A measurement invariance investigation of the differences in shyness between adolescents and adults
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Description: This study addresses the question of whether adolescents or adults are more shy. On the one hand, adolescents spend most of their days functioning as part of a social group (school class), which fosters socialisation processes. However, on the other, in the face of new experiences, shyness may intensify as a result of the development of maladaptive reactions or excessive adjustment to social conventions. Two studies were conducted on different age samples: 314 adults aged 18–35 and 247 high school students, aged 16. In order to verify the hypotheses, the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBS) was administered. As a result of confirmatory factor analyses, it has been demonstrated that: (1) the structure of shyness among adults and adolescents, as measured by the RCBS scale, could be either interpreted as unifactorial or three-factorial; and (2) there is partial scalar measurement invariance for both the unifactorial and the three-factor models. The comparison of the average latent mean scores suggests that adults are more shy than adolescents, regardless whether the total score or specific factors were compared.