Observer perspective in adolescence: The relationship with social anxiety and age

Emma Hignett, Sam Cartwright-Hatton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There has been some support for the applicability of the Clark and Wells' model of Social Phobia within an adolescent population. To date, however, there is limited research to support the existence of the main perpetuating element (i.e. observer perspective) in this population. One hundred and twenty-four adolescents (12-18 years) completed an anxiety-provoking social task. They were asked to generate an image in their mind of what they felt they were like during this situation. The study investigated whether adolescents could report the perspective that they took in this task, and whether increased levels of social anxiety were associated with an "observer" perspective. The study also explored whether age moderated this relationship. It was found that as social anxiety increased, the perspective of the participants moved towards that of an observer. Age was not found to influence the reporting of perspective, nor the association between this and social anxiety. This study provides evidence for the existence of observer perspective within an adolescent population and indicates that this is associated with social anxiety. It provides some indirect support for the continued use of video feedback strategies with this age group. © 2008 British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)437-447
    Number of pages10
    JournalBehavioural And Cognitive Psychotherapy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


    • Adolescents
    • Observer perspective
    • Social anxiety


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