Children with social phobia have lower quality friendships than children with other anxiety disorders

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: Whilst shy, socially anxious or socially withdrawn children in nonclinical community samples report lower friendship quality (FQ) than nonanxious children, no study has examined the FQ of clinically anxious children. The aim of the study was to examine the FQ of children with anxiety disorders; and whether it differs for clinical children with or without a diagnosis of social phobia (SP). Design: The study design was cross-sectional self-report. Methods: Clinical children – 39 anxiety-disordered children with SP and 28 anxiety-disordered children without SP (No-SP) – presented for psychological treatment, and 29 nonclinical children were recruited from the community. Same-sex close friends were invited to participate using an unrestricted nomination procedure. All children were aged between 7 and 13 years. Both target child and friend completed the Friendship Quality Questionnaire and the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale. Results: Using multilevel modeling within the framework of the Actor–Partner Interdependence Model, SP dyads were found to report lower overall FQ than No-SP dyads. SP dyads did not report lower overall FQ than nonclinical dyads. Conclusion: Children with SP in their diagnostic profile may be unique in their friendship experiences relative to children with other anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-513
Number of pages14
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2015


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