A cross-cultural study of behavioral inhibition in toddlers: East-West-North-South
Rubin, K. H, Hemphill, S. A, Chen, X., Hastings, P., Sanson, A. V, Coco, A. L, Zappulla, C., Chung, O., Park, S., Doh, H. S, Chen, H. & Sun, L. (2006). A cross-cultural study of behavioral inhibition in toddlers: East-West-North-South. International Journal of Behavioral Development,30(3), 219-226. United Kingdom: Sage Publications Ltd. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025406066723
The prevalence of behavioral inhibition in toddlers was examined in five cultures. Participants in this study included 110 Australian, 108 Canadian, 151 Chinese, 104 Italian, and 113 South Korean toddlers and their mothers who were observed during a structured observational laboratory session. Matched procedures were used in each country, with children encountering an unfamiliar stranger with a truck and a robot. Indicators of inhibition included the length of time toddlers delayed before approaching the stranger and the duration of contact with their mother while the stranger was in the room. Results were generally consistent with expectations and showed differences between eastern and western cultures; Italian and Australian toddlers were less inhibited than toddlers from the other countries, whereas Chinese and South Korean toddlers were more inhibited. The implications of these findings are discussed and a research agenda for further exploration of inhibition is outlined.