How Does Social Anxiety Affect Self-Esteem Paper Example

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1769 Words
Date:  2022-12-20


Social anxiety is formed or developed by various factors ranging from genetic, environmental, societal and biological among others. For instance, the act of socializing online among adolescents has been linked to certain levels of social anxiety, obtaining satisfaction in life and self-esteem. On the other hand, individuals with low esteem have been observed to demonstrate uncertainty, lack of confidence and experience low self-esteem. They also tend to blame others for their catastrophes instead of being accountable. As such, social anxiety tends to put individuals in a situation where their self-esteem is affected. Besides, individuals with social anxiety have been depicted to internalize criticism more than those who do not, another vital aspect that has an influence on self-esteem. Positive and negative prejudices are other elements that have an impact on an individual's self-perception, all of which lead to the determination of self-esteem. The study of the effect of social anxiety on self-esteem is crucial in the field of psychology as it gives a more comprehensive understanding of individuals and the reasons for their actions or behavior. Additionally, the study is a relevant contributor to one's comprehension of those around them and the difficulty they may be experiencing. For instance, social anxiety may have an impact on one's self-esteem such that they are not able to attend meetings or even seek help when in need.

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Literature Review

Psychological health is usually measured by certain aspects such as self-esteem and social anxiety. It has been observed that individuals with social tensions usually digest negative feedback as compared to a positive response (Al-Ruwaili, Al-Turki & Alardan, 2018). An individual's current feeling can change over time as they receive an either positive or negative reaction. Moreover, people experiencing social anxiety usually fear social interactions that range from public speaking to smaller social interactions such as parties or even meetings. It has further been observed that people with social anxiety are not kind to themselves and thus have low self-esteem and low self-compassion (Kavanagh, Harvey & Mesagno, 2017).

A study was conducted and found to support the hypothesis that adults with social anxiety would modernize their self-perception and self-directed outlooks to a greater magnitude in reaction to negative than positive performance reaction. However, healthy adults were observed to demonstrate the reverse. As such, when one is socially anxious, they can learn from feedback obtained and develop their self-esteem. Nonetheless, negative feedback damages the image about themselves significantly and to a more enormous scope as well (Calancie, Ewing, Narducci, Horgan & Khalid-Khan, 2017).

In another research, it was found that social anxiety has a moderate association with trait self-esteem. Also, the relationship between them is indirect and facilitated by individuals and specific opinions about how they may be perceived. As such, this has been attributed to the element that people with low self-esteem have the assumption that they are regarded in a less pleasant and approving manner than those with high self-esteem (Emmanuel, Oyedele, Gimba, Gaji & Terdi, 2015). Therefore, in the end, they experience higher levels of social anxiety. Social anxiety has been depicted as a self-related disorder which is quite strong and associates with low self-esteem (McDonald, 2013).

The impact of social anxiety on self-esteem has also been evaluated through core beliefs. It has been observed that the presence of social anxiety disorder means that one will have some fundamental assumptions about themselves that may either be irrational or inappropriate. The core beliefs that originate from childhood have been identified as the very principle of how people view themselves, others and the world as well. When the core beliefs contribute to low self-esteem, one will lack the resilience to turn back from their negative thoughts. As such, any individual who undergoes this will be susceptible to escalating into unconstructiveness and humiliation. However, those with a high self-esteem can see that they are valuable individuals despite making faults (Rashid, Saddiqu & Naureen, 2011).

The studies reviewed depict inadequacies concerning the impact of social anxiety and self-esteem. As such, the issue has not been directly explored and instead it has been linked to other problems such as eating disorders and body shape concern. Also, it is relevant to comprehend how social anxiety and its impact on self-esteem affects overall satisfaction in life.


The following research questions will be used to conduct the research:

  • What is the impact of social anxiety on self-esteem?
  • How do social anxiety and its effect on self-esteem affect overall satisfaction in life?

The above research questions will assist in exploring the two major concepts, that is, social anxiety and self-esteem. As such, a comprehensive understanding will be obtained and then contribute to assessing how they affect the overall quality of life, especially concerning satisfaction.


  • Social anxiety affects self-esteem through core beliefs and social relationships.
  • Social anxiety affects self-esteem through by shaping certain individual opinions.
  • Social anxiety can be influenced during childhood, and this will affect self-esteem.

Method and Design

The study will utilize a quantitative approach since it is usually based on impartial pieces of evidence, statistics, and numerical figures. The outcome obtained will also be easy to measure, and the results clearly demonstrated through objective data. Also, through quantitative data, predictions can easily be made due to a numerical basis. As such, this is one of the essential benefits that will be obtained from the utilization of quantitative research (Haig, 2018).

The study will constitute students from the university and the general public as well. Students will be useful in the research since self-esteem tends to mostly affect individuals at that age and primarily due to being exposed to factors that lead to social anxiety. Moreover, the general public will represent the other side of the population who also face social anxiety but in a different way. The participants will entail individuals above the age of eighteen who were either currently enrolled in at least one course of higher education or had previously completed or had even attempted to undertake higher education studies. The research will further target participants from ten different education institutions. It is vital to note that members of the general public will who will participate in the study will also be above eighteen years. One hundred and eighty-nine participants will be targeted to be part of the sample, that is, forty-eight males and one hundred and forty-one females. It is relevant to note that the participants will be selected from different races and socio-economic backgrounds as well. They will thus entail those from the high, middle and low class. In this way, they will provide comprehensive information on the way social anxiety affects self-esteem.


Specific recruitment methods would be employed to obtain the required sample. One of these is giving a link to online questionnaires to the selected universities. It would be posted on their social media platforms such as Facebook. Furthermore, advertisements would be placed on the psychology department's noticeboard at the universities participating in the research. Due to these methods, it is evident that participants would be from a variety of different universities and year levels as well. However, certain participants will be excluded from the research. They will include those who are not willing to voluntarily provide the required information for the study and those who feel that their privacy is being invaded despite all the ethical aspects being observed.

Participants will first be asked questions related to demography to enable their classification, which is according to aspects such as age and gender. Also, other elements that will be included in the demographic study will constitute the year of study completion, mode of study and number of adjacent affiliations. Social anxiety will be measured using the Severity Measure. It is a measure that constitutes of ten items and evaluates the severity of indicators exhibited by social anxiety among individuals who are eighteen years and older (Dalrymple et al., 2013). Moreover, in case the required information will not be obtained, aspects such as fear and avoidance will be measured using the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale. In this way, complete details will be obtained regarding the participants and issues concerning social anxiety (Santos, Loureiro, Crippa & Osorio, 2015). On the other hand, self-esteem will be measured using Self-esteem Stability Scale (SESS). In this way, elements such as self-esteem stability will be easily determined. Besides, through a direct assessment of self-esteem, the participants will reflect on their overall proficiencies of changes in their self-evaluations (Altmann & Roth, 2018).

It is relevant to note that the determination of how social anxiety affects self-esteem will be used to determine their impact on overall satisfaction in life. As previously mentioned, issues concerning relationship will be resolved and will not only be personal but social associations as well.

Expected Results

The research is expected to answer the research question and satisfy the hypothesis as well. Modernization of individuals' self-perception is done by social anxiety. Also, self-direction views by people to a greater extent are due to the reaction of either a positive or negative aspect. Social anxiety further enables one to obtain relevant knowledge from their feedback and in the end, develop their self-esteem. When the input is positive, their self-esteem will be nurtured, but when negative, it will be adversely affected. Moreover, social anxiety on self-esteem is determined through core beliefs. Social anxiety disorder depicts that one will have issues concerning their personal opinions, and some of this may either be inappropriate or irrational. Childhood backgrounds also have a determination of social anxiety and how it will affect the self-esteem of an individual.

Therefore, once the hypothesis is confirmed, it will demonstrate that the psychology of the self is quite comprehensive and extends beyond psychology as well. It will also depict that the significant issues concerning self-functioning further aim at addressing the way in which individuals comprehend and define their features such as self-knowledge and how they also preserve anticipated images and utilize task and social feedback to monitor their self-regulation elements. It will further show the impact of personal standards, expectation, and values on the perceptions of others as well.


Altmann, T., & Roth, M. (2018). The Self-esteem Stability Scale (SESS) for Cross-Sectional Direct Assessment of Self-esteem Stability. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 91.

Al-Ruwaili, M. A., Al-Turki, Y. A., & Alardan, A. (2018). Social anxiety and its effect on self-efficacy among family medicine residents in Riyadh. Journal of family medicine and primary care, 7(2), 389. DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_360_17

Calancie, O., Ewing, L., Narducci, L. D., Horgan, S., & Khalid-Khan, S. (2017). Exploring how social networking sites impact youth with anxiety: A qualitative study of Facebook stressors among adolescents with an anxiety disorder diagnosis. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 11(4)., K., Marti...

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