Differences between children’s self-ratings of shyness and ratings made by their teachers and primary caregivers were investigated in a sample of 90 self-reported shy schoolchildren between 10 and 12 years of age. Analyses revealed that correlations between children’s own shyness ratings and those made by parents or teachers were low to moderate, suggesting a difficulty in the ability of others to accurately report on the degree of children’s shyness. Furthermore, approximately one-third of self-reported shy children were labeled by parents and teachers as nonshy. These children, whose shyness went undetected, were found to have lower self-esteem and lower perceptions of academic competence. Thus it may be that parents and teachers have difficulty identifying a significant minority of children who self-identify as shy. In turn, this lack of recognition by adult caregivers may put such children at risk for deleterious outcomes.
Spooner, Andrea L.; Evans, Mary Ann; and Santos, Renata
"Hidden Shyness in Children:
Discrepancies Between Self-Perceptions
and the Perceptions of Parents
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 51
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol51/iss4/4