Cognitive appraisal mediating relationship between social anxiety and internet communication in adolescents

Charmian Ming Yan Young, Barbara Chuen Yee Lo

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Research suggests that people with high social anxiety trait may be more inclined to interact through computer-mediated communication (CMC). The psychological underpinnings of this inclination however remained unclear. The present research thus examines if cognitive appraisal bias (i.e. heighten estimation of social risk and deflated self-efficacy) would mediate the relationship between social anxiety and one’s perception of CMC attributes, contributing to a differential pattern of responses in CMC use. Four hundred and ten adolescents aged 12–18years completed a set of self-reported measures tapping social anxiety trait, cognitive appraisals, perception of CMC attributes, and pattern of CMC social responses. Structural equation modeling lent support to the mediating role of the cognitive appraisal factors. Those with higher social anxiety trait would attach higher self-relevance to the CMC attributes, and engage in a more socially-involved pattern of interpersonal responses in CMC. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • COGNITIVE ability
  • SOCIAL anxiety
  • INTERNET & teenagers
  • ADOLESCENT psychology
  • INTERPERSONAL communication
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL research
  • SELF-efficacy
  • Adolescents
  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Social anxiety


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