New Infant Temperament Foretells Personality Over 20 Years Later

Researchers probe how temperament shapes adult life-course outcomes have found that behavioral inhibition in infancy predicts a reserved, introverted personality at age 26. For those people who present sensitivity to creating errors in adolescence, the findings indicated a higher threat for internalizing disorders such as anxiety and melancholy in adulthood.

New Infant Temperament Foretells Personality Over 20 Years Later

The study, supported by the National Institutes of Health and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides strong proof of the impact of toddler temperament on adult outcomes.

Temperament refers to biologically based particular person differences in the best way people emotionally and behaviorally respond to the world. During infancy, temperament serves as the foundation of later character. One specific kind of temperament, called behavioral inhibition (BI), is characterized by cautious, fearful, and avoidant habits toward unfamiliar folks, objects, and situations.

BI has been found to be comparatively stable throughout toddlerhood and childhood, and children with BI have been discovered to be at greater threat for developing social withdrawal and anxiety problems than children without BI.

Though these findings hint on the long-term outcomes of inhibited childhood temperament, only two research to date has followed inhibited kids from early childhood to adulthood.

The current research carried out by researchers at the University of Maryland, Faculty Park, the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and the Nationwide Institute of Mental Health recruited their participant pattern at four months of age and characterized them for BI at 14 months.

As well as, in contrast to the two previously published studies, the researchers included a neurophysiological measure to attempt to identify individual variations in risk for later psychopathology.