Continuity and Discontinuity of Behavioral Inhibition and Exuberance: Psychophysiological and Behavioral Influences across the First Four Years of Life Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Four‐month‐old infants were screened (N = 433) for temperamental patterns thought to predict behavioral inhibition, including motor reactivity and the expression of negative affect. Those selected (N = 153) were assessed at multiple age points across the first 4 years of life for behavioral signs of inhibition as well as psychophysiological markers of frontal electroencephalogram (EEG) asymmetry. Four‐month temperament was modestly predictive of behavioral inhibition over the first 2 years of life and of behavioral reticence at age 4. Those infants who remained continuously inhibited displayed right frontal EEG asymmetry as early as 9 months of age while those who changed from inhibited to noninhibited did not. Change in behavioral inhibition was related to experience of nonparental care. A second group of infants, selected at 4 months of age for patterns of behavior thought to predict temperamental exuberance, displayed a high degree of continuity over time in these behaviors.


  • Fox, Nathan A
  • Henderson, Heather A
  • Rubin, Kenneth H
  • Calkins, Susan D
  • Schmidt, Louis

publication date

  • January 2001

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