Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Sex Roles 70:7 (April 2014), pp 267–273.


Copyright © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Used by permission.


In our commentary on “Bashful boys and coy girls: A review of gender differences in childhood shyness” by Doey et al. (2013) we provide an analysis of limitations to the study of shyness in children as well as future avenues of research that may be fruitful for better understanding implications of shyness in school. Our focus is primarily on shyness in the classroom context, but we first discuss persistent difficulties in the measurement of shyness in childhood. Like Doey et al., our commentary reflects research in samples from the United States and Canada, unless otherwise noted. We then delve into potential school-related moderators of relations between shyness and children’s academic and social success, such as language skills and self-regulation, which are also associated with gender. To extend work summarized in Doey et al. (2013) regarding gender differences in teachers’ perceptions of shy students, we report on a new analysis of a longitudinal data set to examine gender as a moderator between children’s shyness in preschool and teacher-child relationships in early elementary grades. We conclude with a brief description of research on classroom support as a buffer for shy boys and girls.