Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 313–329 | Cite as

Temperament, Personality and Developmental Psychopathology: A Review Based on the Conceptual Dimensions Underlying Childhood Traits

  • Sarah S. W. De PauwEmail author
  • Ivan Mervielde
Review Paper


The numerous temperament and personality constructs in childhood impede the systematic integration of findings on how these individual differences relate to developmental psychopathology. This paper reviews the main temperament and personality theories and proposes a theoretical taxonomy representing the common structure of both temperament and personality traditions within one conceptual framework. This integrated lexicon of childhood temperament/personality traits facilitates an overview of the most important research findings on the role of temperament and personality in the development of anxiety, depression, ADHD, proactive and reactive antisocial behavior. Several directions for future research are discussed to further validate and refine these reviewed relationships.


Temperament Personality Trait structure Psychopathology Problem behavior 



This research was supported by a PhD research grant from the National Fund of Scientific Research-Flanders awarded to the first author (Grant nr: under supervision of the second author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Developmental, Personality, and Social PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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