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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2019 Jul;47(7):1183-1195. doi: 10.1007/s10802-019-00520-x.

A Dynamic Examination of the Associations between Shyness, Psychological Difficulties, and Stressful Life Events during Early Adolescence.

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Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 224 Park Hall, Buffalo, NY, 14260, USA.
Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, 347 S Arts & Sciences Hall, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha, Omaha, NE, 68182, USA.
Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 45229, USA.


Although numerous studies have established linkages between shyness and later psychological difficulties, most extant research did not examine variation in shyness over time in relation to variation in psychological difficulties over time or possible environmental factors of influence outside of the school context. The current study used multi-level modelling to simultaneously examine time-invariant and time-variant associations between shyness, the psychological difficulties of depressive symptoms and loneliness, and stressful life events at four waves across 1 year in a community sample of 271 young adolescents (51% boys; Mage = 11.83 years at W1). Results revealed significant time-variant and time-invariant effects when loneliness was examined as a predictor of shyness. In addition, a significant interaction effect indicated that shyness decreased over time for those young adolescents who experienced few stressful life events, highlighting an understudied moderator of risk. Overall, findings have important implications for understanding the psychological concomitants of shyness as well as etiological models of shyness.


Depressive symptoms; Loneliness; Multi-level modelling; Shyness

[Available on 2020-07-01]

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