Rettew shows that children and their parents can learn to adapt to improve their well-being despite the substantial stability of temperament. This book is a valuable guide that will benefit all clinicians, educators, and parents interested in understanding child behavior.
Child Temperament will be of enormous value to clinicians, scientists, parents, and all who are interested in the development of children. Beautifully written in a style that is amazingly enjoyable to read, with tables and summaries that students and scientists alike will find indispensible, this is a major compilation that should anchor all future exploration of temperament and help illuminate the path forward for future work in this field.
This book is the most comprehensive and well-written resource on the subject of child temperament—a must-read for all who work in the fields of child development, pediatrics, psychology, and psychiatry. A wonderful piece of writing for parents and experts alike.
When does a child go from being considered “active” to “hyperactive”? At what point does shyness become social anxiety disorder, or sadness become depression? The subject of personality and how kids differ from one another behaviorally has long fascinated parents, teachers, and scientists. As the definitions of psychiatric disorders change again, however, the boundaries between a diagnosable condition and “just” temperament and personality are generating more debate than ever.
The study of child temperament has come a long way since the pioneering work of Chess and Thomas. Child Temperament provides a synthesized update on what has been learned and how temperament affects the development of mental illness.
The first part of the book brings readers up to speed on current thinking related to child temperament. It outlines basic temperament dimensions and 5 major temperament types. Issues related to temperament stability over time, differences between boys and girls, and relations to birth order are also included. Dr. Rettew then reviews the neurobiology of temperament, with particular focus on the interplay between genetic and environmental influences that can conspire to make early appearing behavioral tendencies become strengthened. From there, the book delves into the association between temperament traits and psychiatric illness, using examples from his own published research and those of many others. Some current models describe temperament traits as risk factors for psychiatric disorders, while others view traits and psychiatric symptoms as lying on a single unifying continuum.
The second part of the book answers the question, “so what?” A temperament-informed view of child behavior problems can add important elements to intervention and can reduce the stigma of mental illness, benefits that have tremendous implications for parents, clinicians, and teachers. Dr. Rettew provides specific and practical suggestions for working with different temperament types in home and school settings and discusses the potential impact of medications on temperament and personality, both as a by-product of treating psychiatric disorders and potentially as an intentional target of pharmacological intervention.
Written in a straightforward style by a Harvard Medical School trained child psychiatrist, this book presents essential information on the intersection of child temperament and psychiatric disorders, and what caregivers can do in response. Armed with the latest knowledge and strategies, parents, clinicians, and teachers can propel children with particular temperamental tendencies away from more problematic trajectories, and towards improved health and wellness.
Click on “In the Book” for details about each chapter.