarts.uwaterloo.ca)


Several developmental theories of social behaviour propose typological models of social inhibition. Buss & Plomin (1975) propose that there are two types of shyness (fearful shyness and self-conscious shyness) that have different developmental origins and lead to distinct adult outcomes. Similarly, Asendorpf (1990, 1993) proposes that there are two different types of childhood shyness: fear of strangers and fear of social evaluation. These two types of shyness are independent in their ability to predict social anxiety in adults (Asendorpf, 1989). Finally, Kagan's (1989) work on infant temperament proposes that behavioral inhibition may predispose adults to inhibited behaviour generally, and to social inhibition in particular. These typological models were evaluated in comparison with traditional dimensional models using Meehl's (1973) MAXCOV data analytic technique. A sample (N=281) of consecutive admissions to an anxiety disorders clinic completed the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBSHY; Cheek & Melchior, 1990). A separate sample (N=162) of patients completed a self-report version of the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS; Safren et al., 1998). Results of MAXCOV analyses of the RCBSHY and LSAS measures suggest that shyness is a dimensional trait while social anxiety may be based on a latent typology. Implications of these results for the nosology of social phobia are discussed.

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Presentation Number SAoakman0804
Keywords: social phobia, social anxiety, shyness, typology, development

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Oakman, JM; Van Ameringen, M; Mancini, C; Farvolden, P; (1998). Toward an Improved Nosology of Social Phobia: Dimensional or Latent Class?. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/ameringen/oakman0804/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright