Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2011

Document Type



Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Dr. Soo Rhee


We tested the assumptions of four convincing alternative hypotheses for the negative association between shyness and language skills, examining children assessed longitudinally at ages 14, 20, and 24 months. Results from latent growth curve models suggested that there was a greater association between shyness and expressive language than between shyness and receptive language, suggesting support for the “I know it but won’t say it” model. That is, shy children are capable of attaining language skills, but have significant problems demonstrating language skills when required to do so verbally. We did not find evidence of sex differences in the association between shyness and language skills, although some previous research suggests a greater association in boys than in girls.