Identifying child temperament types using cluster analysis in three samples

Amanda Prokasky, Kathleen Rudasill, Victoria J. Molfese, Samuel Putnam, Maria Gartstein, Mary Rothbart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Although previous research has explored the existence of temperament clusters in children, these studies have used single samples, reducing generalizability, and broad temperament constructs to identify clusters, obscuring fine-grained dimensional differences. To address these limitations, the current study identified a common cluster structure across two diverse samples of preschool children using the same fine-grained temperament measure (ns = 96, 187), then verified the cluster structure on a large, nationally-representative sample (n = 757). A consistent six-cluster solution was identified across the three samples: Unregulated, Regulated, High Reactive, Bold, Average, and Well-Adjusted. Demonstration of a replicable typology advances the understanding of temperament in childhood, and provides a parsimonious way to communicate complex information about a child's temperament to parents and caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-201
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Child temperament
  • Cluster analysis
  • Structure of temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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