Abstract and Keywords
Although developmental scientists have acknowledged the importance of early-appearing, relatively stable, biologically rooted individual differences in the behavior of infants and children for nearly 100 years, advances continue to be made in the measurement of temperament. A fundamental challenge in this endeavor concerns the difficulty of assessing the same underlying constructs in persons of different ages because the behaviors that indicate a given trait may change over the life span. Questionnaires and interviews, particularly with parents, are frequently used and can efficiently provide deep and broad information on child behavior, but concerns have been raised regarding bias in reporting. Structured observations allow observation of specific behaviors of individuals in standardized situations, but are often brief and artificial. This chapter describes and critiques the various methodologies used to assess multiple aspects of reactivity and regulation in infants and children and recommends new directions for temperament measurement.
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