International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 10 Num. 1 - March 2010


A Cross-cultural Evaluation of Temperament: Japan, USA, Poland and Russia

Volume 10 Num. 1 - March 2010 - Pages 55-75


Maria A. Gartstein , Helena R. Slobodskaya , Piotr Olaf Żylicz , Dorota Gosztyła , Atsuko Nakagawa


The present study represents an attempt to investigate early development of temperament across four cultures: Japan, United States of America (U.S), Poland, and Russia, through a cross-sectional design. Selection of these countries presented an opportunity to conduct comparisons between cultures that vary on the individualistic/collectivistic value systems. Parents responded to the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised, with U.S. and Polish infants
received the highest ratings for a number of Positive Affectivity/Surgency dimensions: Smiling and Laughter, High Intensity Pleasure, Perceptual Sensitivity, Approach, and Vocal Reactivity. Japanese and Russian infants were characterized as demonstrating the highest and the second highest levels of fearfulness, respectively, with U.S. and Polish infants receiving relatively lower ratings from their caregivers. Age and gender differences were observed across all four cultures. Significant gender differences emerged for High Intensity Pleasure and Approach, with males receiving higher scores than females. Older infants were perceived by their caregivers as exhibiting higher levels of Distress to Limitations and Fear compared to the younger age group.

Key words:

Temperament, infancy, cross-cultural comparisons.

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