Make Friends

Comfort Others

Never/Sometimes

Often/Very Often

Never/Sometimes

Often/Very Often

17

83

24

76

28

72

24

76

13

87

16

84

10

90

14

86

8

92

15

85

12

88

18

82

17

83

25

75

14

86

18

82

15

85

20

80

19

81

25

75

25

75

41

59

22

78

36

64

 

SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics (2000: Table 8).

Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess (1984) identified nine dimensions of children’s temperament: activity level, rhythmicity, approach-withdrawal, adaptability, threshold of responsiveness, intensity of reaction to new stimuli, quality of mood, distractibility, and attention span or persistence. They, and others, have suggested that a key dimension of temperament is the ease with which a child adapts to new circumstances (Kagan, 1989, 1994). At one extreme is the inhibited child, who exhibits fear and effortful control (difficulty maintaining equilibrium when confronted with challenging situations) when exposed to novelty (Kochanska, 1991, 1995), and at the other extreme is the uninhibited child, who responds to novelty with fearless confidence and interest. Often, the inhibited child has a higher level of percep-



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