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Atkinson Centre

Events > 2010 Events > Colloquium: Temperament, Shyness, and Anxiety Disorders

Colloquium: Temperament, Shyness, and Anxiety Disorders: Looking for Links in Childhood

November 10, 2010

A small percentage (10 to 15%) of typically developing children exhibit stable fear responses and wariness to unfamiliar and familiar stimuli from infancy through childhood. These children are cautious and reticent in social interactions and have been characterized as temperamentally shy and socially withdrawn. In a series of studies over the last 15 years, we have shown that temperamentally shy children display a number of distinct psychophysiological responses at rest and in response to social challenges. These patterns are evidenced across a range of biological measures and contexts, making some of these children vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

On November 10, 2010, The Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology and the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development hosted a colloquium featuring Louis Schmidt, PhD, Director, Child Emotion Laboratory, Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University. Dr. Schmidt focussed on the origins, development course and outcomes of this temperamental style. He discussed how work on the phenomenon of temperamental shyness informs basic theory regarding brain‐behaviour relations and practice regarding the management of fearful children within the family and educational settings.

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