Introversion, Engagement, and Psychosocial Adjustment
Kelly M. Campbell, Holly L. Stack, Linda Rose-Krasnor, Michael Busseri,
& The Centre of Excellence for Youth Engagement
Introversion was negatively correlated with well-
•Introversion in adolescence has been associated with Table 1. Hierarchical Multiple Regressions Predicting Psychosocial Outcomes from
Interaction of Introversion and Engagement being (r(193)=-.227,p<.001), relationship quality
negative psychosocial outcomes, including increased
(r(193)= -.230,p<.001), and social support (r(193)=-
loneliness, poor friendship quality, and decreased well- Criterion .151, p<.036), but not social network size.
Well-Being Social Network Social Support Relationships
Moderating effects of engagement were tested using
•Engagement in activities may provide opportunities β R2 Δ β R2 Δ β R2 Δ β R2Δ hierarchical multiple regressions in which each of the
for personal and social development, thus buffering Structured Sports
four outcomes was used as the criterion.
some of the negative impact of introversion. Step 1: .052** .005 .026a .065**
Engagement -.033 -.047 -.061 .109 Step 1: Introversion and engagement (sports or
Introversion -.226*** -.051 -.150* -.231*** community)
•This moderating effect of engagement may vary
Step 2: Eng*Int -.719 .009 .718 .009 .007 .000 .320 .002 Step 2: Introversion by engagement interaction
depending on activity type.
None of the introversion with sports interactions were
•Therefore, we tested the potential moderating effects Step 1: .077*** .038* .037* .057**
Engagement .162* .188** .121a .062 significant (see Table 1).
of two types of engagement (structured sports and Introversion -.224*** -.049 -.148* -.229***
community activities) on the relations between Step 2: Eng. * Int. .402 .016a .454 .020* .288 .205 .594 .034** •The introversion by community engagement
introversion and hypothesized social and personal ap<.10, *p<.05, **p<.01, ***p<.001 interaction was a significant predictor of network size
and relationship quality, and showed a trend in
predicting well-being. (see Table 1 and Figure 1)
Figure 1- General Form of Interaction Between Introversion and
PARTICIPANTS AND PROCEDURES Community Engagement
•196 17-19 year old female undergraduate students
•Engagement in community activities – but not sports
(mean age = 18.5, SD=.531) completed a self-report
– was associated with better outcomes only among
relatively introverted young women.
•Introversion: two items (“prefer to be alone” & High Introversion •Community activities may be particularly important in
“anxious meeting new people”) rated on a 5-point
promoting positive social and personal outcomes in
introverted young women.
•Engagement: participants described and rated their
•However, directionality cannot be determined with
frequency of involvement in 4 activities. Activities were Low High this correlational data. Community engagement
coded for content and structure. Total frequency of Community Engagement among introverted young women may be the result of
involvement in structured sports (e.g., teams) and Young women who were relatively less introverted showed
their stronger social networks, relationship quality, and
community activities (e.g., volunteering, religious little difference in the outcomes as a function of their
community engagement. However, those who were relatively well-being. These factors may be less important in
involvement, youth groups) were calculated.
high on introversion had better well-being, larger social promoting engagement among their less introverted
networks, and better relationships if they were more peers. Longitudinal research is needed.
•Hypothesized outcomes included well-being (e.g., frequently involved in community activities than if they were
self-esteem, optimism), relationship quality with non- less involved.
•Similar research is needed for introverted young
family others, social network size, and social support.
The Centres of Excellence are a Health Canada-funded program.
men, for whom different types of activities may be
The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily
reflect those of Health Canada.