Social Anxiety and School Refusal in Adolescence


The Power of Positive Peers for Socially anxious Youth

Principal Investigator: dr. Anne Miers (Assistant Professor) 


Current and previous (research) Master and Honors Bachelor students
Current: Sander Buuron; Yolinda Davidse; Sanne Peereboom; Niklas Schütter; Florian Thomas-Odenthal; Sarah Nour. 
Previous: Tes Mijnders; Esther Bernasco; Lisa Straetmans; Sanne Dijkstra; Claire Geers; Katharina Schulte; Ido Bittmann; Zeynep Tunçel.

Aim: The aim of PoPPSaY! is to investigate the influence of positive peer feedback on socially anxious youth’s negative self-relevant cognitive processes, and to examine the impact of such cognition modification on socially anxious youth’s self-esteem, feelings, and behavior in daily life.
Background: Research indicates that youth with high levels of social anxiety are caught in a vicious cycle of their own negative self-relevant cognitive processes and negative responses from their age peers. Breaking this vicious cycle by using peers to modify the cognitive processes in a positive direction may be crucial to preventing the worsening of social anxiety.
Methods: PoPPSaY! employs different methods: self-report questionnaires, speech task, behavioral observation, neurophysiology, experience sampling collection via smartphones, and digital mediums for the provision of feedback (e.g., skype).

Societal Impact: To help socially anxious youth find their voice and approach social situations with confidence.