Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 457–467 | Cite as

Do Profiles of Adolescent Temperament Differ on Family Processes and Adult Internalizing and Externalizing Symptoms?

  • Jill A. RabinowitzEmail author
  • Deborah A. G. Drabick
  • Jessica Packard
  • Maureen D. Reynolds
Original Paper


In the present study, we examined whether profiles of temperamental features in adolescence (a) predict internalizing and externalizing symptoms in early adulthood, and (b) differ in family processes (i.e., cohesion, conflict) during early adolescence. Participants were 662 youth (72% male; 76% White). Mothers reported on family cohesion and conflict during participants’ early adolescence (ages 12–14, Time 1). Youth completed measures of temperament in middle adolescence (ages 16, Time 2), and of their symptoms in middle adolescence (Time 2), late adolescence (age 19, Time 3), and early adulthood (age 22, Time 4). Latent profile analysis identified three temperamental profiles: low positive mood, low rhythmicity, and well-regulated. Individuals in the low rhythmicity profile reported higher levels of externalizing symptoms compared to the well-regulated profile. No between-profile differences were found for internalizing symptoms. Mothers of youth in the low positive mood and low rhythmicity profiles reported higher levels of family conflict than the well-regulated profile. In addition, mothers of youth in the low positive mood profile reported lower levels of family cohesion than the well-regulated profile. Research implications of the study findings are presented.


Temperament Latent profiles Internalizing symptoms Externalizing symptoms Family processes Early adulthood 



This research was supported in part by NIDA grant P50 DA005605 awarded to Ralph E. Tarter.

Author Contributions

J.R.: developed the conceptual model that guided the paper, conducted the analyses, and wrote the majority of the paper. D.D.: assisted with conducting the analyses and heavily edited the paper. J.P.: conducted literature reviews for the paper and completed the references section. M.R.: assisted with data collection and edited the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The present study involved human participants and informed consent was obtained from these participants. Procedure used to conduct the research described in this manuscript were approved by a university internal review board.

Informed Consent

The following study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Pittsburgh. All participants provided informed consent and were notified that their participation in the study was voluntary.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jill A. Rabinowitz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Deborah A. G. Drabick
    • 2
  • Jessica Packard
    • 2
  • Maureen D. Reynolds
    • 3
  1. 1.Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.School of PharmacyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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