Is concentration an indirect link between social anxiety and educational achievement in adolescents?

Leigh, Eleanor, Chiu, Kenny ORCID: and Clark, David M. (2021) Is concentration an indirect link between social anxiety and educational achievement in adolescents? PLoS One, 16 (5). ISSN 1932-6203

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Social anxiety is associated with reduced educational achievement. Given that concentration is a predictor of educational achievement, and social anxiety symptoms are associated with reduced concentration in class, this prospective study examined the possibility that social anxiety may impair educational achievement through reduced classroom concentration. A sample of 509 participants (53.8% female; M age: 12.77 years [SD = 0.81]) recruited from secondary schools completed questionnaires assessing social anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and concentration in class. Educational achievement was assessed by internal grades within schools. An indirect effect of social anxiety on later educational achievement via concentration was observed, over and above baseline achievement and depression symptoms; adolescents with higher levels of social anxiety tend to have more difficulties concentrating in class, which in turn is associated with poorer academic outcomes. Findings underscore the challenges socially anxious adolescents will face trying to learn in school, and the need for education providers and clinicians to consider the effect of social anxiety symptoms on concentration and learning.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Data Availability: The dataset can be accessed via the ORA database, DOI: 10.5287/bodleian:E9gPN7ZzP. Funding: Eleanor Leigh is funded by a Wellcome Trust clinical research training fellowship (102176/Z/13/Z). David M. Clark is a Wellcome Trust (WT069777) and NIHR (NF-SI-0512-10132) senior investigator. Kenny Chiu was supported by the King’s College London-Hong Kong scholarship. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 04:07
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249952

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