Infant temperament and childhood psychiatric disorder: longitudinal study

Sayal Heron, K. and Heron, J. and Maughan, B. and Rowe, R. and Ramchandani, P. (2013) Infant temperament and childhood psychiatric disorder: longitudinal study. Child: Care, Health and Development, 40 (2). pp. 292-297. ISSN 0305-1862

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Temperamental characteristics emerge early in life and can shape children's development, adjustment and behaviour. We aimed to investigate the association between early infant temperament and later childhood psychiatric disorder in a community sample.


This prospective, population-based study used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). In a sample of 7318 children, we investigated whether temperamental characteristics assessed at the ages of 6 months and 24 months are associated with an independent diagnosis of psychiatric disorder ascertained at age 7 years.


After adjusting for confounders, temperamental characteristics assessed at 6 and 24 months of age were associated with psychiatric disorder at age 7 years. In particular, intensity of emotional reaction at age 6 months was associated with later disorder (adjusted odds ratio = 1.56; 95% confidence interval 1.19, 2.04; P = 0.002). These associations were stronger in girls and in those children with high levels of intensity at both 6 and 24 months of age.


Temperamental characteristics involving high levels of emotional intensity within the first year of life are longitudinally associated with psychiatric disorder in mid-childhood, suggesting that the roots of psychiatric disorder may, in some cases, lie very early in life.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Wahid, Ms. Haleema
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2014 10:52
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 15:21

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