Disagreement between parents on assessment of child temperament traits

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Accuracy of temperament assessment is a prerequisite in research studies. To identify the extent to which parental assessment of child temperament is biased by their personal attributes, we proposed a new structural equation model, in which biases of parental attributes in their assessment of child temperament can be separated from the true (i.e. non-biased) associations between the two.


We examined 234 father–mother pairs using questionnaires including Emotionality, Activity, Sociability, and Impulsivity; Social Desirability Scale; Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; Temperament and Character Inventory; and State–Trait Anger Expression Inventory.


Paternal Depression and Persistence, maternal Trait Anger, and parental Novelty Seeking showed significant bias in assessment of Emotionality. Maternal Self-transcendence showed significant bias in assessment of child Impulsivity.


Researchers should be cautious about biases in parental assessment of children's Emotionality and Impulsivity, but other temperament traits may be free from such biases.

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