Varieties of Shyness in Adolescence and Adulthood

Jonathan M. Cheek and Elena N. Krasnoperova

in Extreme Fear, Shyness, and Social Phobia

Published in print October 1999 | ISBN: 9780195118872
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848232 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

Varieties of Shyness in Adolescence and Adulthood

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This chapter offers data and a model that may shed light on the developmental course of shyness and social inhibition. It describes the various psychological literatures to explore the short and long-term effects of three constructs commonly used to describe social reticence (behavioral inhibition, social isolation, and shyness) and their relationship to social phobia. It begins with a conceptualization of shyness. There is evidence for stability of behavioral inhibition over time, even though the associations are only moderate. In addition, correlates of behavioral inhibition include theoretically related constructs and disorders such as shyness, specific fears, separation anxiety, and social isolation. It is noted that there is much overlap in behavioral inhibition and social phobia, as well as some differences. However, it is likely that at least some of the children in these various categories suffer from the same condition, and the model proposes one heuristic conceptualization of the relationships among these constructs.

Keywords: shyness; social inhibition; behavioral inhibition; social isolation; social phobia; separation anxiety; fears; social reticence

Chapter.  14416 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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