OBJECTIVE: "Behavioral inhibition to the unfamiliar" has been proposed as a precursor to anxiety. A recent study proposed that it may also be a precursor to alcoholism. The authors sought to replicate the latter finding through a secondary analysis of data from a large study of young children (age 2–6 years)—offspring of parents with panic and depressive disorders—who had been assessed for behavioral inhibition through laboratory-based observations. METHOD: The offspring were stratified on the basis of presence or absence of parental lifetime history of DSM-III-R alcohol dependence (N=115 versus N=166, respectively) or drug dependence (N=78 versus N=203). The rates of behavioral inhibition were then compared between groups. RESULTS: Despite adequate power to detect associations, neither parental alcohol dependence nor drug dependence was associated with a higher risk for behavioral inhibition in the offspring. CONCLUSIONS: These results are not consistent with the hypothesis linking behavioral inhibition to addictions.