Mothers' ratings of the temperament characteristics of Down Syndrome infants

Frances A. Bridges, Dante Cicchetti

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46 Scopus citations


Using Carey's Infant Temperament Questionnaire, mothers' ratings of temperament characteristics of 74 Down's syndrome (DS) infants (aged 4-24 mo) were obtained and compared with those in Carey's standardization sample of normal infants. The stability of the ratings over a 6-mo interval was also examined. Mothers' assessments of their DS infants' behavior did not support the stereotype that DS infants are easier, more placid, and less intense than normal infants. On 6 of the 9 temperament dimensions rated (Activity, Intensity, Mood, Adaptability, Distractibility, and Rhythmicity), no significant differences between the ratings of DS and normal infants were found. Moreover, when the DS infants were considered as members of the Carey sample, a greater percentage of DS than of normal infants were found in more difficult temperament categories. Ss scored lower than the standardization sample on the dimensions of Persistence, Approach, and Threshold. Findings are discussed in terms of qualitative differences in the development of affect in DS infants and the impact that such differences may have on caregiver-infant interactive processes and mothers' assessments of infant behavior. Finally, comparison of individual- and group-level analyses of the stability of temperament ratings revealed discrepancies that suggest the importance of distinguishing the meaning of these types of stability analyses. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • mothers' ratings of temperament characteristics, 4-24 mo olds with Down's syndrome


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