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Self-consciousness, friendship quality, and adolescent internalizing problems


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Julie C. Bowker, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260-4110, USA (e-mail:


The correlates between public and private self-consciousness and internalizing difficulties were examined during early adolescence. Friendship quality was assessed as a possible moderator of the relation between self-consciousness and maladjustment. One hundred and thirty-seven young adolescents (N=87 girls; M age=13.98 years) reported on their self-consciousness, internalizing problems, and the quality of their best friendship. Results indicated stronger associations between private self-consciousness and internalizing correlates than between public self-consciousness and internalizing problems, suggesting that private self-consciousness may be a stronger risk factor during adolescence. Contrary to expectations, evidence revealed that positive friendship quality may exacerbate some difficulties associated with self-consciousness. Results pertaining to friendship quality add to the growing literature on the ways in which friendships can contribute to adjustment difficulties.