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Child Dev. 1987 Apr;58(2):505-29.

Roundtable: what is temperament? Four approaches.


4 current approaches to understanding temperament are discussed in the roundtable. In an introductory overview, Goldsmith outlines some of the major convergences and divergences in the understanding of this concept. Theorists representing 4 positions--Goldsmith, Buss and Plomin, Rothbart, and Thomas and Chess--outline their views by responding to each of 6 questions: How do you define temperament and explain the boundaries of the concept? What are the elements of temperatment? How does the construct of temperament permit you to approach issues or organize data in ways that are possible only if this construct is invoked? How does temperament develop? To what extent do you consider temperament to be a personological versus a relational or an interactional construct? and How does your approach deal with issues of temperamental "difficulty"? In 2 commentaries on the theorists' answers, Hinde highlights differences among their positions and indicates issues that current theories of temperament must take into consideration, and McCall draws on common aspects to propose a synthesizing definition that draws on all 4 approaches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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