Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology

First Advisor

Sarah A. Bilsky

Relational Format



Social anxiety (SA) causes significant distress and impairment in several areas of daily life. Individuals with SA experience increased rates of exclusion and have more difficultly forming meaningful interpersonal relationships. Exclusion is associated with increased SA and motivations for social withdrawal in emerging adulthood. In non-SA individuals, the desire for compensatory social interaction following exclusion often produces prosocial behaviors (e.g., increased effort to help the group). Prosocial behavior levels following exclusion are not uniform, however, as an individual’s response may vary depending on the type of exclusion experienced. Although previous work has observed decreased levels of prosocial behavior in non-SA individuals after explicit exclusions as compared to prosocial behavior following ignoring, no research has examined prosocial behaviors following different forms of exclusion among individuals with SA. The current study examined whether elevated SA interacted with experimental condition in the association between different types of exclusion and an individual’s rate of prosocial behaviors. Results indicated that there was not a main effect of SA on prosocial behavior levels, regardless of condition. Additionally, there was not a significant interaction between SA and condition type on prosocial behavior levels. These results suggest that SA levels do not significantly moderate the relationship between different types of social exclusion and prosocial behavior levels. Findings are discussed in terms of next steps needed to improve our understanding of the relation between SA, social exclusion, and prosocial behavior.



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