The Functional Significance of Organismic Individuality

The Sample Case of Temperament
  • Rachna Talwar
  • Katherine Nitz
  • Jacqueline V. Lerner
  • Richard M. Lerner
Part of the Perspectives on Individual Differences book series (PIDF)

Abstract

Developmental psychology, as a discipline, has tended to focus more on normative, developmental functions (Wohlwill, 1973) than on interindividual variation in developmental trajectories. This emphasis is changing, due to an increasing concern with biological bases of human individuality (Lerner, 1984; Plomin, 1986) and with multidirectional, life-span changes in psychological capacities and behavioral functions (Baltes, 1987). Research in our laboratory is associated with this latter concern, that is, with the nature, bases, and functional significance of interindividual variation in human development across life (e. g., Lerner & Lerner, 1983, 1987, 1989). It is because of this concern with the person’s individuality that we have been drawn to the study of temperament.

Keywords

Grade Point Average Sixth Grade Seventh Grade Academic Competence Temperament Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baltes, P.B. Theoretical propositions of life-span developmental psychology: On the dynamics between growth and decline. Developmental Psychology, 1987, 23, 611–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brim, O.G. Jr., & Kagan, J. Constancy and change: A view of the issues. In O.G. Brim Jr. & J. Kagan (Eds.). Constancy and change in human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  3. Buss, A.H., & Plomin, R. A temperament theory of personality development. New York: Wiley, 1975.Google Scholar
  4. Buss, A.H., & Plomin, R. Temperament: Early developing personality traits. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1984.Google Scholar
  5. East, P.L., Lerner, R.M., Lemer J.V., & Soni, R.T. Early adolescent-peer group fit, peer relations, and adjustment: A short-term longitudinal study. Manuscript submitted for publication, 1991.Google Scholar
  6. Eysenck, H.J., & Eysenck, S.B. G. Personality structure and measurement. San Diego: Robert R. Knopp, 1969.Google Scholar
  7. Featherman, D.L. Life-span perspectives in social science research. In P.B. Baltes & O.G. Brim Jr. (Eds.). Life-span development and behavior. Vol. 5. New York: Academic Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  8. Harter, S. Supplementary description of the Self-Perception Profile for Children: Revision of the Perceived Competence Scale for Children. Unpublished manuscript, University of Denver, 1983.Google Scholar
  9. Hetherington, E.M., Lerner, R.M., & Perlmutter, M. (Eds.). Child development in life span perspective. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1988.Google Scholar
  10. Kagan, J., Reznick, S.J., & Snidman, N. Temperamental inhibition in early childhood. In R. Plomin & J. Dunn (Eds.). The study of temperament: Changes, continuities and challenges. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1986.Google Scholar
  11. Lerner, J.V. The import of temperament for psychosocial functioning: Tests of a “goodness of fit” model. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 1984, 30, 177–188.Google Scholar
  12. Lerner, J.V., & Lerner, R.M. Temperament and adaptation across life: Theoretical and empirical issues. In P.B. Baltes & O.G. Brim Jr. (Eds.). Life-span development and behavior. Vol. 5. New York: Academic Press, 1983.Google Scholar
  13. Lerner, J.V., Nitz, K., Talwar, R., & Lerner, R.M. On the functional significance of temperamental individuality: A developmental contextual view of the concept of goodness of fit. In G.A. Kohnstamm, J.E. Bates, & M.K. Rothbart (Eds.). Temperament in childhood. West Sussex, England: Wiley, 1989.Google Scholar
  14. Lerner, R.M. Nature, nurture and dynamic interactionism. Human Development, 1978, 21, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lerner, R.M. Children and adolescents as producers of their own development. Developmental Review, 1982, 2, 342–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lerner, R.M. On the nature of human plasticity. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lerner, R.M. Concepts and theories of human development (2nd ed.). New York: Random House, 1986.Google Scholar
  18. Lerner, R.M. Contextualism and the life-span perspective on interaction. In M. Bornstein & J.S. Bruner (Eds.). Interaction in human development. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1989.Google Scholar
  19. Lerner, R.M., & Busch-Rossnagel, N. Individuals as producers of their development: Conceptual and empirical bases. In R.M. Lerner & A. Busch-Rossnagel (Eds.). Individuals as producers of their development: A life-span perspective. New York: Academic Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  20. Lerner, R.M., & Kauffman, M.B. The concept of development in contextualism. Developmental Review, 1985, 5, 309–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lerner, R.M., & Lerner, J.V. (Eds.). Temperament as a moderator of individual and social development in infancy and childhood. New directions for Child Development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1989Google Scholar
  22. Lerner, R.M., & Lerner, J.V. Children in their contexts: A goodness of fit model. In J.B. Lancaster, J. Altman, A.S. Rossi, & L.R. Sherrod (Eds.). Parenting across the life span: Biosocial dimensions. Chicago: Aldine, 1987.Google Scholar
  23. Lerner, R.M., & Lerner, J.V. Organismic and social contextual bases of development: The sample case of early adolescence. In W. Damon (Ed.). Child development today and tomorrow. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1989.Google Scholar
  24. Nitz, K.A., Lerner, R.M., Lerner, J.V., & Talwar, R. Parental and peer demands, temperament, and early adolescent adjustment. Journal of Early Adolescence, 1988, 8, 243–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Novikoff, A.B. The concept of integrative levels of biology. Science, 1945a, 101, 405–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Novikoff, A.B. Continuity and discontinuity in evolution. Science, 1945b, 101, 405–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Plomin, R. Development, genetics, and psychology: Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1986.Google Scholar
  28. Plomin, R., & Daniels, D. The interaction between temperament and environment: Methodological considerations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 1984, 30, 1449–162.Google Scholar
  29. Schneirla, T.C. The concept of development in comparative psychology. In D.B. Harris (Ed.). The concept of development. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1957.Google Scholar
  30. Sheldon, W.H. The varieties of human physique. New York: Harper & Row, 1940.Google Scholar
  31. Sheldon, W.H., & Stevens, S.S. The varieties of temperament. New York: Harper & Row, 1942.Google Scholar
  32. Sorensen, A.B., Weinert, F.E., & Sherrod, L.R. (Eds.). Human development and the life course: Multidisciplinary perspectives. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1986.Google Scholar
  33. Super, C.M., & Harkness, S. Figure, ground, and gestalt: The cultural context of the active individual. In R.M. Lerner & N.A. Busch-Rossnagel (Eds.). Individuals as producers of their development: A life-span perspective. New York: Academic Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  34. Super, C.M., & Harkness, S. Constitutional amendments. Paper presented at the 1982 Occasional Temperament Conference, Salem, MA, October, 1982.Google Scholar
  35. Super, C.M., & Harkness, S. The development niche: Culture and the expressions of human growth. Unpublished manuscript, Cambridge MA: Harvard University, 1988.Google Scholar
  36. Talwar, R., Nitz, K., & Lerner, R.M. Relations among early adolescent temperament, parent and peer demands, and adjustment: A test of the goodness of fit model. Journal of Adolescence, 1990, 13, 279–298.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Talwar, R., Schwab, J., & Lerner, R.M. Early adolescent temperament and academic competence: Tests of “direct effects” and developmental contextual models Journal of Early Adolescence, 1989, 9, 291–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thomas, A., & Chess, S. Temperament and development. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1977.Google Scholar
  39. Tobach, E. Evolutionary aspects of the activity of the organism and its development. In R.M. Lerner & N.A. Busch-Rossnagel (Eds.). Individuals as producers of their developments life-span perspective. New York: Academic Press, 1981.Google Scholar
  40. Windle, M. Inter-inventory relations among the DOTS-R, EASI-II and EPI. Unpublished manuscript, Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Chicago, 1985.Google Scholar
  41. Windle, M. Psychometric strategies of measures of temperament: A methodological critique. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 1988, II, 171–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Windle, M., Hooker, K., Lenerz, K., East, P.L., Lerner, J.V., & Lerner, R.M. Temperament, perceived competence, and depression in early-and late-adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 1986, 22, 384–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Windle, M., & Lerner, R.M. Reassessing the dimensions of temperamental individuality across the life-span: The Revised Dimensions of Temperament Survey (DOTS-R). Journal of Adolescent Research, 1986, I, 213–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wohlwill, J.F. The study of behavioral development. New York: Academic Press, 1973.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachna Talwar
    • 1
  • Katherine Nitz
    • 1
  • Jacqueline V. Lerner
    • 1
  • Richard M. Lerner
    • 1
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations