In the current brief report, we examined threat perception in a group of young children who may be at-risk for anxiety due to extreme temperamental shyness. Results demonstrate specific differences in the processing of social threats: 4- to 7-year-olds in the high-shy group demonstrated a greater bias for social threats (angry faces) than did a comparison group of low-shy children. This pattern did not hold for non-social threats like snakes: Both groups showed an equal bias for the detection of snakes over frogs. The results suggest that children who are tempermentally shy have a heightened sensitivity to social signs of threat early in development. These findings have implications for understanding mechanisms of early threat sensitivity that may predict later socioemotional maladjustment.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Mar 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience