Decrease in self-esteem mediates the association between symptoms of social phobia and depression in middle adolescence in a sex-specific manner: a 2-year follow-up of a prospective population cohort study
Gender differences in the social anxiety spectrum and their correlation with other psychopathological features were analyzed in 520 students by using two questionnaires: the Social Anxiety Spectrum Self-Report (SHY-SR), which explores social anxiety spectrum, and the General Spectrum Measure (GSM), which explores panic-agoraphobia, mood, obsessive-compulsive, and eating-behavior features. Mean SHY-SR total score was significantly higher in women than in men, and gender differences were particularly pronounced for interpersonal sensitivity domain. Likewise, GSM scores were higher in women, except for the manic section. The SHY-SR domains correlated significantly with all GSM sections, except for the manic section. In conclusion, women reported more symptoms than men (who belonged to different psychopathologic dimensions) and displayed a profile of social anxiety spectrum that differs quantitatively but not qualitatively from the men's profile. The correlation between social anxiety spectrum and other psychopathological features mirrors previous findings concerning the high comorbidity of axis-I social anxiety disorder.