Temperament in middle childhood: A behavioral genetic analysis of fathers' and mothers' reports

Paula Y. Mullineaux, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Stephen A. Petrill, Lee A. Thompson, Laura S. DeThorne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The genetic and environmental sources of variance in mothers' and fathers' ratings of child temperament in middle childhood were estimated and compared. Parents of 88 MZ twin pairs and 109 same-sex DZ twin pairs completed a temperament questionnaire. For Effortful Control, significant genetic and environmental effects were indicated across mothers' and fathers' ratings, but parent differences were found for the Negative Affectivity factor. When present, sibling contrast effects were not consistent for mothers and fathers. Parental ratings of the Effortful Control factor were best explained by the Biometric model whereas the Negative Affectivity factor was best explained by the Rater Bias model. Overall, mothers' and fathers' ratings yielded similar evidence of genetic and environmental etiology of temperament in middle childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-746
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Environmental effects
  • Genetic effects
  • Parental ratings
  • Sibling contrast effects
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


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