© 2018

Behavioral Inhibition

Integrating Theory, Research, and Clinical Perspectives

  • Koraly Pérez-Edgar
  • Nathan A. Fox


  • Synthesizes research on behavioral inhibition (BI) using biological, psychological, and social markers of development

  • Discusses associations between BI and psychopathology (e.g., anxiety) across childhood and adolescence

  • Outlines the ways in which BI research can shape the design and implementation of evidence-based treatments

  • Examines the role early social development has on adolescent and adult patterns of functioning


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Johanna M. Jarcho, Amanda E. Guyer
    Pages 59-90
  3. Jennifer Urbano Blackford, Jacqueline A. Clauss, Margaret M. Benningfield
    Pages 113-134
  4. Heather A. Henderson, Emma S. Green, Brittany L. Wick
    Pages 135-155
  5. Kenneth H. Rubin, Matthew G. Barstead, Kelly A. Smith, Julie C. Bowker
    Pages 157-184
  6. Kristie L. Poole, Alva Tang, Louis A. Schmidt
    Pages 185-212
  7. George A. Buzzell, Sonya V. Troller-Renfree, Santiago Morales, Nathan A. Fox
    Pages 213-235
  8. Gemma Reynolds, Chris Askew, Andy P. Field
    Pages 263-282
  9. Daniel N. Klein, Emma E. Mumper
    Pages 283-307
  10. Chad M. Sylvester, Daniel S. Pine
    Pages 309-335
  11. Koraly Pérez-Edgar, Nathan A. Fox
    Pages 357-372
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 373-380

About this book


This book examines three decades of research on behavioral inhibition (BI), addressing its underlying biological, psychological, and social markers of development and functioning. It offers a theory-to-practice overview of behavioral inhibition and explores its cognitive component as well as its relationship to shyness, anxiety, and social withdrawal. The volume traces the emergence of BI during infancy through its occurrences across childhood. In addition, the book details the biological basis of BI and explores ways in which it is amenable to environmental modeling. Its chapters explore the neural systems underlying developmental milestones, address lingering questions (e.g., limitations of studying BI in laboratory settings and debatable benefits of self-regulatory processes), and provide recommendations for future research.

Key areas of coverage include:
  • Animal models of behavioral inhibition.
  • Social functioning and peer relationships in BI.
  • Attention mechanisms in behavioral inhibition.
  • BI and associative learning of fear.
  • Behavioral inhibition and prevention of internalizing distress in early childhood. 
  • The relations between BI, cognitive control, and anxiety.
Behavioral Inhibition is a must-have resource for researchers, clinicians, scientist-practitioners, and graduate students across such fields as developmental psychology, psychiatry, social work, cognitive and affective developmental neuroscience, child and school psychology, educational psychology, and pediatrics.


Amygdala model of BI Behavioral inhibition (BI) as a model system Behavioral inhibition and animal models Behavioral inhibition and psychopathology Behavioral inhibition theory and history Biological markers and behavioral inhibition Child development and behavioral inhibition Cognition and behavioral inhibition Development and behavioral inhibition Developmental trajectories and behavioral inhibition Environmental conditions and BI Environmental threats and BI Evolutionary mechanisms and behavioral inhibition Jerome Kagan and behavioral inhibition Neural mechanisms of behavioral inhibition Peer relationships and BI Psychophysiology and behavioral inhibition Rodent model and BI Social anxiety, social withdrawal, and BI Temperament and behavioral inhibition

Editors and affiliations

  • Koraly Pérez-Edgar
    • 1
  • Nathan A. Fox
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Quantitative MethodologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

About the editors

Koraly Pérez-Edgar, Ph.D., is the McCourtney Professor of Child Studies and a Professor of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University. She received her A.B. from Dartmouth College and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Dr. Pérez-Edgar’s research focuses on the relations between temperament and psychopathology. In particular, she examines how individual differences in attention can work to ameliorate or exacerbate risks associated with early temperament traits. Dr. Pérez-Edgar is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.

Nathan A. Fox, Ph.D., is a Distinguished University Professor of Human Development at the University of Maryland. He received his B.A. from Williams College and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Dr. Fox is a world-recognized leader in the study of early behavioral inhibition, the impact of early life events on development, and the biological underpinning of development. Dr. Fox is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bibliographic information