Anger and Positive Reactivity in Infancy: Effects on Maternal Report of Surgency and Attention Focusing in Early Childhood

Authors


should be sent to Jie He, Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Zhejiang University, 34 Tianmushan Road, Hangzhou ZJ 310028, China. E-mail: jiehe@zju.edu.cn

Abstract

We examined two aspects of temperamental approach in early infancy, positive reactivity and anger, and their unique and combined influences on maternal reports of child surgency and attention focusing at 4 years of age. One hundred and fourteen infants were observed for their positive reactions to novel stimuli at 4 months, and their anger expressions during arm restraint at 9 months. Child surgency and attention focusing at age 4 years were assessed by maternal report. Infants who expressed more anger to restraint were rated higher in surgency during early childhood relative to infants who expressed less anger. The effects of positive reactivity to novelty on attention focusing were moderated by anger to restraint. These findings suggest that infant temperamental approach tendencies are multifaceted and have both unique and combined influences on later maternal report of attention and social behavior.

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