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Flashcards in Temperament Deck (17):


An individual's basic behavioral style; believed to have strong genetic component & be primary contributor to personality


Thomas & Chess's Basic Temperament qualities

activity level; approach/withdrawal; adaptability


What do Thomas & Chess propose as an important factor in healthy psychological development?

The match between a child's temperament & parents' behavior toward the child


How has the genetic nature of temperament been studied?

Twin studies that show that identical twins are more similar in terms of temperament then fraternal twins


What kind of studies provide evidence for the continuity of between temperament & personality?

Studies that report strong relationship between early childhood temperament & personality characteristics assessed in later childhood, adolescence, & adulthood; Kagan's study


Describe Kagan's study of the continuity between temperament & personality

2 groups children into early adolescence & found 1/3 of shy, fearful, inhibited 2 year-olds continued to be sullen & inhibited at age 13; while 1/2 of outgoing, uninhibited, sociable 2 year-olds were enthusiastic & highly extroverted 13 year olds


How does temperament fluctuate during the 1st year of life?

Remains relatively stable; however, temperament is more stable over lifespan when measured after children have reached 2 y.o.


Is temperament prior to age 1 a good predictor of temperament in childhood, adolescence, & adulthood?



What are the 9 dimensions of temperament that Thomas & Chess distinguish between?

(1) activity level
(2) rhythmicity
(3) approach/withdrawal
(4) adaptability
(5) threshold of responsiveness
(6) intensity of reaction
(7) quality of mood
(8) distractibility
(9) attention span/persistence


Based on Thomas & Chess's research, what three groups based on temperament can children be categorized into?

(1) Easy children
(2) Slow-to-warm-up children
(3) Difficult children


Description of Easy Children

Usually cheerful, have reactions to new stimuli that are low to moderate in intensity, adapt easily to changes, and have regular feeding & sleeping schedules


Description of Slow-To-Warm-Up-Children

Often sad or tense, have low-intensity reactions to new stimuli, take time to adapt & change, & initially withdrawal from new experiences; have variable feeding & sleeping schedules


Description of Difficult Children

Respond to new experiences with irritability, difficult to soothe, very active, have irregular feeding & sleeping schedules


What does Thomas & Chess's model of development assume?

Healthy psychological development requires goodness of fit between child's temperament & environmental factors (especially behaviors of child's parents)


According to Thomas & Chess's model, what is maladjustment caused by?

Poorness of fit between child & environment


To what kinds of programs have Thomas & Chess applied their model?

To the design of prevention & intervention programs for children


On what do prevention & intervention programs based on Thomas & Chess's model focus?

Focus on modifying behaviors & overt attitudes of parents to better fit child's temperament