Chapter

Introduction to Behavioral Science in Medicine

pp 77-88

Dimensions of Individual Difference in the Neonate

  • Frederick R. HineAffiliated withDuke University Medical Center
  • , George L. MaddoxAffiliated withCenter for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center
  • , Redford B. WilliamsJr.Affiliated withDuke University Medical Center
  • , Robert C. CarsonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Duke University Medical Center
  • , Redford B. WilliamsJr.Affiliated withDuke University Medical CenterDepartment of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical CenterDepartment of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center

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Abstract

There has been an increasing recognition of the capacities and competencies of the newborn infant, and an appreciation of the infant’s active role in eliciting, shaping, and determining aspects of his/her environment. This recognition and appreciation has fostered a change of view about the infant’s development from that of a relatively passive recipient of environmental socialization factors to an active participant in the determination of outcome. As a result, there has been a focus upon some of the characteristics which an infant manifests from the time of birth, in terms of the effect these have on the infant’s interaction with the environment and ultimately on the infant’s growth and affective, cognitive, and personality development. These characteristics are variously referred to as inborn, congenital, or constitutional.