ED209 - Child Development

  • Created by: Nadine
  • Created on: 23-09-11 08:25

Type & Trait

General Patterns & Individual Differences

Stable Personality - All have good support, limited set of stable traits.

Types -

  • HIPPOCRATES - 4 humours (body fluids)
  • MYERS-BRIGGS Type Inventory - thinkers, feelers, sensers, intuiters.

Traits -

  • EYSENCK (Nativist) - 2 + secondary traits, Biological, Measured by EPI
  • BIG 5 - 5 traits
  • CATTELL - 16 Factors

Adult Personality = Stable, gentic, it's a disposition, constant, not cognitive

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Individual Differences

3 Questions - What are the characteristics, how many & what influences.

Temperament - Quantitative research - Dimensions, causes and variation.

3 Differences:

  • Emotional Response (Mood)
  • Attentional Orientation Patterns (Speed)
  • Motor Activity (frequency)

Stability - Regularity of characteristic (New behaviours emege by 5 years)

Continuity - Similarity of behaviour range.

Behavioural Inhibition - Develops by end of 1st year

Effortful Control - Develops late infancy and beyond.

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Problems with Defining Temperament

Extent to which it's heritable - BUSS & PLOMIN

High correlation for EAS in MZ twins and practically none in DZ twins.

AUBERBACH et al - 7r variant of gene, dopamine receptors, pathways

SCHMIDT et al - Link problems, attention, risk taking & aggression.

Temperament has direct influence on child development and indirect.  Indirect could be parents reaction to child's temperament.

Colorado Adoption Project - High Correlation for E & S from 1-4yo but less so for A. - Data from parents so could be biased.

CASPI et al - Adults in Big 5 questionairre - clear relationship to childhood. Variation seen though.

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Problems with Defining Temperament 2

HINDE & TOBIN - coherence of temperament (behaviours in different contexts) - Gender differences found (shy girls, good mother relationship)

Temperament emerge in early life unlike like strong genetic characteristics.

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Measuring Temperament

Parental Observations - Extensive across time but biased

Interviews - Direct and Accourate but still with reliability and validity issues.

HAGEKULL et al - Found parent reports have good validity.

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Four Temperament Theories - 9 Dimentional Framewor

1) THOMAS & CHESS - 9 Dimentional Framework

  • May not be independent, validity questions, difficult to replicate.
  • Difficult child - high scores on intensity of reaction, low on adapability.

BATES & BALES - Link of temperament reported by mother at 2 years and behaviour problems from 3-6 years.

VAUGHAN et al - Mothers decide on childs temperament before birth and this affects her attitue to child from birth onwards. Bias. Parents can shape temperament.

PAULI-POTT et al - Parental perception of infant emotion at 4 months predicts predicted measures at 8 months

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Four Temperament Theories - EAS Framework

2) BUSS & PLOMIN - EAS Framework

                  EMTIONALITY            ACTIVITY          SOCIABILITY

                               (Possiblly Impulsivity & Shyness too)

  • Links with adult personlaities, EYSENCKS Traits linked, Genetic Influences, rests on statistical analysis.
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Four Temperament Theories - Inhibition to the Unfa

3) KAGAN - Inhibition to the unfamiliar

  • Categorical approach NOT dimensional like others
  • Emphasise Qualitative differences between types.
  • Distiction on basis of behavioural inhibition
  • How child is when meeting new people
  • Physiological differences - linked to limbic system.
  • Measured in reactivity
  • Says that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE with effort.
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Four Temperament Theories - Embedding temperment i

4) DUNN & KENDRICK - Embedding temperament in social relationships

  • Influence of social context on behaviour.
  • Arrival of new sibling not only related to temperament but also QUALITY of interaction between mother and child.
  • Stability of temperament reflects stability of relationship NOT Genetic Influences
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Influence of Temperament on Development


  • EFFECT OF TEMPERAMENT ON DEVELOPMENT - TIZARD & HUGHES -Can affect learning, impulsivity & poor attention, problems at home and school. KEOGH - Task orientation in older child has implications for learning.
  • EFFECT OF CHILD TEMPERAMENT ON PARENTS - SAMEROFF's TRANSACTIONAL MODEL - child directly influence own development, not actively selecting activities but influence carer behaviour.


  • VIA SUSCEPTIBILITY TO ADVERSITY - Temperament may be linked to vunerability to stress.  DUNN & KENDRICK - Child with new sibling showing disturbed behaviour scored higher on Intensity and Negative Mood.
  • EFFECT ON THE RANGE OF EXPERIENCE - Mobile child can select to avoid particular experiences which can exaggerate existing characteristics.
  • VIA 'GOODNESS OF FIT' - Impact of temperament can be related to features of environment such as the behaviour to child by others.
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Influence of Temperament on Development 2

SCARR & MCCARTNEY - 3 ways temperament impact environment of child.

  • PASSIVE - Child & carer have similar temperament
  • EVOCATIVE - child evokes response from carer
  • ACTIVE - child selects best environment, more prominent with age.

No link between temperament or caregiver personality diffences linked to secure/insecure attachment.

BELSKY & ISABELLA - combination between carer and child did predict security of attachment which supports transactional model

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Other Themes


  • Difficulties with measuring temperament, strengths and weaknesses of parental observation and interviews


  • Temperament is Innate by definition.  Although reserach suggests that change may be possible.  Environmental factors need to be taken in to account, not just genetic ones


  • Although temperament is innacte, transactional models suggest whole range of factors highlighting that nature/nurture is oversimplistic and not an appropriate question
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