Behavioral Inhibition: Stability and Associations with Adaptation from Childhood to Early Adulthood

Scott D. Gest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

150 Scopus citations

Abstract

The stability of individual differences in behavioral inhibition and their association with peer relations, emotional distress, and life-course timing were examined in a longitudinal study of 205 individuals from childhood (ages 8 to 12) to early adulthood (ages 17 to 24). Behavioral inhibition was conceptualized as stranger wariness and measured through ratings made by interviewers following individual interview or testing sessions. Individual differences in behavioral inhibition were consistent from childhood to early adulthood (r = .57). In early adulthood, higher behavioral inhibition was associated with a less positive, less active social life for both sexes and, for men, with greater emotional distress and negative emotionality. For both genders, participants who were inhibited as children were less likely to have moved away from their family of origin by the early adulthood assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume72
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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