Invited Symposium: Development of Social Phobia
There is growing evidence suggesting that not all shy children are alike. There appear to be qualitative differences among different types of shy children. Some children who are shy exhibit, what we and others have have coined, an 'approach-avoidance conflict' in response to social situations. Such children attempt to join the peer group but for some reason are not successful in doing so. This is contrasted with a second group of children who are shy. These children actively avoid peers interactions in social situations. We have found that, in addition to the behavioral differences between these two types of shy children, each group is distinguishable based upon the pattern of resting frontal EEG activity: both types of shy children exhibit greater relative right frontal EEG activity. They differ, however, on the pattern of activity in the left frontal EEG lead. The 'conflicted' group exhibit more activity in the left frontal EEG lead compared with the 'avoidant' group. We and others believe that the pattern of resting EEG activity indexed off the anterior portion of the scalp may reflect individual differences in personality and affective style. These findings suggest that the origins of different types of childhood shyness may be linked to individual differences in the sensitivity of forebrain areas (i.e., amygdala) involved in the regulation and experience of negative emotion.
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|Schmidt, LA.; (1998). Socially Anxious "Jack", Socially Avoidant "Jill": Conceptual, Biological, and Behavioral Distinctions among Different Categories of Shy Children. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/ameringen/schmidt0319/index.html|
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