Mediating role of cognitive distortions in the relationship of adolescents’ body image with social anxiety


Shahid Bahonar University


Introduction: The aim of this study was to examine the mediation effect of cognitive distortions in the relationship between body image and social anxiety among adolescents.Method: In a correlational study 376 high school students from Kerman, with mean age 17 years and 3 months (SD = 2.7) were selected via random sampling method and then they filled out the social anxiety scale for adolescents, physique anxiety scale and social anxiety thought questionnaire. Data were analyzed through Baron and Kenny steps for path analysis.Results: The results revealed that negative body image is a positive predictor of social anxiety. Besides, cognitive distortions can positively predict social anxiety. Although cognitive distortions do not function as mediators in the relationship between body image and social anxiety, it can mediate the relationship between body image and fear of negative evaluations as a component of social anxiety.Conclusion: Findings suggest that cognitive distortions and Negative attitudes toward appearance characteristics are important for understanding of adolescents’ social anxiety. Thus, identification of these cognitive distortions may offer a better understanding of the etiology of the disorder in adolescents. Additionally, through considering components of social anxiety rather than the entire scale, the mediating role of cognitive distortions would remarkablely change.