Temperament, Stress and Family Factors in Behavioural Adjustment of 3-5-Year-Old Children

Michael Kyrios, Margot Prior

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70 Citations (Scopus)


In a longitudinal study, various aspects of the pre-schooler and his/her environment were assessed to delineate those factors most predictive of behavioural adjustment at 3-4 years of age, and again 12 months later. Factor analysis and a series of backwards stepwise multiple regression analyses facilitated the selection of variables to be included in a causal model that assessed predictors of behavioural adjustment in 3-4 and 4-5-year olds. A "stress resilience" model of temperamental influence on behavioural functioning was used in the construction of the causal model. Path analysis suggested that temperamental characteristics were most strongly causally related to children's overall behavioural adjustment, and could protect children from the effects of maladjustment in the parental subsystem. According to the path model, the direct effect of parental maladjustment on pre-schoolers' behavioural adjustment was outweighed by its indirect effects, particularly at follow-up. The potential contaminating influence of parental maladjustment on their perceptions of children's temperament and behaviour, as well as the content and construct overlap between temperament and behavioural measures, was considered
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-93
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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