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Temperament refers to constitutionally based individual differences in emotional and behavioral responsiveness. Temperament manifests early in life and remains relatively stable throughout development. Similar to the construct of personality, which includes one’s social skills, beliefs, morals, and interpersonal relationships, temperament refers to biological and neurochemical underpinnings that influence the manifestation of personality. Temperament is considered a multidimensional construct, though there is some debate as to which dimensions best characterize temperament. The present entry presents an overview of several theoretical models of temperament, approaches to studying temperament, contextual factors that influence temperament expression, and associations between temperament and psychological adjustment.

Theoretical Frameworks

One of the first theoretical frameworks of temperament was advanced by Greek and Greco-Roman physicians. Four typologies were coined to capture individual differences in emotionality ...

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