Infant temperament, maternal personality, and Parenting stress As contributors to infant developmental outcomes

Victoria J. Molfese, Kathleen Moritz Rudasill, Jennifer L. Beswick, Jill L. Jacobi-Vessels, Melissa C. Ferguson, Jamie M. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This study examined contributions of maternal personality and infant temperament to infant vocabulary and cognitive development both directly and indirectly through parental stress. Participants were recruited at birth and included 63 infant twin pairs and their mothers. Assessments were completed at 6, 9, 12, and 18 months of age and included Dimensions of Temperament-Revised (maternal personality), Parenting Stress Index (parental stress), Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised (infant temperament), Bayley Scales of Infant Development II: Mental Development Index, and MacArthur-Bates Total Vocabulary. Structural equation modeling with a jackknife approach was used to analyze data separately for each twin in the pair. At 12 months, maternal personality and infant temperament contributed indirectly to MacArthur-Bates Total Vocabulary and Bayley Mental Development Index scores through parental stress. In addition, infant temperament directly contributed to 12-month MacArthur-Bates Total Vocabulary. At 18 months, these relationships were no longer significant. The different findings at 12 months compared to 18 months may reflect important developmental and environmental shifts, as well as possible differences in the method and measurements used at each age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-79
Number of pages31
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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