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Childhood Social Phobia

             There were two goals presented in this study. The first goal of the study was to show how effective the cognitive-behavioral approach was in the treatment of childhood social phobia. The second goal of the study was to show how parental involvement affected the efficiency of the cognitive-behavioral therapy that was used to treat childhood social phobia. In the past years there has been very little studied in the development of a treatment for childhood social phobia. Social Phobia is a condition that when a person with the phobia is in a public place he/she is afraid that they will embarrass themselves. This is especially the case when a person with the phobia is in an unfamiliar place or around unfamiliar people. In children social phobia is very rare and occurs most often in situations such as test taking, giving a speech or speaking with peers or adults. Studies show that social phobia is more common among age groups from 7-14 years old. There are many influences that could add to the likelihood of child social phobia. Some of these are genetic influences, observational learning, parenting styles and poor-interpersonal skills. In current findings psychologists have found that there is a huge lack of social skills among children with social phobia. In the area of parental involvement studies have shown that parents who are over-protective, controlling or over-criticizing are shown to have more anxious children than parents who are not.
             The experiment conducted by Ms. Spence, Ms. Donovan and Ms.Toussaint included 50 children. The children's ages ranged form 7 to 14 years old. Each child must have been diagnosed with child social phobia and attended the Kids Coping Project held in the Behavior Research and Therapy Centre at the University of Queensland. The children were entered into the program by parents, guidance counselors and medical practitioners. Twenty-three of the children have been diagnosed with having social phobia once, while the other twenty-seven were diagnosed at least twice.

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