SOCIAL PHOBIA AMONG TEENAGERS AND ADULTS IN AMERICA Essay - 2630 Words

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SOCIAL PHOBIA AMONG TEENAGERS AND ADULTS IN AMERICA

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Social phobia among teenagers and adults in America
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ABSTRACT
Public speaking, meeting new people, dating, and performance arts can be normal behavior for most people, but for more than 5 million Americans, it is a problem as they have social anxiety disorder or social phobia (Donohue, 2013). There has been no stated cause for the condition, though some scientists have attributed it to genetics. However, it is a very common condition which the researcher found to be in a large number of the subjects or respondents in the study. The study below sought to identify the most common phobia among a selected group of subjects, which was found by the researcher to be social phobia. The study then sought to examine the factors influencing social phobia, and using the direction from an article by the American Psychological Association, Volume 36, Issue 7, determine the level of penetration of social phobia, its treatment options, and how people who had the condition coped with it.

Table of Contents
1.0 Background Information1
2.0 Research Hypothesis3
3.0 Methods and Procedures for the Study3
4.0 Results of the Study4
4.1 Descriptive statistics4
5.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION10
6.0 REFERENCES11
APPENDIX12
List of Tables12

1.0 Background Information
Nearly every person is afraid of social situations to some extent; however, for a large number of people, this fear is excessive. According to the American Psychological Association, 5.3 Million people in America suffer from social phobia. Phobia can be defined as an absurd and excessive fear of an object or situation. Specifically, social phobia refers to as an extreme fear of becoming apprehensive and possibly embarrassed in social circumstances such as public speaking, dating, meeting new people, eating, and drinking in public places, performing in sports, inter alia. Social phobia is also referred to as ‘social anxiety disorder’ and was first given the term in 1980 after Dr. Heimberg released a publication under the American Psychiatric Association where a study was carried out to determine the causes and effects of social phobia. Before, then there was no emotional term to define the condition and many people assumed people with the conditions were shy. In fact, to date, many people commonly misidentify social phobia as shyness, whilst the two are completely different. Shyness is not a psychological disorder while social phobia is an extreme psychological condition. People with social phobia tend to be afraid of the perception of others towards their behavior, and according to Dr. Heimberg, this is the main reason behind their anxiety. Based on a publication by the Northern Illinois University, there are two types of social phobia, generalized social anxiety, and specific social anxiety. Generalized social anxiety involves almost all social situations and is considered an interaction anxiety. Specific social anxiety refers to the type of phobia that is specific to certain situations such as public speaking. The person with a particular condition is only affected by the one situation and not at all by other circumstances. According to a study performed by the National Institute of Mental Health, there is no specific cause for social phobia, though the study found that some of the respondents had the condition because of genetics. The study concluded that the area of the brain that controls fear and anxiety was due for more study under the subjects in order to achieve better results. The institution placed the number of Americans with the condition at 15 million. Further, based on a study funded by the institution, social phobia was described as being the main reason behind alcoholism and depression with many subjects finding alcoholism as a way to cope with their anxiety.

Since the publication of DSM-III by Dr.Heimberg, psychologists have attempted... Show More

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