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Epilepsy Behav. 2007 Mar;10(2):319-27. Epub 2007 Jan 30.

Temperament, family environment, and behavior problems in children with new-onset seizures.

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Department of Neurology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.


Children with epilepsy, even those with new-onset seizures, exhibit relatively high rates of behavior problems. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships among early temperament, family adaptive resources, and behavior problems in children with new-onset seizures. Our major goal was to test whether family adaptive resources moderated the relationship between early temperament dimensions and current behavior problems in 287 children with new-onset seizures. Two of the three temperament dimensions (difficultness and resistance to control) were positively correlated with total, internalizing, and externalizing behavior problems (all P<0.0001). The third temperament dimension, unadaptability, was positively correlated with total and internalizing problems (P<0.01). Family adaptive resources moderated the relationships between temperament and internalizing and externalizing behavior problems at school. Children with a difficult early temperament who live in a family environment with low family mastery are at the greatest risk for behavior problems.

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