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Developmental antecedents of social anhedonia: The roles of early temperament and sex

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 May 2020

Emma E. Mumper*
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA
Megan C. Finsaas
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA
Brandon L. Goldstein
Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA
Diane C. Gooding
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
Daniel N. Klein
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA
Author for Correspondence: Emma E. Mumper, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY11794; E-mail:


Social anhedonia is well established as a transdiagnostic factor, but little is known about its development. This study examined whether temperament and parenting in early childhood predict social anhedonia in early adolescence. We also explored whether the relationships between early predictors and social anhedonia are moderated by a child's sex. A community sample of children participated in laboratory observations of temperament and parenting practices at age 3 (n = 275). The participants returned at age 12 and completed the Anticipatory and Consummatory Interpersonal Pleasure Scale–Child Version (ACIPS-C). Our results indicated that, at age 3, lower observed sociability predicted higher levels of social anhedonia at age 12. These associations were moderated by child sex, such that males with diminished sociability reported greater social anhedonia. These findings indicate that predictors of early adolescent social anhedonia are evident as early as 3 years of age. However, these effects were evident only for males, suggesting that the pathways to social anhedonia in early adolescence differ as a function of sex.

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