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Social phobia is a common and disabling condition for both children and adults. In recent years Clark and Wells' (1995) cognitive model of social phobia has given rise to an effective treatment protocol for the condition in adults (e.g. Clark et al., 2003, 2006). The current study investigates the applicability of this model to younger people. One hundred and seventy-one 11-14 year-old participants completed questionnaires measuring social anxiety, depression, and the variables hypothesized to maintain social phobia in Clark and Wells' (1995) cognitive model: negative social cognitions, safety behaviours, self-focused attention, and pre- and post-event processing. High socially anxious children scored significantly higher than low socially anxious children on all of the variables in Clark and Wells' model. Negative social cognitions, self-focused attention, safety behaviours, and pre- and post-event processing were all significant predictors of social anxiety, accounting for 48% of the variance in social anxiety. Furthermore, these variables showed specificity to social anxiety, predicting significantly more variance in social anxiety than in depression. Findings suggest that although Clark and Wells' (1995) model of social phobia was developed from research on adult populations, it may be equally applicable to younger people with social phobia. © 2008 British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.

Original publication




Journal article


Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Publication Date





449 - 461