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Compr Psychiatry. 2006 Sep-Oct;47(5):412-20. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

Interactions between child and parent temperament and child behavior problems.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, 05405, USA. david.rettew@uvm.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Few studies of temperament have tested goodness-of-fit theories of child behavior problems. In this study, we test the hypothesis that interactions between child and parent temperament dimensions predict levels of child psychopathology after controlling for the effects of these dimensions individually.

METHODS:

Temperament and psychopathology were assessed in a total of 175 children (97 boys, 78 girls; mean age, 10.99 years; SD, 3.66 years) using composite scores from multiple informants of the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory and the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment. Parent temperament was assessed using the adult version of the Temperament and Character Inventory. Statistical analyses included multiple regression procedures to assess the contribution of child-parent temperament interactions after controlling for demographic variables, other types of child psychopathology, and the individual Temperament and Character Inventory and Junior Temperament and Character Inventory dimensions.

RESULTS:

Interactions between child and parent temperament dimensions predicted higher levels of externalizing, internalizing, and attention problems over and above the effects of these dimensions alone. Among others, the combination of high child novelty seeking with high maternal novelty was associated with child attention problems, whereas the combination of high child harm avoidance and high father harm avoidance was associated with increased child internalizing problems. Many child temperament dimensions also exerted significant effects independently.

CONCLUSIONS:

The association between a child temperament trait and psychopathology can be dependent upon the temperament of parents. These data lend support to previous theories of the importance of goodness-of-fit.

PMID:
16905406
PMCID:
PMC3319037
DOI:
10.1016/j.comppsych.2005.12.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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