The present study examined the internal consistency, factorial structure, and construct validity of the German version of the Retrospective Self Report of Inhibition (RSRI), a questionnaire measure of behavioral inhibition. The research was based on data from a German prospective-longitudinal community study of 3021 adolescents and young adults (aged 14–24 years at baseline). Diagnostic assessment was based on the DSM-IV/M-CIDI and general psychopathological distress was assessed with SCL-90-R. Results of confirmatory factor analysis indicated adequate fit of the two-factor model, suggested by the authors of the original version. Indices of internal consistency of the RSRI and its subscales ‘social/school’ and ‘fear/illness’ were shown to be sufficient for the total sample and even higher in subgroups of subjects with certain DSM-IV diagnoses. Associations with variables such as mental distress, parental psychopathology, and DSM-IV disorders were in line with theoretical assumptions and confirm different aspects of the validity (convergent, concurrent, predictive) of the instrument. The psychometric properties of the German RSRI were found to be comparable to those of the English version. The applicability of this questionnaire in German-speaking countries is therefore recommended for adolescents and young adults.