Associations between behavioral inhibition and children's social problem-solving behavior during social exclusion

Olga L. Walker, Heather A. Henderson, Kathryn A. Degnan, Elizabeth C. Penela, Nathan A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


The current study examined the associations between the early childhood temperament of behavioral inhibition and children's displays of social problem-solving (SPS) behavior during social exclusion. During toddlerhood (the ages of two to three), maternal report and behavioral observations of behavioral inhibition were collected. At the age of seven, children's SPS behaviors were observed during a laboratory social exclusion task based on the commonly used Cyberball game. Results showed that behavioral inhibition was positively associated with displayed social withdrawal and negatively associated with assertive behavior during the observed social exclusion task at seven years of age. These results add to our understanding of inhibited children's SPS behaviors during social exclusion and provide evidence for the associations between toddler temperament and children's social behavior during middle childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-501
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2014



  • Behavioral inhibition
  • Social exclusion
  • Social problem solving
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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