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Social Anxiety in Childhood: Bridging Developmental and Clinical Perspectives: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, Number 127

Heidi Gazelle (Editor), Kenneth H. Rubin (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-61805-9
120 pages
March 2010, Jossey-Bass
Social Anxiety in Childhood: Bridging Developmental and Clinical Perspectives: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, Number 127 (0470618051) cover image
Social anxiety in childhood is the focus of research in three psychological research traditions: developmental studies emphasizing dispositional constructs such as behavioral inhibition and its biological substrates; development investigations emphasizing affective-behavioral characteristics (anxious solitude/withdrawal) and their parent-child and peer-relational precursors and moderators; and clinical investigations of social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) emphasizing a variety of etiological factors, diagnosis, and treatment.

In this volume, we review and identify gaps in extant evidence that permit (or impeded) researchers from the three traditions to translate their core definitional constructs in ways that would facilitate the use of one another's research. Topics include:

  1. Conceptual relations between anxiety disorder and fearful temperament
  2. Factors contributing to the emergence of anxiety among behaviorally inhibited children: the role of attention
  3. Familial and temperamental risk factors for social anxiety disorder
  4. Anxious solitude, withdrawal and anxiety disorders; conceptualization, co-occurrence, and peer processes
  5. parents, peers and social withdrawal in childhood

Intimately connected to this translation of constructs is a discussion of the conceptualization of core states (anxiety, wariness, solitude) and their manifestations across childhood, as well as corresponding methodologies. Extant research is analyzed from an integrative, overarching framework of developmental psychopathology in which children's adjustment is conceptualized as multiply determined such that children who share certain risks may display diverse adjustment over time (multifinality) and children with diverse risks may develop shared adaptational difficulties over time (equifinality). Finally, key themes for future integrative research are identified and implications for preventative and early intervention in childhood social anxiety are discussed.

This is the 127th volume of the Jossey-Bass quarterly report series New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. The mission of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development is to provide scientific and scholarly presentations on cutting edge issues and concepts in the field of child and adolescent development. Each volume focuses on a specific "new direction" or research topic, and is edited by an expert or experts on that topic.

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These chapters are associated with invited lectures on the theme Social Anxiety in Childhood: Bridging Developmental and Clinical Perspectives, presented on April 23rd and 24th, 2009. To view the lectures and roundtable discussion follow the links from Heidi Gazelle's Web site: http://www.uncg.edu/~h_gazell/.

1. Social Anxiety in Childhood: Bridging Developmental and Clinical Perspectives (Heidi Gazelle, Kenneth H. Rubin)
In this introductory chapter, the authors define three core constructs related to social anxiety in childhood (behavioral inhibition, anxious solitude/withdrawal, and social anxiety disorder) and highlight controversies between developmental and clinical approaches to childhood social anxiety.

2. Conceptual Relations Between Anxiety Disorder and Fearful Temperament (Ronald M. Rapee, Robert J. Coplan)
The authors propose five empirically testable hypotheses that should determine the extent that anxious temperament and disorder can be considered distinct phenomena and evaluate extant evidence for each.

3. Factors Contributing to the Emergence of Anxiety Among Behaviorally Inhibited Children: The Role of Attention (Nathan A. Fox)
The author reviews empirical evidence on the role of different attention processes and their underlying neural correlates in behavioral inhibition, anxiety, and the perception of threat.

4. Familial and Temperamental Risk Factors for Social Anxiety Disorder (Dina R. Hirshfeld-Becker)
The author reviews evidence for behaviorally inhibited temperament and family psychopathology as risk factors in the etiology of childhood social anxiety disorder.

5. Anxious Solitude/Withdrawal and Anxiety Disorders: Conceptualization, Co-occurrence, and Peer Processes Leading Toward and Away from Disorder in Childhood (Heidi Gazelle)
The author analyzes conceptual commonalities and differences between anxious solitude/withdrawal and social anxiety disorder, examines their rate of co-occurrence in middle childhood, and reviews empirical evidence for the role of peer relations as a salient source of interpersonal stress in a diathesis-stress model of childhood social anxiety and depression.

6. Parents, Peers, and Social Withdrawal in Childhood: A Relationship Perspective (Kenneth H. Rubin, Amy Kennedy Root, Julie Bowker)
The authors review extant literature on parental and friendship influences on social withdrawal. It is argued that the quality of parent–child relationships, parenting behavior, and friendships can play significant roles in the maintenance of social withdrawal and in the relations between social withdrawal and symptoms of anxiety.

INDEX.

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