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Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Previous research has documented a consistent pattern of the self-selected strategies that shy adolescents (Carducci et al. 2003; Carducci, Elbedour, and Alsubie 2015) and adults (Carducci 2009; Carducci and Bocchiaro 2011) use to deal with their shyness. The purpose of the present study was to extend this previous research by attempting to identify and assess the self-selected strategies used by elderly adults to deal with shyness. The participants in the present study were 95 individuals (25 males and 70 females, with mean ages of 59.9 and 56.3 years, respectively) who completed a self-report inventory examining various intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions of shyness. Consistent with previous research, the most frequently used strategies by elderly adults to deal with shyness tended to include “forced extraversion” (e.g., willfully going to social events), “cognitive self-reassurance” (e.g., self-affirming statements to build confidence), “sought professional help” (e.g., counseling and psychotherapy), and “educational extraversion” (e.g., read self-help book). The overall pattern of results documents the extent to which elderly adults respond to shyness in a manner similar to shy adolescents and adults. Suggestions for how shy elderly adults might improve the effectiveness of these self-selected strategies for dealing with shyness are also presented.

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