Can Parents and Teachers Provide a Reliable and Valid Report of Behavioral Inhibition?



Reliability and validity of parent and teacher report of behavioral inhibition (BI) was examined among children aged 3 to 5 years. Confirmatory factor analysis supported 6 correlated factors reflecting specific BI contexts, each loading on a single, higher order factor of BI. Internal consistency was acceptable, with moderate stability over 1 year and strong correlation with a brief inhibition subscale from a temperament questionnaire. Children who were rated by mothers and teachers as high BI took longer to initiate contact with a stranger, spoke less often and for shorter periods, and required more prompting to elicit speech compared with low-BI peers in a simulated stranger interaction task. Father report of BI was significantly associated with mean duration of speech and eye gaze.