Shyness pp 117-129 | Cite as

Shyness and the Elderly

  • Robert O. Hansson
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the implications of shyness for older adults. Shy people are inhibited, anxious, and preoccupied with the self in social and evaluative situations (Jones & Russell, 1982). Consequently,they approach such situations with hesitation, and with less adequate social skills. For younger adults the implications of shyness seem straightforward. Inhibited and less skilled social behaviors may constrain the formation of a variety of personal relationships essential to friendship development, romantic involvement, social exchange, social support, and so on. From a role-theoretical perspective (cf., Hogan, Jones, & Cheek, 1985), such characteristics also would interfere with effective role performances within one’s important social and reference groups, threatening one’s acceptance and status in society.


Social Support Physical Assistance Role Type Romantic Involvement Plant Closing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert O. Hansson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TulsaTulsaUSA

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