Agree or agree to disagree? Assessing the convergence between parents and observers on infant temperament

Cynthia Stifter, Michael T. Willoughby, Nissa Towe-Goodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The assessment of infant temperament has been typically accomplished with parent questionnaires. When compared with temperament behaviours observed in the laboratory, parents and observers generally do not agree, leading some researchers to question the validity of parent report. This paper reports on a representative sample of infants whose families resided in nonmetropolitan counties and whose temperament was measured in three ways: (1) standard parent report (Infant Behavior Questionnaire); (2) observer ratings across two lengthy home visits; and (3) observer coding of second-by-second reactions to specific emotion-eliciting tasks. In order to account for both trait and method variance, structural equation modelling was applied to a sample of 955 infants (M age = 7.3 months) using variables from the three methods that reflected the dimensions of positivity and negativity. Although models based solely on method factors and trait factors fit the data well, results indicated that a model that included method and trait factors provided the best fit. Results also indicated that parents and observers (either across the home visit or to specific tasks) converge, to a degree, on ratings of the positivity dimension but diverge on the negativity dimension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-426
Number of pages20
JournalInfant and Child Development
Volume17
Issue number4 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

Fingerprint

Temperament
Parents
House Calls
Infant Behavior
Emotions
Research Personnel
Surveys and Questionnaires

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Stifter, Cynthia ; Willoughby, Michael T. ; Towe-Goodman, Nissa. / Agree or agree to disagree? Assessing the convergence between parents and observers on infant temperament. In: Infant and Child Development. 2008 ; Vol. 17, No. 4 SPEC. ISS. pp. 407-426.
@article{7d375eecef1f45f2bff75b9517c92a8a,
title = "Agree or agree to disagree? Assessing the convergence between parents and observers on infant temperament",
abstract = "The assessment of infant temperament has been typically accomplished with parent questionnaires. When compared with temperament behaviours observed in the laboratory, parents and observers generally do not agree, leading some researchers to question the validity of parent report. This paper reports on a representative sample of infants whose families resided in nonmetropolitan counties and whose temperament was measured in three ways: (1) standard parent report (Infant Behavior Questionnaire); (2) observer ratings across two lengthy home visits; and (3) observer coding of second-by-second reactions to specific emotion-eliciting tasks. In order to account for both trait and method variance, structural equation modelling was applied to a sample of 955 infants (M age = 7.3 months) using variables from the three methods that reflected the dimensions of positivity and negativity. Although models based solely on method factors and trait factors fit the data well, results indicated that a model that included method and trait factors provided the best fit. Results also indicated that parents and observers (either across the home visit or to specific tasks) converge, to a degree, on ratings of the positivity dimension but diverge on the negativity dimension.",
author = "Cynthia Stifter and Willoughby, {Michael T.} and Nissa Towe-Goodman",
year = "2008",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/icd.584",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "17",
pages = "407--426",
journal = "Infant and Child Development",
issn = "1522-7227",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "4 SPEC. ISS.",

}

Agree or agree to disagree? Assessing the convergence between parents and observers on infant temperament. / Stifter, Cynthia; Willoughby, Michael T.; Towe-Goodman, Nissa.

In: Infant and Child Development, Vol. 17, No. 4 SPEC. ISS., 01.07.2008, p. 407-426.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Agree or agree to disagree? Assessing the convergence between parents and observers on infant temperament

AU - Stifter, Cynthia

AU - Willoughby, Michael T.

AU - Towe-Goodman, Nissa

PY - 2008/7/1

Y1 - 2008/7/1

N2 - The assessment of infant temperament has been typically accomplished with parent questionnaires. When compared with temperament behaviours observed in the laboratory, parents and observers generally do not agree, leading some researchers to question the validity of parent report. This paper reports on a representative sample of infants whose families resided in nonmetropolitan counties and whose temperament was measured in three ways: (1) standard parent report (Infant Behavior Questionnaire); (2) observer ratings across two lengthy home visits; and (3) observer coding of second-by-second reactions to specific emotion-eliciting tasks. In order to account for both trait and method variance, structural equation modelling was applied to a sample of 955 infants (M age = 7.3 months) using variables from the three methods that reflected the dimensions of positivity and negativity. Although models based solely on method factors and trait factors fit the data well, results indicated that a model that included method and trait factors provided the best fit. Results also indicated that parents and observers (either across the home visit or to specific tasks) converge, to a degree, on ratings of the positivity dimension but diverge on the negativity dimension.

AB - The assessment of infant temperament has been typically accomplished with parent questionnaires. When compared with temperament behaviours observed in the laboratory, parents and observers generally do not agree, leading some researchers to question the validity of parent report. This paper reports on a representative sample of infants whose families resided in nonmetropolitan counties and whose temperament was measured in three ways: (1) standard parent report (Infant Behavior Questionnaire); (2) observer ratings across two lengthy home visits; and (3) observer coding of second-by-second reactions to specific emotion-eliciting tasks. In order to account for both trait and method variance, structural equation modelling was applied to a sample of 955 infants (M age = 7.3 months) using variables from the three methods that reflected the dimensions of positivity and negativity. Although models based solely on method factors and trait factors fit the data well, results indicated that a model that included method and trait factors provided the best fit. Results also indicated that parents and observers (either across the home visit or to specific tasks) converge, to a degree, on ratings of the positivity dimension but diverge on the negativity dimension.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=51449121833&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=51449121833&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/icd.584

DO - 10.1002/icd.584

M3 - Article

C2 - 19936035

AN - SCOPUS:51449121833

VL - 17

SP - 407

EP - 426

JO - Infant and Child Development

JF - Infant and Child Development

SN - 1522-7227

IS - 4 SPEC. ISS.

ER -