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04-02-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2020

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 4/2020

Trajectories of Observed Shyness and Psychosocial Adjustment in Children

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 4/2020
Auteurs:
Kristie L. Poole, Charles E. Cunningham, Louis A. Schmidt
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10578-020-00962-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Abstract

Shyness can manifest as inhibition, fear, and avoidance in the context of social novelty and situations of perceived social evaluation. In the present study, 130 children (Mage = 7.6 years, SD = 1.8) participated in a videotaped self-presentation task across three separate visits spanning approximately 3 years in early and middle childhood. Children’s observed shyness was best characterized by two trajectories, including a high-stable class (19%) and a low-stable class (81%). Girls were more likely than boys to follow a pattern of high-stable observed shyness. Further, children in the high-stable observed shyness class were rated by parents and teachers as more socially anxious relative to children in the low-stable class, and boys in the high-stable observed shyness class were rated by their teachers as displaying more depressive symptoms relative to girls. These findings suggest that a subset of children display stable behavioral shyness, and this is correlated with psychosocial functioning.

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