The current investigation examines the relation between perinatal complications and social anxiety incorporating the potential indirect effect of child temperament. Participants were 149 children aged 9 to 12 years (Mage = 9.97, SDage = 1.00) screened for behavioural inhibition (BI) and assessed for social anxiety symptoms using parent and child reports. Participating families also reported on the presence of perinatal complications. Results indicated that children who experienced perinatal complications were higher in BI and social anxiety than were children who did not experience complications. Furthermore, there was an indirect effect between perinatal complications and social anxiety via BI. These findings provide further support for the established relation between perinatal complications and anxiety and demonstrate, for the first time, that this relation may be mediated by temperament, setting the stage for longitudinal analyses. Highlights: Perinatal complications were associated with increased social anxiety and fearful temperament (i.e., behavioral inhibition). The relation between perinatal complications and social anxiety may be mediated by children's fearful temperament. Results support the established relation between perinatal complications and anxiety and show that this relation may be mediated by temperament.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology