Social anxiety is a debilitating problem affecting many life domains, however the aetiology of this anxiety remains unclear. Aside from biological models, learning and, more recently, information transfer have been implicated in the onset of social anxiety. These last are of particular concern to those working with children or adolescents. The primary aim of this study is to investigate the role of early parental style as a casual factor in social anxiety and then to assess the impact of social anxiety on emotional wellbeing, quality of life and relation-ships, and the use of coping strategies. Ninety-five 18-19 year old first year university students (75 females, 19 males) completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (relevant to their first 16 years), the Austin Quality of Life Scale, Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships Scale - Revised, UCLA Loneliness Scale, EAS Temperament Scale, Ways of Coping Checklist-Revised, and a measure of social anxiety suitable for nonclinical samples. Childhood perceptions of reduced care and overprotection from fathers predicted social anxiety (R216 per cent) but maternal style did not. Social anxiety was related to less use of solution oriented coping; greater use of affective-based coping strategies; poorer emotional well-being, quality of relationships and quality of life; and higher levels of loneliness. The importance of the role of the family when working with young adolescents and children is discussed as is the suggestion that early information transfer from peers, siblings, and more importantly teachers are also assessed as predictors of social anxiety. While the present study revealed no association between gender and social anxiety on information transfer, it is suggested that future studies examine separate cohorts of young males and females.