The following posting will define temperament and its relation to nature and nurture. The following posting will also discuss the relationship between child temperament and parent disciplinary style as it relates to goodness of fit. In conclusion, the following posting will share real-life observations of my sister’s temperament that are supported by recent research.
A child’s temperament is used to describe a child’s ability to emotionally self-regulate, level of resiliency, emotional reactivity, and emotional style such as; easy-going, cheerful, energetic, prone to anger outburst, withdrawn, etc. The term temperament alone indicates a genetic basis as evidenced by the common synonym of temperament being, nature. According to the text, Infants, Children, and Adolescents 2016, the “psychological traits that make up temperament are believed to form the cornerstone of adult personality (Berk & Meyers, 2016).
The way nurture is related to a child’s temperament is the positive or negative effect that parenting styles have on the child’s personality and behaviors. When placing a child in a foster home, one might be reluctant to place a child that is very easy going with parents who display a rigid personality. The authors of the article, Differences in sensitivity to parenting depending on child temperament 2016, state that “parental attitudes, expectations, and demands that match the temperament of the child, that is, “goodness of fit,” give rise to optimal development, whereas a mismatch between temperament and parenting paves the way for maladaptive functioning (Slagt, et al, 2016).
I was raised by my mother who was a very lenient parent. My mom has told me before that I was an easy-going child and I always listened to her and behaved well. My sister, Kelly, is four years older than I am. When Kelly was 10 years-old, she became very rebellious and had anger outburst on a daily basis. My mom always blamed Kelly’s behavior on my father leaving home. My father and Kelly had a close bond and my mother felt Kelly blamed her for my father’s absence.
At age 12, my sister was sent to live with my father. My father had a very strict parenting style. For example, my father would make us sit at the dinner table until we ate all of our food that he chose to cook, but our mom would cook several things to make sure everyone had something on the table that they wanted to eat. My mother could not control my sister’s behavior. However, although my father was able to control her behavior, she ended up having severe depression in her teenage years and still suffers from depression in her adult years. In a study by (Windle, et al, 1986) statistical data was evaluated and analyzed to see if the relation between temperament and psychosocial functioning that is identified in infancy and childhood literature could be seen among early and late adolescents. The results of this study showed significant, predicted relations between temperament and the scores for competence and depression (Windle, et all, 1986).
- Berk, L. E., & Meyers, A. B. (2016). Infants, children, and adolescents (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
- Slagt, M., Dubas, J. S., Deković, M., & van Aken, M. A. G. (2016). Differences in sensitivity to parenting depending on child temperament: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 142(10), 1068–1110. https://doi-org.library.capella.edu/10.1037/bul0000061.supp(Supplemental)
- Windle, M., Hooker, K., Lenerz, K., East, P. L., Lerner, J. V., & Lerner, R. M. (1986). Temperament, perceived competence, and depression in early and late adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 22(3), 384–392. https://doi-org.library.capella.edu/10.1037/0012-1618.104.22.1684