Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a common mental health disorder with onset in childhood and adolescence. Sad tends to be a chronic, stable condition that severely disrupts long-term functioning, if left untreated. In adolescence, embarrassment and the fear of negative evaluation are key aspects of SAD symptomatology. In this developmental stage, youth are greatly affected by their increasing dependency on peers and peers opinions and by the challenging requirements of greater adultlike functioning. As a result, adolescents with SAD exhibit substantially increased risks of depression, suicide attempts, substance abuse, severe social restrictions, early school dropout, lower educational attainment, and peer victimization, with economic costs to society. The international classification systems, the DSM and ICD, have both moved toward positing common criteria for SAD across developmental stages (i.e., childhood, adolescence, adulthood). In addition, developmentally adapted assessment and intervention protocols aimed at adolescents with SAD have been specifically designed and tested. This introduction presents an overview of adolescent phenomenology and the major diagnostic definitions and interventions for social anxiety disorder. Also, it describes the outline for the present volume and the main topics covered within the chapters.
- Social anxiety disorder
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