Infant temperament and childhood psychiatric disorder: longitudinal study

K Sayal, J Heron, Barbara Maughan, R Rowe, P Ramchandani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Temperamental characteristics emerge early in life and can shape children's development, adjustment and behaviour. We aimed to investigate the association between early infant temperament and later childhood psychiatric disorder in a community sample.

METHODS: This prospective, population-based study used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). In a sample of 7318 children, we investigated whether temperamental characteristics assessed at the ages of 6 months and 24 months are associated with an independent diagnosis of psychiatric disorder ascertained at age 7 years.

RESULTS: After adjusting for confounders, temperamental characteristics assessed at 6 and 24 months of age were associated with psychiatric disorder at age 7 years. In particular, intensity of emotional reaction at age 6 months was associated with later disorder (adjusted odds ratio = 1.56; 95% confidence interval 1.19, 2.04; P = 0.002). These associations were stronger in girls and in those children with high levels of intensity at both 6 and 24 months of age.

CONCLUSIONS: Temperamental characteristics involving high levels of emotional intensity within the first year of life are longitudinally associated with psychiatric disorder in mid-childhood, suggesting that the roots of psychiatric disorder may, in some cases, lie very early in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-7
Number of pages6
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • Affective Symptoms
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Early Intervention (Education)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders
  • Mood Disorders
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Temperament

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