What Blows Up
Normal Social Apprehension into Social Anxiety

Page 1. ... Page 2. ... Page 3. ..

Social anxiety disorder differs from normal apprehension of social situations. Children who suffer from social phobia harbour seven major facets of fear. The precise cause why the normal social apprehension of formative years blows up into abnormal anxiety in children is not yet determined, but several contributing factors have been isolated.

Normal apprehension of social situations in children

Normal anxiety in children is first noted when a 6-7 month old infant shrinks away from social contact of a stranger. This social apprehension is an integral part of normal early childhood development.  

Most children, as they grow, learn to deal with day to day normal apprehension encountered in various social situations. They master skills and develop healthy sense of coherence to meet ever rising new challenges for goal oriented results.

Healthy sense of coherence implies, proper and logical understanding of environmental inputs along with confidence in one’s abilities and resources. 

Facets of abnormal anxiety in children

Seven Major Facets of Fear in All Social Interactions

Fear of being judged unfavourably by others lies at the core of social anxiety.

Children with social phobia perceive that people have negative opinion of them, which is extremely distasteful, unacceptable and inconsistent with their actual personality. As a result, the perceived attitudes, values, standards and the opinions of others haunt them and eventually they start believing in them.

The onset of abnormal social apprehension is usually gradual in a child who has history of poor cosolability, excessive shyness, social inhibitions or difficulty in falling asleep right from infancy onwards. 

In vulnerable children, social anxiety can also be triggered abruptly by stressful situations like feeling of rejection following birth of a sibling or parental discord, peer-related difficulties or humiliating social experience.

Have Questions? Ask the Expert and have Your Answers for Free

Liked what you read just now? Pay it forward!

Contributing factors for social phobia

Though social phobia is often associated with shyness, sensitiveness and other temperamental factors, its exact predisposing factors are yet not quite clear. Many factors contribute to social anxiety that adversely affect child’s day to day play, school performance and social competence.
Causes vary with each individual. 

  1. Genetic predisposition

  2. Innate temperament

    i. Shyness

    ii. Inhibited behaviour

    iii. Sensitiveness

  3. Environmental influences

    i. Family influences:

    a) Parent-child interaction

    b) Parents’ dispute and divorce

    c)  Parental rejection or overprotection

    d) Mental health issues in either of the parents

    e) Substance abuse and alcoholism in one or both parents.

    f) Anxiety in the family and in relationships.

    ii. Childcare facilities

    iii. Teachers’ influence:
    Teachers are parent-surrogates for their students.
    They strongly influence children’s social development.
    Their beliefs, opinions and attitude shape children's self-concept both in academic and social fields. Unhealthy teacher-student relationship, miscommunication, biased confusing expectations and indifferent approach leave a negative impact on children’s mind.

    iv. Bullying

    v. Peer preessure or rejection

  4. Coexisting developmental deficiencies:

    i. Physical abnormality – Birth defect or an accident sequel

    ii. Hearing defect

    iii. Vision impairment

    iv. Poor coordination due to neurological disorder or vision defect

    v. Unclear speech 

    vi. Learning disabilities; Dyslexia, ADHD, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia etc.

    vii. Poor development of skills - motor, social, communication or cognitive

    viii. Disturbed neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that are responsible for transmitting signals in the brain, yet need confirmation as an underlying cause of social anxiety disorder.

  5. Traumatic childhood experiences

    i. Separation from parent

    ii. Domestic violence

    iii. Neglect or abuse

    iv. Victim of disaster – natural or war inflicted

    v. Relocation

    vi. Death or severe sickness in near and dear one

    vii. Financial insecurity

  6. Personality characteristics influence social interactions and academic achievements, and paucity of either can predispose to development of social anxiety in children. 

    i. Low self-esteem

    ii. Poor sense of coherence

    iii. Disturbed thought process that leads to difficulty in problem solving capabilities.

Click Here to Post your Questions: It's Free

Page 1. ... Page 2. ... Page 3. ..

Related pages of interest are indexed in the right column

Back To
Child Psychology

Liked what you read just now? Pay it forward!

Can't find answer to your concern? Search the site!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Child Health Explanation

Child Health Explanation

Home Page

Child Health Explanation

Follow Me

Liked What You Just Read?
Pay It Forward

Related Pages

Child Psychology

Childhood Psychiatric Disorders

Understanding Childhood Psychiatric Disorders

Predisposing Factors

Signs of oncoming
Psychiatric Disorder

Social Development

Psychosocial Development

Effects on parent-child relationship

Sibling rivalry

Peer relations

Moral development

Emotional Development

Self Development


Influences on Self Concept

Strengthening  Self Concept

Individual Self-Concept

Personality Development



Personality Traits

Childhood Trauma Effects

Maternal Stress and Air Pollution Mold Child Behavior

Childhood Creativity

Temper Tantrums

Child of Rage

Ill Effects of Divorce on Children

Social Anxiety in Children

Social Anxiety: Facetes & Causes

Social Anxiety Symptoms&Treatment

Peer Rejection & Social Anxiety

A Peek at Peers' Psyche

Liked What You Just Read?
Pay It Forward

Parent Child Bonding

Secure Attachment


Parents' help through temperamental turmoils

Genetic component of temperament

Social & environmental influences

Temperamental traits

Behavior disorders seen in some traits

Categories of temperament

Temperament Kinks That Can Lead to Eating Disorder in Stressed Youths

Counseling Children After Natural Disasters

Dating Violence Traumatizes Emotionally 

Recognize Teenage Depression


Contributing factors

Warning signs


Mentor & medical help

Signs of suicidal tendency


Binge Eating

Psychology of Lying

Punish Children Who Tell Lies?

Teens Therapeutic Activity; Blogging

Facebook Depression

Psychosocial implications

Prohibition not recommended

Bright side of social media

Prevention of facebook depression

Predisposing factors

Causes of inordinate networking

Parents Psychological State Affects 

Effects of Father's Mental Health

Depression during Pregnancy