Examining the relation between adolescent social anxiety, adolescent delinquency (abstention), and emerging adulthood relationship quality

N. Mercer, E Crocetti, W.H.J. Meeus, S Branje

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Objectives:
Social anxiety symptoms and delinquency are two prevalent manifestations of problem behavior during adolescence and both are related to negative interpersonal relationships in adolescence and emerging adulthood. This study examined the relation between social anxiety and delinquency in adolescence and the interplay between adolescent social anxiety and delinquency on perceived relationship quality in emerging adulthood.
Design and Methods:
In a 10-year long prospective study (T1, n = 923; T2, n = 727; Mage T1 = 12; 49% female), we examined competing hypotheses using regression analyses: the protective perspective, which suggests social anxiety protects against delinquency; and the co-occurring perspective, which suggests social anxiety and delinquency co-occur leading to increased negative interpersonal outcomes. Results:
In adolescence, the relation between social anxiety and delinquency was consistent with the protective perspective. In emerging adulthood, consistent with the co-occurring perspective, ever-delinquents (but not delinquency abstainers) with higher social anxiety reported less perceived best friend, mother, and father support compared to delinquents with lower social anxiety. There was no interaction between anxiety and delinquency in predicting perceived conflict.
Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of examining the relation between social anxiety and delinquency with regards to different interpersonal outcomes.
Keywords: Social anxiety, delinquency, abstainers, adolescence, relationship quality, emerging adulthood
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-440
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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