اثرات اضطراب اجتماعی و مهارت های اجتماعی بر عملکرد تحصیلی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32720||2003||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9130 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 34, Issue 2, February 2003, Pages 347–366
This 2-year longitudinal study examined whether social anxiety, social skills, and other academic variables affect college grade point average (GPA) and academic persistence. First-year students (n=253) provided baseline data. Those who reported emotional control (e.g. hiding emotions) were less likely to persist. For GPA over the first 2 years of college, predictors included social skills, institutional commitment, academic and social adjustment, high school class rank, quantitative aptitude scores, gender, and ethnicity. Emotional control became a significant predictor of lower GPA by the third semester. Those with higher college adjustment scores, higher class ranks, higher quantitative aptitude scores, and female gender were more likely to earn higher GPAs. Social anxiety did not emerge as a significant predictor of college persistence or GPA.
Little is known of the real-life consequences of social anxiety, nor of its course over the entire life span. Social Phobia (also known as Social Anxiety Disorder) has a lifetime prevalence of between 3 and 13% (APA, 1994), and is characterized by extreme distress and/or avoidance of situations in which the individual fears criticism or embarrassment. The purpose of this study was to examine what role, if any, high trait social anxiety plays in an individual's undergraduate academic career. The present study also sought to determine whether these effects interact with the student's level of social skills and with college adjustment measures. 1.1. Social anxiety and social skills in the undergraduate experience Trait social anxiety at high (or even clinical) levels is quite prevalent within a college population. Beidel, Turner, Stanley, and Dancu (1989) found that 19% of undergraduates in their sample met the criteria for a diagnosis of social phobia. The authors did not test the effects of social anxiety on retention or achievement, but did collect confirming evidence from students’ significant others (romantic partners, roommates, parents, and siblings), and found that others tended to corroborate students’ self-assessments of high levels of social anxiety. Strahan and Conger (1998) found that 33% of a group of undergraduate men recruited from an introductory psychology course at an American university reported social phobia symptoms on the SPAI (Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory, Turner, Beidel, Dancu, & Keys, 1989) comparable with those of diagnosed social phobics (Beidel et al., 1989). Because the present study participants were not diagnosed as having social phobia, and were merely classified by level of self-reported social anxiety, the term “socially anxious” will be used to identify those with extremely high levels of social anxiety. However, there appear to be few differences in cognitions and physiological responses between nonclinical participants with clinical levels of social anxiety and diagnosed social phobics (Turner, Beidel, & Larkin, 1986). Given that social anxiety is quite prevalent in the undergraduate population, what might be some of its effects on academic integration of the students who suffer from social anxiety? The evidence is only indirect. For example, in highly competent (honors) students, high trait social anxiety may contribute to significant levels of student discomfort and dissatisfaction with the undergraduate experience (Langston & Cantor, 1989). In addition, students high in social anxiety tend to underutilize active coping strategies, and report greater evaluation anxiety at critical junctures (Zeidner, 1994). Particularly important for the college setting is the possibility that highly socially anxious individuals may “self-medicate” by engaging in alcohol consumption in order to decrease their distress in social situations (Jefferson, 1995). More direct evidence about the impact of social phobia on academic performance comes from Turner, Beidel, Borden, Stanley, and Jacob (1991). They found that 91% of a sample of 99 individuals with social phobia reported interference with their academic adjustment. For example, these individuals reported receiving poor grades due to lack of class participation, avoiding classes requiring public speaking, making decisions not to attend graduate school, and deciding to transfer to another college in order to avoid giving oral presentations. There is also some evidence that, for male students at least, high degrees of social anxiety correlate with lower self-image and lower grade point average (GPA; DiMaria & DiNuovo, 1990). So some evidence exists to suggest that social anxiety could have a detrimental effect on a student's college adjustment. Additionally, there is the question of whether social skill deficits may play a part in poor college adjustment. In discussing this question, it is important not to make assumptions. It is by no means clear that the socially anxious are always socially incompetent, as some clinicians may assume. The socially anxious tend to underrate their performance in many social settings, and to ruminate on their performance even when it seems quite competent to objective observers (Alden and Wallace, 1995, Edelman, 1985, Lucock and Salkovskis, 1988, Pozo et al., 1991 and Strahan and Conger, 1998). This means that self-report of social anxiety may bear little relationship to actual social competence as assessed by others. Thus, an individual may experience high levels of social discomfort, and may perceive herself or himself to be socially inadequate, but may appear to others to be socially competent. Social skills do play an important part in college adjustment and academic success. Social problem solving has been shown to have a small positive correlation with academic success (D'Zurilla & Sheedy, 1992). In a group of undergraduates, Riggio, Watring, and Throckmorton (1993) found that a self-report measure of social skills correlated between +0.27 and 0.31 with measures of life satisfaction, college satisfaction, and college participation. 1.2. Presumed effects of anxiety and competence on academic persistence Social anxiety as a predictor of academic persistence was examined in this study for a number of reasons. These had to do with the nature of the disorder, its prevalence in the undergraduate population, and inferences drawn from the models of student persistence put forth by Tinto, 1975 and Tinto, 1993 and Bean, 1980, Bean, 1982, Bean, 1985 and Metzner and Bean, 1985. There is a large body of work examining these models, and it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss them in any depth. Briefly, however, Tinto, 1975 and Tinto, 1993 suggests that students’ willingness and ability to integrate themselves into the social and cultural life of the college community has a major impact on whether they will persist academically. He proposes that student intentions, personal goals, and institutional commitments mediate the effects of other variables such as student socio-economic status (SES) and ethnicity, and they in turn shape the degree of academic and social integration that ultimately affects the students’ decisions to stay or leave. Bean (1985) suggests that five kinds of variables contribute to student decisions to drop out (background and defining variables, academic variables, environmental variables, social integration variables, and intent-to-leave variables). He views student satisfaction and institutional commitment, along with social integration, as intervening variables in the decision to drop out or persist in college. Cabrera, Castañeda, Nora, and Hengstler (1992) provide a summary and test of the two models in explaining student persistence. These authors conclude that both models view persistence as determined by a complex set of interactions, and not readily explained by such obvious or simple explanations as insufficient funds (Cabrera, Nora, & Castañeda, 1992). Most importantly for the purposes of this study, they note that both models posit better retention when the student is socially integrated into the life of the campus. Presumably, then, the socially anxious student would avoid taking part in extracurricular activities and other events that promote a sense of integration into campus life, and would be at greater risk for dropping out of college/university. Expanding this work further, Cabrera, Nora, and Castañeda (1993) used structural equations modeling to test an integrated model of student retention. They found that social integration of students had an impact on their college persistence, probably mediated by students’ “intent to persist” and institutional commitment. College students with high social anxiety may thus be adversely affected in the following ways. First, they experience the social isolation and lack of campus-life integration that follows from their social withdrawal. Second, they experience considerable discomfort from interacting with many groups of strangers (in classes, residence halls, and other settings), a discomfort which is a hallmark of social anxiety. Third, students with high levels of anxiety frequently find it difficult to interact with authority figures. They may find that interacting with teaching faculty and class mates (e.g. obtaining clarification about course requirements) is so overwhelming that it is preferable to muddle through when in doubt. We have found no published efforts, to date, integrating current knowledge about social anxiety and/or social competence with the problem of student retention. This is somewhat surprising given the incidence of social anxiety among undergraduates and the variety of mechanisms by which it could affect adjustment. Studies that suggest a role for social anxiety in faculty interactions are those of Kowalski (1982), and Pascarella and Terenzini (1980), who found that anxiety about interacting with faculty contributed to undergraduates’ decisions to drop out of school. Also of some relevance is the finding that students who receive mentoring and guidance from faculty report greater confidence about their college careers and more satisfaction with their academic life (Cosgrove, 1986). Based on the earlier concerns, the following are the hypotheses tested in the present study: 1. Socially earlier students would show a higher drop-out rate, and lower GPAs, overall, than their non-socially anxious counterparts. 2. Social skills, as they affect academic and social integration, would be inversely related to dropout. No prediction was made for how social skills might affect student grades. 3. College adjustment constructs such as self-reported sense of belonging would predict improved retention, although they not necessarily have an impact of grades received. 4. Self-report of social anxiety would be inversely related to self-report of a variety of different social skills, based on the types of cognitions and self-evaluations common among those with high social anxiety.