Four-month-old infants were screened (N = 433) for temperamental patterns thought to predict behavioral inhibition, including motor reactivity and the expression of negative affect. Those selected (N = 153) were assessed at multiple age points across the first 4 years of life for behavioral signs of inhibition as well as psychophysiological markers of frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry. Four-month temperament was modestly predictive of behavioral inhibition over the first 2 years of life and of behavioral reticence at age 4. Those infants who remained continuously inhibited displayed right frontal EEG asymmetry as early as 9 months of age while those who changed from inhibited to noninhibited did not. Change in behavioral inhibition was related to experience of nonparental care. A second group of infants, selected at 4 months of age for patterns of behavior thought to predict temperamental exuberance, displayed a high degree of continuity over time in these behaviors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology