Continuity and discontinuity of behavioral inhibition and exuberance: Psychophysiological and behavioral influences across the first four years of life

Nathan A. Fox, Heather A. Henderson, Kenneth H. Rubin, Susan D. Calkins, Louis A. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

557 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalChild development
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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