Social Withdrawal

  • Greta Francis
  • Thomas H. Ollendick


Given the long-term relationship between childhood social functioning and adult adjustment, attainment of social competency has been viewed as critical to normal child development. Excessive social withdrawal during childhood can be viewed as one type of social incompetence; social aggression can be viewed as another. Estimates of the prevalence of social withdrawal in children vary but seem to range from a low of 3% to a high of 38% (e.g., Shepherd, Oppenheim, & Mitchell, 1971). A recent large-scale prospective study of socially withdrawn behavior in children found social withdrawal, when identified at the fourth- or seventh-grade level, to be relatively stable (i.e., .61 to .65 for boys, .42 to .55 for girls) across a 5-year period (Moskowitz, Schwartzman, & Ledigham, 1985). Moreover, the stability of social withdrawal was reported to be comparable to that of social aggression in this sample.


Social Skill Social Withdrawal Social Skill Training Initiate Interaction Internalize Behavior Problem 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greta Francis
    • 1
  • Thomas H. Ollendick
    • 2
  1. 1.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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