Shy children do not have difficulties with language, suggests a new study
that challenges previous research.
Although shy kids tend to speak less, they understand what's being said as
well as more outgoing
youngsters, the researchers said. They also found that girls have higher
levels of shyness and language
development than boys.
shy kids at an academic disadvantage?
The University of Colorado researchers assessed shyness and the ability to
speak and understand language in more than 800 young children when they were
aged 14 months, 20 months and 24 months. Although shy children were less likely
to speak to others, they showed no signs of language problems, according to the
study, which was published in the journal Child Development.
"Our findings suggest that inhibited behaviours like shyness don't
hamper language acquisition overall but instead relate specifically to how
toddlers express themselves through words," said researchers Ashley Smith
Watts, a graduate assistant, and Soo Rhee, an associate professor of
"Shy children may need help with developing their speaking
abilities," they said in a journal news release.
These children might benefit from efforts to boost their confidence, social skills
and independence, the researchers said. For example, parents can encourage shy
children to be self-sufficient and arrange play dates with compatible
rooted in brain process