Fear, wariness, and behavioral inhibition

Elizabeth J. Kiel, Kristin A. Buss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Fear and wariness are normative aspects of development. Fearful and wary responses to novelty that are frequent and pervasive may represent the temperamental construct of behavioral inhibition. Behavioral inhibition, apparent in early childhood, is characterized by avoidance and hesitance in the presence of uncertainty. Behaviorally inhibited children may show psychophysiological characteristics indicative of a reactive amygdala. Although many behaviorally inhibited children grow up to show adaptive outcomes, some may show continued social withdrawal and anxiety. Developmental trajectories depend on several levels of influence that can be conceptualized within a biobehavioral framework. A number of early intervention programs focus on behavioral inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Curated Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology
PublisherElsevier Science Ltd.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128093245
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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