Behavioral inhibition is one of the most stable characteristics reported in childhood. Early behavioral inhibition, along with anxiety and social wariness (BI-ANX), is often reinforced and exacerbated by children?s reciprocal interactions with parents across development. Importantly, stable BI/ANX places young children at subsequent risk for diagnosable anxiety disorders (namely, social phobia) during adolescence and adulthood. The proposed project aims to develop and evaluate a novel early intervention program that is grounded in developmental psychopathology research insofar as it targets the specific risk factors implicated in the development and persistence of shyness, social reticence, and withdrawal in children to facilitate adaptive developmental outcomes (i.e., the absence of social phobia). This proposal meets the objectives of Stage I of the NIMH R34 ?From Intervention Development to Services: Exploratory Research Grants? (PAR-06-248). The primary aim of Phase I is to develop a developmentally-grounded, multi-component early intervention program for BI/ANX preschoolers and their parents.
The aims of Phase II are to refine and evaluate our early intervention program compared to a waitlist control condition on outcomes including child behavioral inhibition and parenting, using a multi-method assessment consisting of parent and teacher reports and observational data.

Public Health Relevance

Behavioral inhibition (BI), along with its associated characteristics of social reticence and withdrawal, is one of the most stable individual characteristics reported in childhood. Socially inhibited, wary and withdrawn preschool children are at risk for subsequent diagnosable anxiety and depressive disorders during adolescence and adulthood. Given the serious developmental outcomes associated with adolescent anxiety, very early identification and prevention of early social inhibition represents a major public health agenda.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Planning Grant (R34)
Project #
1R34MH083832-01A2
Application #
7788469
Study Section
Interventions Committee for Disorders Involving Children and Their Families (ITVC)
Program Officer
Sherrill, Joel
Project Start
2009-12-01
Project End
2012-11-30
Budget Start
2010-02-01
Budget End
2010-11-30
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$225,000
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Maryland College Park
Department
Social Sciences
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
790934285
City
College Park
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
20742
Chronis-Tuscano, Andrea; Rubin, Kenneth H; O'Brien, Kelly A et al. (2015) Preliminary evaluation of a multimodal early intervention program for behaviorally inhibited preschoolers. J Consult Clin Psychol 83:534-40