The paper is an attempt to present a new approach to anxiety research, namely to describe social psychological determinants of anxiety in adolescents, and also to present teachers’, parents’ and students’ views on “anxiety-causing” situations in adolescents are compared.
The article presents a brief description of the main concepts related to the subject of anxiety: the interpretation of the phenomenon of anxiety, differences between the concepts of anxiety and fear, causes described by various authors. The author also pays attention to various types of anxiety: situational vs personal, adequate vs inadequate anxiety, anxiety in various fields of human life, and in particular at school.
The paper describes the results of the empirical study devoted to the communicative situations in which adolescents experience anxiety and the estimation of these situations by teachers and parents are presented.
The research is qualitative and consisted of several stages: focused interviews with teachers and then with the adolescents’ parents, focus groups of adolescents (the questionnaire is presented in respective part of the article). The study involved 6 teachers, 6 parents, 15 adolescents aged from 12 to 14 years. Based on the research results the set of situations that cause anxiety in adolescents is identified and the perception of these situations by parents and teachers is analyzed. The article also presents the similarities and differences of the perception of adolescents’ communicative anxiety in the three categories of respondents.
The results of the study show that the interactional situations causing anxiety among adolescents primarily involve social estimation of an adolescent both by peers and adults.