The goal of the present study was to explore the role of expressive vocabulary as a moderator in the relation between shyness and maladjustment in early childhood. Participants were 82 preschool children (39 males, 43 females). Mothers rated children’s shyness at the start of the preschool year. Children were interviewed individually to assess expressive vocabulary and self-perceptions. Near the end of the school year, teachers completed ratings of child adjustment. No significant relation was found between shyness and expressive vocabulary. However, shyness and expressive vocabulary were found to interact in the prediction of indices of maladjustment. Specifically, increased expressive vocabulary appeared to act as a buffer against certain negative outcomes related to shyness. Implications are discussed in terms of the possible effect of social context on shy children’s performance on formal language assessments, as well as the potential role of verbal abilities in the coping skills of shy children.
Coplan, Robert J. and Armer, Mandana
"Talking Yourself Out of Being Shy:
Shyness, Expressive Vocabulary, and
Socioemotional Adjustment in Preschool,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 51:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol51/iss1/3