Friday, December 11, 2015

Child temperament study by Chess and Thomas

Temperament refers to individual differences in emotional, motor and intentional reactivity, as well as differences in self regulation.

Current theorizing about infant and child temperament and its role in emotional functioning and behavioral adjustment has its roots in the work of Thomas and Chess (Thomas, Birch, Chess, Hertzig, & Korn 1964; Thomas & Chess 1977; Thomas, Chess & Birch 1970).

Thomas and Chess began their research on temperament in the 1950s in response to the then prevailing social atmosphere that highlighted parents as major contributors to childhood behavioral problems.

They conducted a longitudinal study of children’s behavioral styles, later termed temperament, in an effort to understand how children’s personality emerged and integrated with their environment. Their longitudinal study has now spanned several decades and has provided a wealth of information regarding the nature of child temperament and the relations between temperament and adjustment over time.

Chess and Thomas defined temperament as the behavioral style of a person, distinguishing this aspect from the person’s abilities and motivations.

They clarified this idea by explaining that an individual responds to an internal or external stimulus through the meditating effects of temperament, along with other factors such as past events cognitive level, subjective feelings and ideals.
Child temperament study by Chess and Thomas

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