Background. The paper describes prevalence, impairments,
patterns of co-morbidity and other
correlates of DSM-IV social phobia in adolescents and young adults, separating
non-generalized social phobics.
Methods. Data are derived from the baseline investigation of
the Early Developmental Stages of
Psychopathology Study (EDSP), a prospective longitudinal community study
of 3021 subjects, aged
14–24. Diagnoses were based on the DSM-IV algorithms of an expanded
version of the Composite
International Diagnostic Interview.
Results. Lifetime prevalence of DSM-IV/CIDI social phobia
was 9·5% in females and 4·9% in
males, with about one-third being classified as generalized social phobics.
was only slightly lower, indicating considerable persistence. Respondents
with generalized social
phobia reported an earlier age of onset, higher symptom persistence, more
severe impairments, higher treatment rates and indicated more frequently
a parental history of
mental disorders than respondents with non-generalized social phobia.
Conclusions. History of DSM-IV social phobia was found to be
quite prevalent in 14–24 year-olds.
The generalized subtype of social phobia was found to have different correlates
and to be
considerably more persistent, impairing and co-morbid than non-generalized
Although generalized social phobics are more likely than non-generalized
social phobics to receive
mental health treatments, the treatment rate in this sample was low despite
the fact that mental
health services are free in Germany.