Social Phobia in Undergraduate University Students in Oman: Prevalence and Correlates with Academic Achievement and Personal Characteristics
This study aimed to determine the prevalence of social phobia among undergraduate university students in Oman and investigate its relationship with the subjects’ academic performance and personal characteristics. This cross-sectional correlational study was conducted at Sultan Qaboos University in April-May 2019 among undergraduate students. The self-administered Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS) was administered to assess scores of social phobia among participants. The analytical tools were independent t-tests, fitting single linear regression and multiple linear regression models for the outcomes of social phobia and academic GPA, and personal characteristics. A total of 170 nursing students self-completed the study survey. The results showed a high prevalence (82.4%) of social phobia among study subjects. Single linear-regression analysis indicated a negative association between social phobia and the academic GPA (t= -3.04, p = .21), although it was not significant. The participants’ characteristics significantly predicted level of social phobia [F (10, 159) = 2.38, p < .05], adjusted R-square= .08. Using stepwise-regression analysis gave only one model with one predictor, age, which was significant (t= -4.0, p < .05), adjusted R-square= .08. This study lays the foundation for succeeding studies that will seek an understanding of the contributing factors related to the incidence of social phobia among Omani university students. The study also sheds light on the impact of social phobia on academic performance among Omani university students. The study calls for policy advisors in Higher Education to consider raising awareness about this disorder and ensuring accessibility to the available treatment. University faculty should consider planning appropriate assessment methods to maximize the benefit to the students.
Keywords: social phobia, social anxiety disorder, university students, prevalence.
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