Perceived impact of socially anxious behaviors on individuals' lives in Western and East Asian countries

Ronald Rapee, Jinkwan Kim, Jianping Wang, Xinghua Liu, Stefan Hofmann, Junwen Chen, Kyung Oh, Susan Bogels, Soroor Arman, Nina Heinrichs, Lynn Alden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    The current study compared the predicted social and career impact of socially withdrawn and reticent behaviors among participants from Western and East Asian countries. Three hundred sixty-one college students from 5 Western countries and 455 students from 3 East Asian countries read hypothetical vignettes describing socially withdrawn and shy behaviors versus socially outgoing and confident behaviors. Participants then answered questions following each vignette indicating the extent to which they would expect the subject of the vignette to be socially liked and to succeed in their career. Participants also completed measures of their own social anxiety and quality of life. The results indicated significant vignette-by-country interactions in that the difference in perceived social and career impact between shy and outgoing vignettes was smaller among participants from East Asian countries than from Western countries. In addition, significant negative correlations were shown between personal level of shyness and experienced quality of life for participants from both groups of countries, but the size of this relationship was greater for participants from Western than East Asian countries. The results point to the more negative impact of withdrawn and socially reticent behaviors for people from Western countries relative to those from East Asia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)485-492
    Number of pages8
    JournalBehavior Therapy
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


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