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The relationship between retrospective reports of early child temperament and adjustment at ages 10–12


For 131 highly stressed 4th- to 6th-grade urban children, retrospective parental reports of child temperament along an easy-difficult dimension, for the infancy (ages 0–2) and preschool (ages 2–5) periods, were obtained during in-depth interviews. Parent judgments of an easier temperament in each of the two age periods, and their sum, related consistently and significantly to positive ratings of current child adjustment. The latter reflected both multiple sources (i.e., parents, former teachers, and current teachers) and different aspects of adjustment (e.g., fewer problem behaviors and more competencies).

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Author information

Correspondence to Emory I. Cowen.

Additional information

This project was done with support from the William T. Grant Foundation, for which the authors express sincere gratitude. Thanks also to Dwayne D. Jarrell and Bohdan S. Lotyczewski who assisted in the data analyses.

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Cowen, E.I., Wyman, P.A. & Work, W.C. The relationship between retrospective reports of early child temperament and adjustment at ages 10–12. J Abnorm Child Psychol 20, 39–50 (1992).

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  • Problem Behavior
  • Early Child
  • Multiple Source
  • Parental Report
  • Retrospective Report