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Keywords:

  • shyness;
  • language;
  • emergent literacy

Abstract

The present study assessed 89 children in a short-term longitudinal study from Junior Kindergarten (age 4–5 years) through Grade 1 (age 6–7 years) using a variety of tests of emergent literacy. Children were assessed for reading skill (a composite of word recognition, decoding, and letter-sound knowledge), phonological awareness, and oral language (i.e. both receptive and expressive vocabulary as well as syntax and fluency). Shyness was treated as a continuous variable rather than contrasting extreme groups of shy and non-shy children. Shyness was modestly related to vocabulary, verbal fluency, and phonological awareness. Results suggest that among young children the association of greater shyness with compromised skill development potentially extends beyond the vocabulary domain to include emergent literacy more broadly. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.