Introduction

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is an excessive fear of being negatively evaluated, rejected, humiliated or embarrassed in front of others. Therefore children and adolescents with social phobia fear a wide range of situations such as giving oral reports, participating in gym class, speaking to adults or peers, starting or joining in conversations, eating in public, and taking tests. They may fear unfamiliar persons, and therefore have difficulty making friends or meeting new people. Children and teenagers with social phobia typically respond to these feelings by avoiding the feared situation. They may stay home from school or avoid parties. Social phobia can be limited to specific situations, so the adolescent may fear dating and recreational events but be confident in academic and work situations. While studies have reported cases of social phobia in children as young as 8 years, it is more frequently diagnosed in adolescents.