Shyness, Self-regulation, and Cognitive Problem Solving in Typically Developing 4-year-olds: A Pilot Study
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Because shy children are at risk for poor academic achievement, it is important to examine factors that contribute to variability in the relation between individual differences in shyness and cognitive functioning before school entry. The authors examined whether on-task facilitative private speech-a proxy of self-regulation-moderated the association between individual differences in shyness and performance on an executive function (EF) task in 52 typically developing 4-year-olds. They found that private speech interacted with shyness to predict performance on the EF task in girls but not in boys. More specifically, shyness was inversely related to EF task performance when girls used low amounts of regulatory private speech, but was positively related to performance when girls used high amounts of regulatory private speech. These preliminary findings are discussed in the context of implications for shy children in educational settings.
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