The temperament profiles of school-age children

Sandra Graham McClowry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maternal reports of child temperament were used to develop temperament profiles of school-age children. The subjects were 883 children who were between 4 and 12 years of age. The children's families varied substantially in their socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. To develop the profiles, the dimensions derived from the School-Age Temperament Inventory were subjected to a second order principal factor analysis with varimax rotation. Pearson chi-squares were used to determine whether sociodemographic variables were proportionally represented among the profiles. Forty-two percent of the children were classified into four temperament profiles. High maintenance and cautious/slow to warm up were deemed as challenging temperaments. Industrious and social/eager to try were mirror images of those profiles and were labeled easy. Some children were both types of challenging or easy profiles. The generalizability of the profiles in relation to the sociodemographic variables of gender, age, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status was also examined. Challenging temperament profiles were disproportionately represented by boys, Hispanic children, and those from lower socioeconomic families. Girls were over represented in the group that included both types of easy temperaments. Social/eager to try children were more often from higher rather than lower socioeconomic status families. Clinical applications and research implications for the profiles are discussed. The profiles can be used as exemplars that parents can use to recognize their child's temperament. Further research is needed to explore whether different developmental outcomes are associated with the profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of pediatric nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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