Understanding and treating social anxiety: lessons learnt from developmental cognitive neuroscience

Author(s): Jennifer YF Lau

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is common and disabling, and generates significant personal and economic costs. Individuals with SAD experience a paralyzing fear of negative evaluation from others and, as a result, social situations are endured with extreme distress or are avoided. The majority of adult SAD begins in youth , marking late childhood and early adolescence as a developmentally sensitive juncture for the emergence of persistent social fears and worries. While models of child and adolescent social anxiety have emphasized various risk factors to explainindividual differences, less is understood about how typical developmental changes may influence the expression of risks during the transition to adolescence.


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