A sample of low birthweight preterm infants was assessed for temperamental characteristics at 3, 6 and 12 months of age by parent report. Results indicate that this sample contains a significantly higher percentage of “difficult‘’ infants (p < 0.02) than reported in full-term samples. Infant characteristics such as severity of perinatal and postnatal complications and maternal characteristics, such as socioeconomic status and available support structures, were found to be unrelated to parent temperament reports. However, mother-infant interaction in the first year was shown to be related to both the style and stability of temperament reports. These findings suggest that temperament, at least during the first year of life, is a reflection of the transactions between the infant and his or her caregivers. © 1986, The American Academy of Child Psychiatry. All rights reserved.
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