Associations between early childhood temperament clusters and later pychosocial adjustment
journal contributionposted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by A Sanson, Primrose LetcherPrimrose Letcher, D Smart, M Prior, John ToumbourouJohn Toumbourou, F Oberklaid
The study adopted a person-centered approach to examine whether clusters of children could be identified on the basis of temperament profiles assessed on four occasions from infancy to early childhood, and if so whether differing temperament clusters were associated with subsequent differences in behavior problems, social skills, and school adjustment in middle and late childhood. Parent, teacher, and self-report data were obtained from a large community-based cohort sample of Australian children, followed prospectively from infancy to late childhood. Four temperament clusters were identified. Children in the clusters labeled as reactive/inhibited and poor attention regulation tended to have higher levels of later behavior problems than children in clusters labeled nonreactive/outgoing and high attention regulation. Results suggested that a person-oriented clustering approach can identify children on the basis of early temperament who are at greater risk for behavioral, academic, and social difficulties four to eight years later.