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The Social World of Behaviorally Inhibited Children: A Transactional Account

  • Heather A. Henderson
  • Emma S. Green
  • Brittany L. Wick
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, we describe the social worlds of behaviorally inhibited children. We organize the review around a transactional model of development in which behavioral inhibition (BI) impacts children’s perceptions and interpretations of their social worlds, which in turn guide their behaviors. In parallel, the perceptions and interpretations of behavioral inhibition held by critical socialization partners (teachers, peers, parents) alter their behavior with behaviorally inhibited children. Although these transactions continue throughout the lifespan, we focus our review on childhood and adolescence in order to provide a detailed picture of the developmental milieu of behaviorally inhibited children. We describe social processes and interactions that foster continuity in expression of core behavioral inhibition traits, as well as those that promote discontinuity, noting similarities across key socialization contexts. We conclude with suggestions for future research that focus on the overlap of different socialization contexts (e.g., school, home), the basic mechanisms (e.g., attention) underlying behaviorally inhibited children’s experiences in naturalistic environments, and extending research beyond childhood and adolescence to understand the unique social worlds of individuals with a history of childhood behavioral inhibition across the lifespan.

Keywords

Behavioral inhibition Shyness Social context Transactional model Evocative effects 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather A. Henderson
    • 1
  • Emma S. Green
    • 1
  • Brittany L. Wick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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