Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Art

First Advisor

Marilyn Patterson

Second Advisor

Anita Sankar

Third Advisor

Martin Sherman


Since researchers have only studied social phobia in the last several decades, the need to identify influencing variables is essential. While most researchers concur that familial factors have an impact on social phobia, the influence of family variables remain under investigation. Many studies have examined the impact of parenting characteristics on social phobia involving individuals in a clinical setting. However, few studies have focused on social phobia in a nonclinical setting with adults. This study explores the relationship between parenting styles of overprotection and rejection with social phobia in a college sample of adults. Subjects for this study were 35 college students at Lindenwood University. In addition to demographic data sheets, subjects were asked to complete a measure of social anxiety and a measure of perception of parenting styles experienced in childhood. A Pearson product-moment correlation was performed to examine possible relationships. No significant relationship was found between social phobia and parental characteristics. A significant result was found for care and over protection for both mother and father. A significant result was found for over protectiveness between mother and father. Also, a significant result was found for fear/anxiety and avoidance. A discussion of the Limitations of this study and implications for future research are given.