ERIC Number: ED367489
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May-19
Reference Count: N/A
A Preliminary Report on the IUSB Parent Project: Infant Temperament and Bidirectional Influence in the Family.
Children whose temperamental traits are significantly different from the average risk abuse or neglect from parents who do not recognize this "differentness" as legitimate expressions of individuality. This paper discusses how parents can learn to cope with "difficult" or temperamental infants, by explaining the work of the Indiana University South Bend (IUSB) Parent Project, an ongoing project designed to discover the most effective ways to educate parents about individual differences, specifically differences in temperament. Because a key dimension underlying a parent's perception of the child is that of demand (how much--or little--time, energy, and worry does this child demand?) a model of temperament was developed based on that demand. The "challenging" children are those on the extremes of the demand model--those called "easy" and those labelled "difficult. The Parent Project has followed 18 two-parent families since the birth of their first child, with trained parent educators visiting each family monthly to provide information on child development and observing the child's current development. When a child is rated by parents as extreme on a temperamental scale, parent educators respond by giving the parents a temperament information sheet. Families will participate in the study until the child is 3 years old, at which time the child will be evaluated in terms of social and cognitive development. Parents' satisfaction and confidence in their parenting role will also be assessed, and the children's performance will be compared to a control group. It is hypothesized that the children in this study will outperform the control group in both social and cognitive development. Three case studies are also reported which provide examples of "sensitive,""active," and "easy-going" temperaments. An appendix provides a list of temperament traits. (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Indiana University South Bend
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Network on Personal Relationships (May 19, 1991).