Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Little is known about the slow-to-warm-up infant temperament. The present study evaluated the usefulness of this temperament as conceptualized by Thomas and Chess in predicting child and maternal parenting behaviors, with a particular focus on its conceptual link to child inhibition. Participants were 1,072 mothers and their children in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. Slow-to-warm-up temperament in infancy did predict later inhibition, p = .000, but not as well as the difficult temperament or the individual temperament subscales of mood and approach. Including maternal sensitivity and stimulation and support increased the prediction of inhibition from the slow-to-warm-up temperament but only slightly, and only when very high or low levels of these parenting behaviors were considered. Findings suggest that the slow-to-warm-up temperament may need to be redefined in order to identify children with a qualitatively different developmental trajectory from children with the difficult temperament. Future research considering the broader social context is needed to better understand the development of infants with slow-to-warm-up temperament.
Stoltzfus, Jessica B., "Slow-to-warm-up temperament in infancy as a predictor of concurrent and later child and maternal behaviors" (2008). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4424.