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Multimethod Longitudinal Assessment of Temperament in Early Childhood


  • We are grateful to the children and parents for their participation, to the many students who collected and/or coded the data, to Daniëlle Heesbeen and Eddy de Bruyn for their contribution to the study, and to Conor Dolan and Godfried van den Wittenboer for statistical advice.

may be sent to Mirjana Majdandžić, Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands; E-mail:


ABSTRACT The present study examined consistency of temperament across situations and time in early childhood. On two occasions, 7 months apart, we observed the responses of 94 four-year-olds to multiple standard laboratory procedures eliciting exuberance, fear, anger, sadness, or interest. In addition, fathers' and mothers' reports on children's temperament were obtained. Observed temperament showed substantial context specificity, varying across situations within dimensions. Structural equation models revealed separate observation and parental perception factors and factorial invariance and high stability for most dimensions. Stability coefficients based on correlations varied according to level of aggregation. Measurement convergence was generally moderate and was lowest for negative emotionality. Implications for the assessment of temperament are discussed in relation to differences in consistency across dimensions and convergence between measures.