Risk Indicators: Assessment of Infancy Predictors of Pre-School Behavioural Maladjustment Academic Article uri icon


  • The prediction of later outcome from factors present in infancy has been an ongoing concern, with difficult temperament frequently being posited as one important risk factor. Using data from a longitudinal study of a large representative sample of children, and a categorical approach to analysis, a set of infancy risk factors covering within-child, environmental and relationship variables was related to behavioural and emotional adjustment at 4-5 years. Single risk factors, including difficult temperament, resulted in only modest increases in the prevalence of later maladjustment. However, certain combinations of risk factors were associated with markedly increased prevalence rates. The results indicate the cumulative effects of risk factors, and the need to consider temperament within a contextual framework.

publication date

  • May 1991