This study aimed to examine the relationship between three indicators of family adversity (domestic violence, family substance use, and broken parental marriage) and the severity of social anxiety among adolescents in Taiwan, as well as the mediating effects of perceived family function and self-esteem on that relationship, using structural equation modeling (SEM). A total of 5607 adolescents completed the social anxiety subscale of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children; the Family APGAR Index; the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale; and a questionnaire for domestic violence, family substance use, and broken parental marriage. The relation between family adversity and social anxiety, as well as the mediating effects of family function and self-esteem, was examined using SEM. SEM analysis revealed that all three indicators of family adversity reduced the level of family function, that decreased family function compromised the level of self-esteem, and that a low level of self-esteem further increased the severity of social anxiety. The results indicated that, along with intervening to change family adversity, evaluating and improving adolescents' self-esteem and family function are also important clinical issues when helping adolescents reduce their social anxiety.
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