Temperamental Characteristics of Withdrawn Behavior Problems in Children

David H. Rubin*, Eileen T. Crehan, Robert R. Althoff, David C. Rettew, Erica Krist, Valerie Harder, John T. Walkup, James J. Hudziak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Withdrawn/depressed behavior (WD) as defined by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) relates to various outcomes in developmental psychopathology such as depression, pervasive developmental disorders, and suicide. We sought to examine the temperamental characteristics of children who concurrently endorse symptoms of WD. Junior Temperament and Characteristic Inventory (JTCI) and CBCL data were collected from 397 children’s parents in a family study in the northeastern United States. Linear mixed models were used to test the relations between WD and temperament dimensions (Novelty Seeking, Harm Avoidance, Reward Dependence, Persistence) on the JTCI, while controlling for age, sex, item overlap, and co-occurring aggression and attention problems. When controlling for definitional artifact and CBCL aggressive behavior and attention scores, high harm avoidance and low reward dependence were both significant predictors of childhood withdrawn behavior. This study marks the first characterization of a temperamental profile associated with WD in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalChild psychiatry and human development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Child Behavior Checklist
  • Junior Temperament and Character Inventory
  • Temperament
  • Withdrawn behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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