Links between Temperament and Behavior Problems in Early Adolescence

Stephanie Schmitz and Kimberly J. Saudino

in Nature, Nurture, and the Transition to Early Adolescence

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195157475
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848065 | DOI:
Links between Temperament                         and Behavior Problems in Early Adolescence

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There is growing interest in clinical and developmental psychology in the antecedents of problem behavior in children. One of the possible antecedents of problem behavior is temperament, in particular “difficult temperament.” Problem behavior in early and middle childhood involved both genetics and environmental factors. Rende (1993) tested correlations between different aspects of temperament in infancy and early childhood with problem behavior when the children were seven years old, utilizing data collected in the Colorado Adoption Project. The emotionality aspect of temperament was most consistently related to problem behavior at later ages while there were only sporadic relationships for activity, sociability and persistence. This chapter examines antecedents of problem behavior, as indicated by the Child Behavior Checklist and the Teacher Report Form, with ratings from the temperament domain. Twin, adoption, and genetically non-informative studies show phenotypic associations between temperament rated at prior age points and later aspects of problem behavior. Twin studies reported genetic and some shared-environmental correlations as underlying these associations.

Keywords: Colorado Adoption Project; Child Behavior Checklist; Teacher Report Form; temperament; problem behavior; children; genetics; emotionality; sociability; environmental factors

Chapter.  4926 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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