The predictive ability of school refusal on high social anxiety in Chilean adolescents

The predictive ability of school refusal on high social anxiety in Chilean adolescents

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Mariola Giménez-Miralles
Nelly Lagos-San Martín
Carolina Gonzálvez


There is a growing interest in quantifying the risk of presenting maladaptive behaviors through the use of multivariate prediction algorithms such as logistic regressions. The objective of this study was to analyze the predictive capacity of school refusal behavior on high levels of social anxiety. The study used a sample of 895 Chilean adolescents (54.3% girls) aged between 14 and 17 years. The School Refusal Assessment Scale-Revised (SRAS-R) and the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A) were administered. The results revealed that adolescents with school refusal presented significantly higher scores in social anxiety than their peers with low scores in school refusal. This is due to feelings of social aversion, negative affectivity, fear of evaluation, or the use of this behavior to pursue the attention of significant others. This type of school refusal was found to be a positive and statistically significant predictor of high scores for social anxiety. On the contrary, when school refusal is based on obtaining tangible reinforcement outside the school, this factor acts as a negative and statistically significant predictor of high scores for social anxiety. These findings are discussed with reference to the differences found according to the type of school refusal behavior and its impact on the appearance of high levels of social anxiety.


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