Abstract # 20:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:30 AM-11:40 AM: Session 5 (Medallion Ballroom B) Oral Presentation


D. B. Kay1, M. Marsiske 1, S. J. Suomi 2 and J. D. Higley 3
1University of Florida, 101 S. Newell Dr. #3151, PO Box 100165, Gainesville, Florida 32610-0165, USA, 2National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Animal Center, 3Brigham Young University

The structure of human infant temperament is widely thought to consist of three major domains: attention, affect, and activity. The factor terms Orienting/Reactivity, Negative Affectivity, and Surgency/ Extraversion developed by Rothbart and colleagues adequately reflect these conceptual domains. In humans, this triadic structure has strong scientific support, cross-cultural validity, and health relevance. Recently, a three-factor model of infant temperament with meaningful agreement to this human model was indentified in rhesus infants using exploratory factor analysis. The purpose of this study was to determine the strength and longitudinal stability of this triadic structure across early rhesus development (days 7 and 30, post-partum) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The sample consisted of 542 rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) infants. Previously identified temperament items from the infant behavioral assessment scale (IBAS) were randomly parceled (2 items per parcel) within three hypothesized factors (2-3 parcels per factor): Orienting/Reactivity, Negative Affectivity, and Surgency/ Extraversion. Longitudinal CFA revealed the loading only invariance model had good fit [X2(1.68), NFI=0.95,CFI=0.98, Hoelter (α=0.01), RMSEA=0.035, P=0.98] suggesting there is high continuity in the triadic structure but also change within factors during early development. Results further strengthen the view that like humans, other primates share a similar temperament structure. Future research on this comparative model may lead to a better understanding of biological and environmental forces involved in continuity and change in temperament and its importance to early development.