In a previous study, Muris, Merckelbach, Wessel, and Van de Ven [Psychopathological correlates of self-reported behavioural inhibition in normal children. Behav. Res. Ther. 37 (1999) 575-584] found that children who defined themselves as high on behavioural inhibition displayed elevated levels of psychopathological symptoms compared to children who defined themselves as low or middle on behavioural inhibition. The present study further examined the relationship between self-reported behavioural inhibition and anxiety disorders and depression symptoms in a large sample of adolescents aged 12-18 years (N=968). Adolescents completed a measure of behavioural inhibition and questionnaires of anxiety and depression. Results indicated that adolescents who classified themselves as high on behavioural inhibition had higher scores of anxiety and depression than adolescents who classified themselves as low or middle on behavioural inhibition. Structural equations modelling was employed to test hypothetical models on the role of behavioural inhibition in childhood anxiety and depression. It was found that a pathway in which behavioural inhibition results in anxiety, which in turn leads to depression, provided the best fit for the data.