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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1990 Jun;29(6):311-5.

Temper tantrums. Prevalence and etiology in a non-referral outpatient setting.

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Department of Psychiatry, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India.


Of a total of 800 children (aged 3-12 years) attending a pediatric outpatient department, 182 (22.8%) were found to be having temper tantrums (mean age, 4.7 years). Temper tantrums were found to be most common at 3-5 years (75.3%), less common at 6-8 years (20.8%), and least common at 9-12 years (3.9%). Children aged 3-5 years were more likely to be of a lower social class (p less than 0.01), whereas in other age groups (6-8 years and 9-12 years) children were more likely to be of an upper social class. Boys dominated the study significantly: the ratio of boys to girls was 3.1:1. Boys having temper tantrums were more likely to be of an upper social class (p less than 0.001) compared with girls, who tended to be of a lower social class (p less than .01). Children showed a higher incidence of history of postnatal trauma and seizure disorder compared with the control group (p less than 0.05). Parental overprotection and marital discord were found to be stress factors in a significantly higher number of boys than girls (p less than 0.01); parental negligence was a significant stress factor for girls (p less than 0.01). Associated behavioral problems, such as thumb sucking, enuresis, tics, head banging, sleep disturbances, and hyperkinesis were found to be significantly higher among children with tantrums.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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