Temperamental Components of the Developing Personality

James B. Victor*, Mary K. Rothbart, Spencer R. Baker, Jennifer L. Tackett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Until recent years the field of personality psychology has largely been interested in differences among adults, whereas temperament has most often been studied in infants and young children. In addition, traits underlying individual differences in temperament and personality have been thought to be relatively stable. However, rapid progress in genetics and the view that genes are differentially expressed with development and experience has largely undermined this idea. Instead, temperament and personality, in common with much of psychology, may prove to be based on common neural networks that underlie both human capacities and individual differences in their employment and efficiency. Understanding how infant temperament influences the development of childhood and adult personality is thus of basic importance to the study of individual differences. Moreover, the joint study of temperament and personality provides an important step towards analysis of how genes and experience shape underlying neural networks. In this chapter, we use a model employing both personality and temperament scales to locate temperament components within a broad personality structure, creating a greater possibility of empirically informed longitudinal studies of personality development. Conducting a series of studies to include factor structure replication, internal consistencies, mother/father correlations, test-retest correlations, and stability of parent rating scales over two years are reported. In the emerging model, Conscientiousness is linked to developing temperamental inhibitory and attentional control, and Openness to temperamental perceptual sensitivity. Finally, Internalizing Negative Affectivity, linked to temperamental fear, is distinguished from Externalizing Negative Affectivity/Stimulation-Seeking, linked to temperamental anger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Personality Assessment
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781119173489
ISBN (Print)9781119173441
StatePublished - Apr 29 2016


  • Agreeableness
  • Children's Behavior Questionnaire
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Soothability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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