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Fear, Social Inhibition, and Social Anxiety in Early Childhood

Course #: 06-857

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Price: $12.00

CE Credit Hours: 3.00 Continuing Education Credit Hours

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Course Description

CE Course Description

Although little is known about how social and nonsocial fear distinctly impact developmental outcomes, prevention of later anxiety problems would best be accomplished by identifying at-risk children early in development. The purpose of this intermediate level continuing education course, developed using information from The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, is to investigate how social and nonsocial fear in toddlerhood and preschool are associated with later socially anxious behaviors.  Two studies are presented as a means to evaluate fear, social inhibition, and social anxiety and to what extent the most inhibited children are aware of their behavior and can report it in a meaningfully way at a young age. The relation of kindergarteners’ self-reported social inhibition to observed social reticence in the context of parent- and teacher-report of social inhibition is also examined.

CE Course Objectives

1. Identify the scope and characteristics of social anxiety, fear, isolation, and withdrawal among children ages 2-5 years old.

2. Describe the developmental trajectory of fear and investigate the extent to which early social and nonsocial fear are associated with later socially anxious behaviors.

3. Define inhibitory control and discuss how it may impact internalizing problems such as anxiety.

4. Evaluate studies that examine trajectories of social and nonsocial fear across the toddler and preschool years, and to what extent the most inhibited children can recognize their behavior and report it in a relevant way.

5. Outline dispositional risks for Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) that may be shown by infants and toddlers and the role that social inhibition plays in such risk.

6. Differentiate between the way in which parents/teachers and children report internalizing problems such as anxiety, social inhibition, and social reticence.

7. Discuss the benefits of interpreting adult and child reports of social inhibition and other anxious behavior in the context of one another, rather than individually.


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