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Shyness, Preference for Solitude, and Adolescent Internalizing: The Roles of Maternal, Paternal, and Best‐Friend Support

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Journal of Research on Adolescence

Published online on


The researchers examined differential outcomes related to two distinct motivations for withdrawal (preference for solitude and shyness) as well as the possibility that support from important others (mothers, fathers, and best friends) attenuate any such links. Adolescents (159 males, 171 females) reported on their motivations to withdraw, internalizing symptoms, and relationship quality in eighth grade, as well as their anxiety and depression in ninth grade. Using structural equation modeling, the authors found that maternal support weakened the association between shyness and internalizing problems; friend support weakened the association between preference for solitude and depression; and friend support strengthened the association between shyness and depression. Results suggest that shy adolescents may not derive the same benefits from supportive friendships as their typical peers.