-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Shy children do not have
difficulties with language, suggests a new study that challenges
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.
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 Feb. 3 in the journal
"Our findings suggest that inhibited behaviors 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 psychology.
"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
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about
shyness in children.
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