Volume 27, Issue 4 (1998)
Introduction to the Mini-Series: Implications of Temperament for the Practice of School Psychology
The identification of temperament traits fills a gap in our understanding of child development and enriches frameworks for psychological practice. Research in temperament attempts to explain the normal range of individual differences in adjusting to and engaging with stimuli,activities, and persons in the environment. rather than seeking to demonstrate universal dynamics of personality, temperament theory focuses on how individuals contribute to their own development.The idea that individuals influence their own development by bringing unique attributes to their experiences contrasts with the view of children as “blank slates” to be inscribed by the environment. By assuming a bidirectional interplay among intrinsic attributes of a person and external demands, supports, and circumstances,temperament theory supports the widely accepted assumption that development is propelled by the person and environment interaction (Lewin, 1935). Indeed, current perspectives on developmental psychopathology focus on the reciprocal interplay among neurobiological, behavioral, and environmental influences with the passage of time (Cicchetti & Tucker, 1994).
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