Overly shy preschool children show the slowest gains in learning skills as compared to chatty and boisterous peers, according to psychologists.
"Everybody wants his/her child to be ready for kindergarten, to know the ABCs and to be able to count, but we often don't understand that having social-emotional readiness is equally important," says Rebecca J Bulotsky-Shearer, an assistant psychology professor and the principal study investigator.
The findings show that behavioural problems in the classroom arise when there is a gap between the child's developmental skills and the expectations of the school environment.
"Preschool children who are very introverted tend to 'disappear within the classroom'," says Elizabeth R Bell, study co-author.
"It appears that while these children are not causing problems in school, they are also not engaging in classroom activities and interactions, where almost all learning occurs."
The results also raise the possibility that children who are loud and disruptive may be likely to get the teacher's attention and benefit from educational strategies.