Tympanic Membrane Temperature and Emotional Dispositions in Preschool-Aged Children: A Methodological Study
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2004
Volume 75, Issue 2, pages 497–504, March 2004
How to Cite
Gunnar, M. R. and Donzella, B. (2004), Tympanic Membrane Temperature and Emotional Dispositions in Preschool-Aged Children: A Methodological Study. Child Development, 75: 497–504. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00690.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2004
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2004
Tympanic membrane (TM) temperature asymmetry has been proposed as a phenotypic marker of vulnerability to negative emotionality in children. Little is known about the stability of TM temperatures or how readily one can obtain a reliable index of the phenotype. TM temperatures were collected from 3- to 5-year-old children (N=73) over 5 months (Mdn=34 samples). Seven to 10 samples needed to be aggregated to achieve reliable measures (αs>.70). Using reliable estimates, TM asymmetry remained stable over time, r(72)=.72, p<.01; 70% of the children had warmer left TMs; and TM asymmetry correlated as predicted with measures of children's emotionality. TM asymmetry may be a phenotypic marker of vulnerability to negative emotionality, but measures obtained on one occasion may not reliably index the phenotype.