Studies of how positive and negative coping styles affect social anxiety show mixed results. Hence, our two meta-analyses determined the overall effect sizes of problem solving-focused coping (PSC) styles and emotion-focused coping (EFC) styles on social anxiety in mainland China (PSC: k = 49 studies, N = 34,669; EFC: k = 52, N = 36,531). PSC was negatively linked to social anxiety (− .198), and EFC was positively linked to social anxiety (.223). In years with more national income, PSC’s and EFC’s effect sizes were larger. PSC’s effect sizes were smaller among rural students (vs. urban students), larger among older students (university, high school, middle school), and larger in cross-sectional (vs. longitudinal) studies. When using SAD (vs. others) social anxiety measures, PSC effect sizes were larger, but EFC effect sizes were smaller. EFC effect sizes were larger in studies with convenience (vs. representative) samples. Gender, single child status, and coping style measurement showed no moderation effects. These findings suggest that using problem solving-focused coping styles rather than emotion-focused may reduce social anxiety, so future experimental studies can test this idea more rigorously. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
CitationDong, Z., Chiu, M. M., Zhou, S., & Zhang, Z. (2023). Problem solving and emotion coping styles for social anxiety: A meta-analysis of Chinese Mainland students. Child Psychiatry & Human Development. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-023-01561-6
- Social anxiety
- Problem solving coping style
- Emotion coping style
- Mainland China