SHYNESS AND SOCIAL PHOBIA IN ISRAELI JEWISH VERSUS ARAB STUDENTS
1 slide(s) – English – 2011-03-13
Background: Social Anxiety Disorder has been repeatedly shown to be very prevalent in the Western society with prevalence rates of 10% or above. However, very few studies have been performed in the Middle East and in Arab countries.
Methods: Three hundred Israeli students participated in our study and were administered the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), the Cheek Buss Shyness questionnaire (CBSQ) and a socio-demographic questionnaire.
Results: 153 Jewish and 147 Arab students participated in the survey. SAD was found in 12.33% of the sample, according to the LSAS cutoff score of >60. The two subsamples had similar LSAS and CBSQ scores and similar SAD-positive rates (LSAS>60). Females had higher scores on the LSAS, as were those without a spouse and those that had been in psychological treatment. Based on a regression analysis, the significant predictors of the LSAS score were the CBSQ score and female gender. A very high correlation was found between the LSAS score and the CBSQ score.
Conclusions: Whereas our sample is not representative of the whole Israeli population, we conclude that SAD and shyness were similarly prevalent in Jewish and Arab students in Israel. Further studies on the clinical and cultural characteristics of SAD in Israeli sub-cultures would add to the growing body of knowledge on SAD in various cultures.