Are socially anxious children really less liked, or do they only think so?

Jeanine M. D. Baartmans, Mike Rinck, Jennifer L. Hudson, Tessa A. M. Lansu, Rianne E. van Niekerk, Susan M. Bögels, Anke M. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine the relation of social anxiety with self-perceived and peer-reported likability, while controlling for the possible influence of depression. In total, 586 children (7 to 13 years) completed questionnaires to measure social anxiety, self-assessed likability, and depression. Peer-reported likability was derived from sociometric data on likability. As expected, children with higher self-reported social anxiety perceived themselves as less liked by classroom peers than children with lower self-reported social anxiety. In reality, children with higher levels of social anxiety were more liked by peers than children with lower levels of social anxiety. Multilinear regression analyses indicated no confounding effect of depression: Social anxiety, but not depression, was a significant predictor of biased perceived likability. Correcting the discrepancy between objective versus subjective likability may be a crucial target in the prevention and treatment of social anxiety disorders in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043–1050
Number of pages8
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number6
Early online date10 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • social anxiety
  • cognitive bias
  • perception bias
  • peer likability
  • sociometrics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Are socially anxious children really less liked, or do they only think so?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this