Cognitive Conflict Links Behavioural Inhibition and Social Problem Solving During Social Exclusion in Childhood

Ayelet Lahat, Olga L. Walker, Connie Lamm, Kathryn A. Degnan, Heather A. Henderson, Nathan A. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Behavioral inhibition (BI) is a temperament characterized by heightened negative affect and social reticence to unfamiliar peers. In a longitudinal study, 291 infants were assessed for BI at 24 and 36 months of age. At age 7, N2 amplitude was measured during a Flanker task. Also at age 7, children experienced social exclusion in the lab during an interaction with an unfamiliar peer and an experimenter. Our findings indicate that children characterized as high in BI, relative to those low in BI, had larger (i.e., more negative) N2 amplitudes. Additionally, among children with a large N2, BI was positively related to withdrawal and negatively related to assertiveness during social exclusion. These findings suggest that variations in conflict detection among behaviorally inhibited children plays a role in their social behavior during stressful social situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalInfant and Child Development
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Behavioural inhibition
  • Cognitive conflict
  • N2
  • Social exclusion
  • Social problem solving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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