Early temperament and the link with adolescent internalizing problems: pathways through social processes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Erin B. Denio (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Susan Keane

Abstract: Early identification of risk factors associated with psychopathology (e.g., internalizing problems) is a primary goal for psychologists. Consistent with the concept of equifinality, research suggests that there are multiple factors that contribute to internalizing problems. Temperament factors such as social fear and inhibitory control as well as social processes including social withdrawal and peer victimization have been associated with increased risk for anxiety and depression in adolescence. However, research has neglected examining how these factors work together across development to affect risk for internalizing symptoms. The current study examined two path analyses to test whether different combinations of individual differences in temperament (i.e., social fear, inhibitory control) impact later internalizing symptoms indirectly through social processes. Social fear and inhibitory control were assessed via maternal ratings on the CBQ at age 4. Peer victimization was assessed via sociometric peer nomination when children were in 5th grade (age 10). Social withdrawal was assessed via 5th grade teacher ratings on the BASC-2. Internalizing symptoms were assessed via self-report ratings on the BASC-2 at age 15. There were significant direct effects from social withdrawal at age 10 and peer victimization at 10 on internalizing symptoms at 15. There was also a significant indirect effect of inhibitory control at 4 on internalizing symptoms at 15 through peer victimization as well as social withdrawal at 10. A multiple group path analysis revealed a three-way interaction between social fear, inhibitory control, and sex such that for females with low inhibitory control at 4, as social fear decreases, risk for social withdrawal at 10 increases. Implications for future research examining temperament, social withdrawal, peer victimization, and adolescent internalizing symptoms are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Internalizing symptoms, Peer victimization, Social withdrawal, Temperament
Inhibition in children
Social phobia in children
Temperament in children
Adolescent psychopathology

Email this document to