Taijin Kyofusho (TKS), a disorder characterized by a fear of interpersonal relations, and regarded as a culture-bound disorder in Japan, is related to social anxiety disorder (SAD). A variant of TKS, the ‘offensive type,'involves fear of offending others by one's inappropriate social behavior or appearance. Reports of offensive-type TKS have hitherto been limited to a small number of case reports. To delineate the characteristics of offensive-type TKS and to determine the patterns of fear and factors involved, we investigated 111 Japanese university students who reported feeling tense or nervous in social or interpersonal interactions. We analyzed subjects’ responses to items on a scale for TKS, and isolated five factors. Cluster analysis of the factor scores revealed a group (N = 25) with symptomatic profiles that fit ‘offensive-type TKS.’ Despite this group's high TKS scores, their scores on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale – Japanese version were relatively low. Our results suggest that the symptoms of some TKS sufferers do not fall within the SAD spectrum.
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