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

Julie C. Bowker, Jonathan B. Santo, Ryan E. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1195
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume47
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Loneliness
  • Multi-level modelling
  • Shyness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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