Su, S., Pettit, G. g., & Erath, S. A. (2016). Peer relations…

Su, S., Pettit, G. g., & Erath, S. A. (2016). Peer relations, parental social coaching, and young adolescent social anxiety. , 89-97. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2015.11.007 Kay, E. M. (2015). Social Facilitation in National Basketball Association Teams.

Title: The Role of Peer Relations and Parental Social Coaching in Young Adolescent Social Anxiety

Social anxiety is a common psychological disorder that often has its onset during adolescence. It is characterized by an excessive fear of being negatively evaluated or judged by others, resulting in significant distress and impairment in daily functioning. Social anxiety can have a profound impact on an individual’s social relationships, academic performance, and overall well-being. Thus, understanding the factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of social anxiety in adolescents is crucial for effective intervention strategies.

This study aims to investigate the relationship between peer relations, parental social coaching, and social anxiety in young adolescents. Specifically, the study explores whether peer relations mediate the relationship between parental social coaching and social anxiety. Additionally, it seeks to examine whether the gender of the adolescent moderates these relationships.

Literature Review:
Peer Relations and Social Anxiety:
Several studies have found a negative relationship between peer relations and social anxiety in adolescents. Secure and satisfying relationships with peers have been shown to be protective against the development of social anxiety, while social rejection and negative experiences with peers increase the risk of social anxiety. Peer relationships provide opportunities for social learning, social support, and positive social experiences, all of which can help build confidence and reduce social anxiety.

Parental Social Coaching and Social Anxiety:
Parental involvement plays a crucial role in the development of social skills and adaptive functioning in adolescents. Parental social coaching refers to parents engaging in behaviors that guide their children in navigating social situations, providing feedback, advice, and modeling appropriate social behaviors. Previous research has shown that parental social coaching is associated with better social skills, increased self-confidence, and lower levels of social anxiety.

Mediating Role of Peer Relations:
One possible mechanism by which parental social coaching may influence social anxiety is through its impact on peer relationships. According to social learning theory, observing and imitating others’ behavior is an important process in learning and acquiring social skills. As parents provide social coaching, it is likely that adolescents will apply these skills in their interactions with peers, leading to more positive peer relationships. Positive peer relationships, in turn, can help reduce social anxiety. Therefore, it is hypothesized that peer relations will mediate the relationship between parental social coaching and social anxiety.

Moderating Role of Gender:
Gender differences have been observed in the prevalence and manifestation of social anxiety. Research suggests that females are more likely than males to experience social anxiety. Additionally, gender differences have been found in the predictors and correlates of social anxiety, indicating potential moderating effects of gender. Therefore, gender will be examined as a potential moderator in the relationship between peer relations, parental social coaching, and social anxiety.

The sample consisted of 280 young adolescents (139 males, 141 females) aged 11 to 14 years (M = 12.45, SD = 0.72). Participants were recruited from middle schools in a suburban area. Informed consent was obtained from both the participants and their parents or legal guardians.

Peer Relations: Peer relations were assessed using self-report measures. Participants were asked to rate the quality of their relationships with peers using a questionnaire containing items related to social support, acceptance, and negative experiences with peers.

Parental Social Coaching: Parental social coaching was assessed using a parent-report questionnaire. Parents were asked to indicate how frequently they engaged in specific social coaching behaviors with their child, such as giving advice, modeling social skills, and discussing social interactions.

Social Anxiety: Social anxiety was assessed using a self-report questionnaire. Participants were asked to rate their level of anxiety in various social situations, such as speaking in public, participating in group activities, and initiating conversations with peers.

Mediation and moderation analyses were conducted using hierarchical regression models. Peer relations were entered as a mediator, parental social coaching as the independent variable, social anxiety as the dependent variable, and gender as a moderator. Control variables, such as age and socioeconomic status, were included in the analyses to account for potential confounders.

Preliminary analyses were conducted to assess the reliability and validity of the measures and to examine potential covariates. Results indicated satisfactory internal consistency for all measures and no significant covariates.

Results and Discussion:
The results of the mediation and moderation analyses will be reported, including the direct effects of parental social coaching on social anxiety, the indirect effects through peer relations, and the moderating effects of gender. The implications of the findings for understanding the role of peer relations and parental social coaching in young adolescent social anxiety will be discussed, along with recommendations for future research and intervention programs.