Background: Social anxiety is negatively related to peer communication quality during adolescence, with detrimental consequences for social functioning. However, the research about the factors that may moderate this relationship is still limited, and no studies have yet explored the possible interaction role of empathy systems. Objective: The study investigated the effects of social anxiety and empathy dimensions on peer communication quality in adolescent boys and girls. A three-way interaction between social avoidance, empathic concern and perspective taking was hypothesized. Method: Participants were 372 Italian adolescents (Mage = 16.4; SDage = 1.56; age range 15–20; 189 boys and 183 girls). Self-report questionnaires administered at school assessed: fear of negative evaluations, general social avoidance, avoidance of new social situations, empathic concern, perspective taking and peer communication quality. Results: For girls, empathic concern and general social avoidance were significantly related to peer communication quality. Conversely for boys, we found significant associations for perspective taking, general social avoidance and avoidance of new situations, and a three-way interaction involving general social avoidance, empathic concern and perspective taking. In presence of low perspective taking and high empathic concern, social avoidance was negatively related to peer communication quality in boys. Conversely, for high levels of perspective taking and high versus low empathic concern, the same relationship was not significant. Conclusions: A specific dysfunctional pattern of empathy—low perspective taking and high empathic concern—significantly enhanced the negative relationship between social avoidance and peer communication quality in boys, suggesting that these adolescents are at risk in social functioning.

Bianchi, D., Lonigro, A., Baiocco, R., Baumgartner, E., & Laghi, F. (2020). Social Anxiety and Peer Communication Quality During Adolescence: The Interaction of Social Avoidance, Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking. CHILD & YOUTH CARE FORUM, 49(6), 853-876 [10.1007/s10566-020-09562-5].

Social Anxiety and Peer Communication Quality During Adolescence: The Interaction of Social Avoidance, Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking

Lonigro A.;
2020

Abstract

Background: Social anxiety is negatively related to peer communication quality during adolescence, with detrimental consequences for social functioning. However, the research about the factors that may moderate this relationship is still limited, and no studies have yet explored the possible interaction role of empathy systems. Objective: The study investigated the effects of social anxiety and empathy dimensions on peer communication quality in adolescent boys and girls. A three-way interaction between social avoidance, empathic concern and perspective taking was hypothesized. Method: Participants were 372 Italian adolescents (Mage = 16.4; SDage = 1.56; age range 15–20; 189 boys and 183 girls). Self-report questionnaires administered at school assessed: fear of negative evaluations, general social avoidance, avoidance of new social situations, empathic concern, perspective taking and peer communication quality. Results: For girls, empathic concern and general social avoidance were significantly related to peer communication quality. Conversely for boys, we found significant associations for perspective taking, general social avoidance and avoidance of new situations, and a three-way interaction involving general social avoidance, empathic concern and perspective taking. In presence of low perspective taking and high empathic concern, social avoidance was negatively related to peer communication quality in boys. Conversely, for high levels of perspective taking and high versus low empathic concern, the same relationship was not significant. Conclusions: A specific dysfunctional pattern of empathy—low perspective taking and high empathic concern—significantly enhanced the negative relationship between social avoidance and peer communication quality in boys, suggesting that these adolescents are at risk in social functioning.
Bianchi, D., Lonigro, A., Baiocco, R., Baumgartner, E., & Laghi, F. (2020). Social Anxiety and Peer Communication Quality During Adolescence: The Interaction of Social Avoidance, Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking. CHILD & YOUTH CARE FORUM, 49(6), 853-876 [10.1007/s10566-020-09562-5].
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/405466
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact