An investigation into the lower peer liking of anxious than nonanxious children

J. R. Baker*, J. L. Hudson, A. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Peer dislike of anxious behaviour was investigated in 7-12 year olds. Child actors delivered an identical verbal presentation: once in an anxious manner and once confidently. The videos were rated for liking and seven potential mediators by three groups of children: 32 anxiety-disordered peers with social phobia; 16 anxiety-disordered peers without social phobia; and 48 nonclinical peers. A mediation model with moderation effects was tested within a within-subjects framework. "Anxious" actors were liked significantly less than "confident" actors. This effect differed by group rater, in that relative dislike of the anxious actor was significantly greater for the nonclinical than socially phobic raters. Physical attractiveness and friend acceptance mediated the effect for all group raters. Other identified mediators differed depending upon the group rater. The findings direct future efforts to help anxiety-disordered children circumvent an increased risk of negative peer relations, and testify to consideration of the rater in sociometric studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-611
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


  • Acceptance
  • Child anxiety
  • Peer liking
  • Perceived similarity
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Self-disclosure
  • Social discomfort
  • Social phobia

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