Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

4-2014

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Hayden

Abstract

The current study was designed to examine behavioral inhibition (BI) as a risk factor for anxiety disorders and to investigate whether contextual and sex differences moderate the association between BI and anxiety risk. Childhood BI was assessed in a sample of 409 3-year-old children (200 boys, Mage = 3.43, SD = .30) using standardized laboratory observations. Parental history of anxiety was assessed using semi-structured clinical interviews. In multivariate models, childhood BI was associated with a maternal history of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Gender was found to moderate the association between BI and maternal history of SAD, as boys’, but not girls’, BI increased with a maternal SAD history. This relationship was found only when BI was assessed in the context of nonsocial stimuli.

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