Moderators of the Relation between Shyness and Behavior with Peers: Cortisol Dysregulation and Maternal Emotion Socialization

Elizabeth L. Davis, Kristin A. Buss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigated the relations among shyness, physiological dysregulation, and maternal emotion socialization in predicting children's social behavior with peers during the kindergarten year (N = 66; 29 girls). For shy children, interactions with peers represent potential stressors that can elicit negative emotion and physiological reactions. Behavior during these contexts can be viewed as adaptive (e.g., playing alone) or maladaptive (e.g., watching other children play without joining in) attempts to regulate the ensuing distress. Whether shy children employ adaptive or maladaptive regulatory behaviors was expected to depend on two aspects of emotion regulatory skill: (1) children's physiological regulation, and (2) maternal emotion socialization. Findings supported the hypotheses. Specifically, shy children with poorer cortisol regulation or have mothers who endorsed a higher level of non-supportive emotion reactions engaged in more maladaptive play behaviors whereas shy children with better cortisol regulation or a high level of supportive maternal emotion reactions engaged in more adaptive play behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-820
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Development
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Moderators of the Relation between Shyness and Behavior with Peers: Cortisol Dysregulation and Maternal Emotion Socialization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this