This study examined the relations between behavioral inhibition, Big Five personality traits, and anxiety disorder symptoms in non-clinical children (n = 147) and clinically anxious children (n = 45) aged 6-13 years. Parents completed the Behavioral Inhibition Questionnaire-Short Form, the Big Five Questionnaire for Children, and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders-Revised. Results indicated that, compared to parents of non-clinical children, parents of clinically anxious children rated their offspring higher on neuroticism and behavioral inhibition, but lower on extraversion, conscientiousness, and intellect/openness. Further, extraversion emerged as the strongest correlate of an inhibited temperament, and this appeared true for the clinically anxious as well as the non-clinical children. Finally, in both the clinical and non-clinical samples, higher levels of behavioral inhibition and neuroticism were unique and significant predictors of anxiety disorders symptoms.

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Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Department of Psychology

Vreeke, L., & Muris, P. (2012). Relations between behavioral inhibition, big five personality factors, and anxiety disorder symptoms in non-clinical and clinically anxious children. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 43(6), 884–894. doi:10.1007/s10578-012-0302-5