Gender differences in social anxiety disorder

Maya Asher, Idan M. Aderka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Despite the ample literature on gender differences in anxiety and mood disorders, gender differences in social anxiety disorder (SAD) have received little empirical attention. The aim of the present study is to examine gender differences in 12-months prevalence, patterns of comorbidity, clinical presentation, subjective distress and functional impairment, age of onset, and treatment seeking, and discuss their clinical implications. Method: We used data from the National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R; n = 652, 63.3% women) to examine gender differences. Results: Main findings highlighted that compared with men, women are more likely to have SAD, to have a more severe clinical presentation of the disorder and to have greater subjective distress. Women are more likely than men to have comorbid specific phobia, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, whereas men are more likely to have comorbid substance abuse disorders and conduct disorder. Conclusions: Greater SAD prevalence and severity among women can have implications for assessment (e.g., potentially setting gender-specific cutoffs) and treatment (e.g., guiding exposures) of SAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1730-1741
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • gender differences
  • prevalence
  • social anxiety disorder
  • treatment seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences in social anxiety disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this