The Structure of Self-Consciousness in Children and Young Adolescents and Relations to Social Anxiety

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Decades of research have examined the structure of self-consciousness in adults and its relationship to social anxiety. This study examined the structure of self-consciousness via the Self-Consciousness Scales (Fenigstein et al., J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 43:522–527, 1975) in a school sample of 175 children and young adolescents (92 girls; mean age = 11.5). Confirmatory factor analysis best supported a five-factor solution (Internal State Awareness, Self-Reflectiveness, Appearance Consciousness, Style Consciousness and Social Anxiety). Although some factor based subscales evidenced low internal consistencies, convergent and discriminant correlations with self-report measures of social phobia, negative affect, and positive affect as well as parent-report measures of internalizing and externalizing problems provided additional support for the five-factor model. Future studies should further examine the multidimensional nature as well as the developmental course of self-consciousness and its relation to social anxiety longitudinally.

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