This study investigated whether handicapped infants' temperaments are perceived differently by teachers, mothers, and observers and in different contexts. The temperament of 55 normal and same-developmental age, developmentally delayed, Down syndrome, cerebral palsied, and audio-visually handicapped infants was assessed by the infants' mothers, teachers, and an independent observer using the Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire. In addition, using a rating scale adapted from that questionnaire, observers rated the temperament of these infants during classroom play interactions and during dyadic play interactions with the infants' mothers and teachers. Although interrater agreement coefficients were moderately high, mothers tended to rate their infants' temperament as being less difficult than did the observers who, in turn, assigned less-difficult ratings than teachers. Normal, developmentally delayed, and Down syndrome infants received less-difficult ratings than cerebral palsied and audiovisually handicapped infants on most of the temperament dimensions rated during classroom play. The interaction context also appeared to affect temperament ratings, with more-difficult ratings assigned during classroom play than during the dyadic interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology