An Examination of Temperament and Attachment among a Twin Sample

Weber, Ramona, Psychology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Turkheimer, Eric, AS-Psychology (PSYC), University of Virginia
Emery, Robert, AS-Psychology (PSYC), University of Virginia

Temperament has often been cited as the foundation of personality development across childhood. Since temperament is a crucial component of childhood development, temperament has also been assessed with other outcomes, such as attachment. Findings pertaining to the relations between attachment and temperament have been mixed. These results may stem from current temperament scales measuring temperament behavior too stringently. Three studies were conducted to examine alternate factor structures of temperament, to explore genetic and environmental variances of temperament, and to investigate associations between temperament and attachment. In Study 1, exploratory factor analyses were performed to comprise alternative smaller and broader temperament scales. In Study 2, intraclass correlations were observed of the original temperament scale and the two new temperament scales for comparison of temperament behavior amongst MZ and same-sex DZ twin pairs. In Study 3, the original temperament scale and the two new temperament scales were assessed across secure and insecure attachment status in MZ and same-sex DZ twin pairs. Study 1 showed that the original nine temperament trait scale can be comprised into three or four factors, while Study 2 confirmed that a smaller set of temperament scales may measure temperament more successfully in MZ twins. However, DZ twins still showed lower correlations among all three scales. In Study 3, attachment status did not significantly differ when compared across all three temperament scales in MZ and DZ twins.

MA (Master of Arts)
temperament, attachment, childhood, exploratory factor analyses, intraclass correlations, comparison of mean outcomes
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