The current study investigated associations between the frequency of and motivations for social withdrawal during adolescence and emotional distresses in young adulthood. Perceived motivations for social withdrawal included unsociability, isolation, shyness, and low mood. Social withdrawal during adolescence was assessed using a retrospective questionnaire completed by Australian and Korean university students. They also completed measures of general self-worth, social relationships, loneliness, social anxiety, and depression at university. Partial correlations and path analyses revealed that different motivations for social withdrawal had different risk status for later adjustment across the two samples. In particular, it appeared that shy and unsociable individuals in Korea showed better social and emotional adjustment than their counterparts in Australia. In contrast, social relationships of sad/depressed and isolated respondents in Korea appeared to be more seriously impaired than their Australian counterparts. These cross-cultural differences are discussed in terms of socio-cultural values and environments unique to the two countries.