Self-reported reactive and regulative temperament in early adolescence: relations to internalizing and externalizing problem behavior and 'big three' personality factors

P.E.H.M. Muris*, C.M.G. Meesters, P. Blijlevens

*Corresponding author for this work

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The present study examined the relations between self-reported reactive and regulative temperament factors and psychopathological symptoms and personality traits in a group of non-clinical youths aged 9-13 years (N = 208). Results showed that the reactive temperament factor of negative affectivity was positively associated with internalizing and externalizing symptoms, whereas the regulative temperament factor of effortful control was negatively related to such symptoms. Further analyses provided some support for the notion that in particular the combination of high negative affectivity and low effortful control was associated with high symptom levels. Results also revealed specific relations between lower-order temperament traits and internalizing and externalizing symptoms. That is, fear and (low) attention control appeared to be more clearly associated with internalizing symptoms, whereas anger/frustration and (low) activation and inhibitory control were more convincingly linked to externalizing symptoms. Finally, relations with the "Big Three" personality traits were as anticipated, with high positive correlations between negative affectivity and extraversion/surgency and their Eysenckian counterparts of neuroticism and extraversion, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1049
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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