The Temperamental Trait of Behavioral Inhibition: Characteristics, Assessment and Psychopathological Risk in Preschool Age

Minelli, Marianna (2017) The Temperamental Trait of Behavioral Inhibition: Characteristics, Assessment and Psychopathological Risk in Preschool Age, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze psicologiche, 29 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/8114.
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The temperament trait of Behavioral Inhibition (BI) is characterized by child/infant fear and reticence in response to social and non-social novelty and it has been recognized as a risk factor for child and adolescent internalizing/anxiety problems. Although the interest in literature, some issues are still unsolved and Italian studies are lacking. The present research involved a sample of 60 Italian preschoolers, their mothers, fathers and 7 teachers. Child’s BI was assessed in 3 different moments (T1, T2, T3) across 2 school years. Study I aimed to explore the unitary or multidimensional nature of BI (i.e., social vs non-social components), the continuity of BI over time and its associated factors. Method: Lab-Tab (Goldsmith et al., 1999) for assessing child’s BI and Inhibitory Control (IC); PSWQ (Morani et al., 2009) for parent’s anxiety; BIQ (Bishop et al., 2003) for parent’s perceptions of BI; CRPR (Block, 1981) for parenting style. Results: BI emerged as a unitary construct, moderately stable over time, and child’s IC and maternal anxiety contributed in increasing BI from T1 to T3. Study II aimed to examine the concordance between the observational measures of BI and parent/teacher reports of BI and to investigate caregivers’ ability in recognizing inhibited children. Results: only teacher BIQ reports were significantly and moderately correlated with observed Lab-Tab BI at T1 and T2. Teachers recognized inhibited children more accurately than mothers and fathers. Study III aimed to investigate whether BI at T1 was a significant predictor across time of peer difficulties and internalizing problems. Results: BI represented a risk factor for anxious/depressed behaviors and withdrawal at T2 but not at T3. No significant effects were found for peer difficulties. Globally, our findings suggest that special attention should be addressed to early recognition of BI trait in order to promote child’s socio-emotional functioning and prevent psychopathological risk.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Minelli, Marianna
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Behavioral Inhibition, temperament, preschool age, childhood, psychopathological risk
Data di discussione
11 Maggio 2017

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