Magazine article Work & Family Life

Parents Can Help Reduce Impact of Shyness

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Parents Can Help Reduce Impact of Shyness

Article excerpt

New research published in the journal Psychological Science shows that while children may inherit a genetic tendency to be shy, the impact of this tendency in kids' lives can be reduced by supportive home and school environments.

The term "shyness" refers to a set of symptoms (rapid heart rate, nervousness, flushed skin) that produce a "fight or flight" response in the brain when something unexpected occurs.

Exactly what triggers shyness is still a mystery, says researcher Nathan Fox of the University of Maryland. But his study of 153 kids with the gene (5-HTT) associated with timidity found a strong link between the "shyness response" and stressful environmerits. Dr. Fox suggests that by making some adjustments with inhibited children in mind, parents and teachers can help kids with a tendency to shyness develop skills that will lead to social and academic success. …

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