The relationship between infant temperament and young adult behavior : a secondary analysis of adoptees' early temperament and their later behavior outcome

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Gordon E. Finley

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt

Third Advisor's Name

Jonathan G. Tubman

Date of Defense



This study is a secondary analysis of a data set (N = 367) collected by Cadoret (1990). This data set includes three major parts: Adoptee biological data, the adoptive parent interview, and the young adult adoptee interview. In this study, adoptive parents' retrospective reports of infant temperament were used as the independent variable. The adoptees' self-reported young adult outcomes were the dependent variables. The purpose of this study is to find whether early temperament reported by adoptive parents can predict later adoptees' behavior reported by themselves. The present study used analysis of variance to examine relationships between early temperament and later behavioral outcomes.

The results indicate that as a group, difficult infants tend to develop more antisocial behavior and are more likely to be arrested and convicted while slow-to-warm up babies tend to develop more obsessive-compulsive behavior. The slow-to-warm-up group also was found to use less alcohol than the difficult and easy groups.



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