Preschoolers' temperament ratings in relation to their performance on cognitive tasks

P. S. Klein

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    2 Scopus citations


    The study examines the relationship between preschooler's temperament ratings and their performance on a series of cognitive tasks related to school readiness. Subjects were 300 boys and 300 girls with a mean age of 5.5, all attending regular kindergarten classes. Each child was rated by his parents on the nine temperamental characteristics based on the model introduced by Thomas, Chess and Birch. The children were also individually tested on 10 different types of cognitive tasks, of which some very directly related to school activities, i.e. discrimination of letter forms, copying, and knowledge of numbers and others to basic processes, i.e. visual and auditory memory, verbal expresion and concept formation. Relationships between temperament and cognitive variables were analyzed. Based on the findings it may be concluded that boys and girls who scored high on most cognitive tasks did not differ with regard to their temperament ratings; however, boys differed from girls with regard to the temperament ratings associated with poor performance on these tasks. Activity and Intensity were significantly related to girls' performance, whereas Approach, Adaptability, Responsiveness and Distractability were related to boys' performance. slow-to-warm-up children scored lower than Easy children on the tasks of Letter form discrimination and Comprehension and memory. Findings support the goodness of fit theory in relation to temperament. Generalizations about relations between temperament traits and cognitive performance may be misleading if the type of task required and the gender of the subjects is not specified.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)199-214
    Number of pages16
    JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 1982


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