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Res Dev Disabil. 2014 Feb;35(2):563-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.11.024. Epub 2013 Dec 29.

Temperament factor structure in fragile X syndrome: the children's behavior questionnaire.

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University of South Carolina, Department of Psychology, Columbia, SC, United States. Electronic address:
University of South Carolina, Department of Psychology, Columbia, SC, United States.
University of Houston, Department of Educational Psychology, Houston, TX, United States.
Vanderbilt University, Department of Special Education, Nashville, TN, United States.


Early patterns of temperament lay the foundation for a variety of developmental constructs such as self-regulation, psychopathology, and resilience. Children with fragile X syndrome (FXS) display unique patterns of temperament compared to age-matched clinical and non-clinical samples, and early patterns of temperament have been associated with later anxiety in this population. Despite these unique patterns in FXS and recent reports of atypical factor structure of temperament questionnaires in Williams Syndrome (Leyfer, John, Woodruff-Borden, & Mervis, 2012), no studies have examined the latent factor structure of temperament scales in FXS to ensure measurement validity in this sample. The present study used confirmatory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of a well-validated parent-reported temperament questionnaire, the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (Rothbart, Ahadi, Hershey, & Fisher, 2001), in a sample of 90 males with FXS ages 3-9 years. Our data produced a similar, but not identical, three-factor model that retained the original CBQ factors of negative affectivity, effortful control, and extraversion/surgency. In particular, our FXS sample demonstrated stronger factor loadings for fear and shyness than previously reported loadings in non-clinical samples, consistent with reports of poor social approach and elevated anxiety in this population. Although the original factor structure of the Children's Behavior Questionnaire is largely retained in children with FXS, differences in factor loading magnitudes may reflect phenotypic characteristics of the syndrome. These findings may inform future developmental and translational research efforts.


Factor analysis; Fragile X syndrome; Temperament

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