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Abstract

The goal of this study was to examine perceptions of others towards those exhibiting social anxiety disorder. A sample of 255 undergraduates (l27 women) were randomly assigned to read one of four scenarios depicting a mile or female character expressing behaviors associated with social anxiety disorder and who were labeled as having social anxiety disorder or not. Participants reported their perceptions of and willingness to engage with the scenario character depicted, and completed measures of social anxiety, social avoidance, and perceptions of mental health issues. Reported perceptions differed based on the gender of the scenario character but were not influenced by labeling. Students should be educated on mental illness as a means of improving peer relationships on campus.

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