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Storch, E.A., Masia-Warner, C., Crisp, H., & Klein, R.G. (2005). Peer victimization and social anxiety in adolescence: A prospective study. Aggressive Behavior, 31, 437–452.

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144 9th grade adolescents at an urban parochial high school participated in the study. Adolescents’ experience of peer victimization was measured using the Social Experience Questionnaire—Self Report Form (SEQ-S [Crick and Grotpeter, 1996]).The questionnaire measured overt and relational victimization. The Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SASA [La Greca and Lopez, 1998]) contains the following subscales: Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE), Social Avoidance and Distress—New (SAD-New), and Social Avoidance and Distress—General (SAD-General). The Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory for Children (SPAI-C [Beidel et al., 1995]) assess a range of physiological, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms of social phobia.

Results: Relational victimization predicted symptoms of social phobia one year later. Increases in social anxiety and social phobia symptoms, for boys, over time were positively associated with increases in relational victimization over time.

Discussion: Interventions must be developed that educate teachers about the nature and consequences of peer victimization. Socially anxious adolescents may benefit from social skills and assertiveness training that aid them in coping with aggressors.