Children's temperament and the transition to kindergarten: A Question of "fit"

Andrew S. White, Kate N. Sirota, Scott R. Frohn, Sara E. Swenson, Kathleen Moritz Rudasill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Temperament, or biologically based differences in individuals' reactionary and regulatory mechanisms to their environment (Rothbart MK, Bates JE. Handbook of child psychology: social, emotional, and personality development. Wiley, New York, 2006), comprises multiple dimensions which have been implicated in enhancing or inhibiting children's school readiness. This chapter seeks to provide readers with a primer of five temperamental dimensions and their status as protective or risk factors for preschool students' transition to kindergarten: shyness, activity, exuberance, adaptability, and effortful control (temperamental selfregulation). We begin by defining each temperamental dimension and summarizing how extant research has shown how each temperament dimension facilitates or impedes children's successful transitions into kindergarten. Next, we present classroom-level strategies that facilitate good "fit" between different temperament dimensions and classrooms and the role of temperament in building student-teacher relationships. Finally, we review two empirically supported interventions as exemplars for facilitating good "fit" between temperament and classrooms (i.e., the INSIGHTS and Banking Time interventions). These exemplar interventions emphasize psychoeducation of temperamental dimensions and seek to promote classrooms which are sensitive to students' unique temperamental needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKindergarten Transition and Readiness
Subtitle of host publicationPromoting Cognitive, Social-Emotional, and Self-Regulatory Development
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319902005
ISBN (Print)9783319901992
StatePublished - Jun 9 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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