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Psychol Bull. 2006 Jan;132(1):33-72.

Gender differences in temperament: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin--Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The authors used meta-analytical techniques to estimate the magnitude of gender differences in mean level and variability of 35 dimensions and 3 factors of temperament in children ages 3 months to 13 years. Effortful control showed a large difference favoring girls and the dimensions within that factor (e.g., inhibitory control: d = -.41, perceptual sensitivity: d = -0.38) showed moderate gender differences favoring girls, consistent with boys' greater incidence of externalizing disorders. Surgency showed a difference favoring boys, as did some of the dimensions within that factor (e.g., activity: d = 0.33, high-intensity pleasure: d = 0.30), consistent with boys' greater involvement in active rough-and-tumble play. Negative affectivity showed negligible gender differences.

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