Becoming Who We Are: Temperament and Personality in Development (Hardback) book cover

Becoming Who We Are

Temperament and Personality in Development

By Mary K. Rothbart

© 2011 – Guilford Press

324 pages

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About the Book

What are the basic dimensions of temperament? How does temperament influence children's relationships to their physical and social worlds--and their behavior and adjustment across the lifespan? What are its biological underpinnings? From preeminent researcher Mary Rothbart, this work comprehensively examines the role of temperament in the development of personality and psychopathology. In a direct and readable style, Rothbart combines theory and research with everyday observations and clinical examples. She offers new insights on ""difficult"" children and reviews intervention programs that address temperamental factors in childhood problems. Dr. Rothbart received the Eleanor Maccoby Book Award from Division 7 (Developmental Psychology) of the American Psychological Association for this book.


"While one of the oldest-studied topics in psychology, temperament remains one of its toughest nuts to crack. Rothbart leads the reader along a compelling personal and scientific journey during which the many factors that combine to make us unique individuals – biological, social, and developmental are carefully assessed and elucidated. Rothbart's writing style is clear and engaging. This book not only reflects the current state of the field, but also, I suspect, will shape its future." - Mark H. Johnson, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

"This outstanding book from the foremost world expert on temperament offers a creative and authoritative synthesis. A broad range of interrelated topics are addressed, including the development and structure of temperament and personality; connections to competence, conscience, and psychopathology; meaning structures; biological and environmental contributions to temperament; and interventions. Rothbart clarifies the multiple levels of factors that contribute to the course of human development. There is something for all developmental scientists and students in this accessible and well-written book." - Nancy Eisenberg, Arizona State University, USA

"Rothbart's ideas and findings have become crucial for understanding temperament. In this powerful and engaging book, Rothbart not only explains basic and advanced concepts of temperament, but also beautifully shows how a temperament framework can enrich understanding of social development more generally. The book is unusually full of both information and wisdom." - John E. Bates, Indiana University, USA

''Rothbart has been at the forefront of the scientific study of temperament for over four decades… This book is well organized, and Rothbart has an engaging writing style. This is never more evident than when she uses case examples such as her observations of her own sons to illustrate the differences in temperament in our development and its key to revealing how we become the individuals we are; and her position serves to both educate and be provocative. If you are interested in studying temperament or indeed human development, this book should be on your reading list."- PsycCritiques

Table of Contents

Definition and Historical Roots. The Structure of Temperament. The Biology of Temperament. Infancy. The Self and Structures of Meaning. Coping and Culture. Conscience and Competence. Stability and Change from Child to Adult. Problems and Interventions in Development. Temperament, Environment, and Psychopathology. Some Final Observations.

About the Author

Mary K. Rothbart, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

About the Series

Guilford Series on Social and Emotional Development

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