Disagreement between parents on assessment of child temperament traits

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Abstract

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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