, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 825-836
Date: 15 Jan 2013

Relations between Shyness-Sensitivity and Internalizing Problems in Chinese Children: Moderating Effects of Academic Achievement

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Abstract

Shy-sensitive children are likely to develop adjustment problems in today’s urban China as the country has evolved into an increasingly competitive, market-oriented society. The main purpose of this one-year longitudinal study was to examine the moderating effects of academic achievement on relations between shyness-sensitivity and later internalizing problems in Chinese children. A sample of 1171 school-age children (591 boys, 580 girls) in China, initially at the age of 9 years, participated in the study. Data on shyness, academic achievement, and internalizing problems were collected from multiple sources including peer evaluations, teacher ratings, self-reports, and school records. It was found that shyness positively and uniquely predicted later loneliness, depression, and teacher-rated internalizing problems, with the stability effect controlled, for low-achieving children, but not for high-achieving children. The results indicate that, consistent with the stress buffering model, academic achievement may be a buffering factor that serves to protect shy-sensitive children from developing psychological problems.