Inhibited Temperament

Temperament is comprised of the traits and generally stable characteristics of personality that we are born with. Typically infants fall into categories and many of these temperaments remain generally constant through adulthood. Inhibited temperament (also known as behavioral inhibition or BI) is characterized by fear, distress, or withdrawal from new situations, environments, individuals, or objects. Children with behavioral inhibition tend to stop their activity and withdraw when confronted with an unfamiliar situation or person. They are vigilant of their surroundings when faced with the unfamiliar and don't approach new objects or individuals on their own. This temperament style seems to be stable and has been linked to future development of anxiety disorders, particularly social anxiety disorders. Research has shown that increasing levels of confidence and independence in children can reduce the severity of the behavioral inhibition.

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