Factors related to self-reported social anxiety symptoms among incoming university students (2015)

Early Interv Psychiatry. 2015 May 22. doi: 10.1111/eip.12247.

Cheng SH1,2, Sun ZJ3, Lee IH1,2,4, Lee CT5, Chen KC2,4,6, Tsai CH3, Yang YK2,7,4, Yang YC5,7,8.



The aim of this study was to explore the lifestyle/social, personality trait and mental factors among incoming university students with higher self-reported social anxiety symptoms (SAS).


A total of 5126 incoming university students were recruited. The test battery included a self-administered questionnaire that examined personal lifestyle, the Measurement of Support Functions, the Chinese Internet Addiction Scale-Revision, the Organizational Citizenship Behaviour Scale, the Social Phobia Inventory, the suicide ideation from the Brief Symptoms Rating Scale and the Pittsburgh Sleep Questionnaire.


SAS (23.7%) were prevalent. Using logistic regression analysis, we found that the significant predictors of higher levels of SAS were being an undergraduate student and a non-smoker, having lower Measurement of Support Functions score (poorer social support), having higher Chinese Internet Addiction Scale-Revision score (Internet addiction), having lower Organizational Citizenship Behaviour Scale score (less altruistic behaviour), having suicide ideation and having higher Pittsburgh Sleep Questionnaire score (poorer sleeper).


Given the high prevalence of SAS among university students, it is necessary to build a better strategy to detect students with potential social anxiety-related problems/disorders or other mental problems early on.


Internet addiction; altruism; social anxiety symptom; social support; university student