The frequencies of social anxiety symptoms in a mental health clinical and a community sample of adolescents are compared. Also, we explore if adolescents can be classified in subgroups based on social anxiety symptoms. Associations between social anxiety symptoms and coexisting problems and sociodemographic characteristics are examined.
Adolescent participants, aged 13-18, in two large Norwegian studies, consisting of a clinical (n = 694, 42.1% participation rate, 55% girls, mean age = 15.6) and a community (n = 7,694, 73.1% participation rate, 51% girls, mean age = 15.8) sample completed identical self-report questionnaires measuring social anxiety and related variables.
Median sum scores (interquartile range) of social anxiety symptoms were higher among girls than boys and in the clinical [girls = 16 (12-22); boys = 12 (9-16)] compared to the community sample [girls = 12 (9-15); boys = 10 (7-12)] (p