Social Withdrawal Subtypes during Early Adolescence in India
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The overarching goal of this study was to examine the associations between three social withdrawal subtypes (shyness, unsociability, avoidance), peer isolation, peer difficulties (victimization, rejection, exclusion, low acceptance), and loneliness in India during early adolescence. Participants were 194 adolescents in Surat, India (M age = 13.35 years). Peer nominations of peer relations and socioemotional behaviors were gathered, along with self-reports of reasons for being alone and loneliness. Preliminary evidence of validity for the self-report measure of withdrawal subtypes and isolation was found, and factor analyses indicated that shyness, unsociability, and avoidance represent related, but distinct forms of withdrawal that are distinct from isolation. Shyness and avoidance were uniquely associated with loneliness and exclusion, but unsociability was not. The association between avoidance and loneliness was mediated by exclusion. Findings suggest that social withdrawal may be best conceptualized as a multifaceted construct during childhood and adolescence, in Western and non-Western societies.
KeywordsSocial withdrawal Shyness Isolation Peers Loneliness Unsociability Avoidance
The authors gratefully acknowledge Craig Colder, Rob Coplan, Larry Nelson, and Len Simms for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript, and the students, principals, and teachers who participated in this study.
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