Genetic is a short temper
The importance of temperament in resilience research
2. What is temperament
2.1 Definition of temperament
2.2 Historical background to the term temperament
2.3 Influence of different directions of theory
2.4 New York Longitudinal Study
2.4.1 Temperament characteristics in early childhood
2.5 Brief summary
3. The importance of temperament in resilience research
3.1 Definition of resilience
3.2 What is the role of temperament in resilience research?
3.2.1 Ten resilience factors
3.2.2 Development model for the emergence of resilience according to Werner
3.2.3 Presentation of various longitudinal studies
3.2.4 Conclusion from the longitudinal studies
4. What does this mean for curative education?
During my studies I rarely dealt with a topic that has such a long historical tradition and is still relevant today. The subject of this presentation "The importance of temperament in resilience research" establishes a connection between the thousand-year-old term “temperament” and the relatively new research on resilience.
Each of us has described a child as difficult, quick-tempered, balanced, or calm. Do these behavioral traits influence a child's resilient behavior? How important is temperament in resilience research? Does it even have any meaning?
I will try to answer these questions in my presentation. The elaboration consists of three focal points.
The first section is about temperament research. I go into the development of this research direction and present current theories.
The second part deals with resilience research in general. I present different resilience factors, then go into three different longitudinal studies and try to work out the importance of temperament.
In the last point of the presentation I would like to pursue the question of what significance these findings have for our curative education practice. I am referring to two articles by Fingerle, Freytag and Julius and by Otto Speck.
So this talk is about answering a lot of questions. I hope to find satisfactory answers.
2. What is temperament
Everyone knows the term temperament. It is firmly integrated into our everyday language usage. At this point I will present the historical development of temperament and define the term scientifically.
2.1 Definition of the term temperament
In general, the term temperament is defined as follows:
“Temperament (Latin teperamentum> right measure <, to temperare> bring into the right (mixing) ratio <) (...), a summary term for the typical characteristics of a personality; according to E. Kretschmer> which is characteristic of individuality. Overall attitude of affectivity according to ability to be affected and drive. The classic names for the temperaments, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic and choleric, go back to the ancient doctrine of temperament (Hippocrates and Galen), which saw the temperament determined by the different mixture of> body fluids <(...). "
(Brockhaus, 2001, p. 645)
2.2 Historical background of the term temperament
The history of the characterization of people can be traced back to the year around 319 BC. Trace back to BC. A student of Aristotle, for example, described 30 different character types (cf. Zentner, 1993, p. 27, quoted from Roback, 1952).
The ancient doctrine of four temperaments was introduced by Hippocrates around 400 BC. Known and later developed by Galenus, around 150 AD. Both advocated the health theory that there must be a balance between the body fluids. A different temperament was assigned to each individual body juice:
- Blood - sanguine
- Black bile - melancholy
- Yellow bile - choleric
- Phlegm - phlegmatic
The teaching of Hippocrates and Galenus was about the coordination of different biological substances and forces. The doctrine of four temperaments had a great influence over the centuries. The four temperaments are still present in today's language. (see Zentner, 1993, p. 28f)
The term temperament has always been used to describe constants of behavior
and to describe affectivity (cf. Zentner, 2000, p. 59, quoted from Allport, 1937). Since the time of Hippocrates and Galenus, many different people have grappled with the subject of temperament. I will briefly list a few examples here:
Kant (1798) coined the descriptions of the individual temperament characteristics. As a result the Saguinist is cheerful, easily agile, not very reliable; the phlegmatic is calm, difficult to get excited; the choleric passionate, quick-tempered and the melancholic brooding and unresponsive to happiness.
Hartmann (1896) developed one of the first parent questionnaires and examined the child's temperament in systematic longitudinal studies. The Annaberg Parents Questionnaire was the first temperament questionnaire.
Kretschmer (1921) established in his book "Körperbau und Character" the relationship between certain mental illnesses and physique. The author assumes that people of a corresponding body type have certain psychological properties and are therefore prone to certain mental illnesses.
Pavlov (1953) describes that processes of the central nervous system underlie the four temperaments. Pavlov is of the opinion that e.g. a "strong type" needs a constant change of stimuli, while the "weak type" needs a regular life in which not many changes occur in order to achieve an optimal balance.
Rudolf Steiner (1922) takes over the division of temperament from the medieval-ancient tradition. In his pedagogical practice, he pays great attention to temperament and requires his teachers to respond to the child's temperament. (see Zentner, 1993, p. 32 ff)
2.3 Influence of different directions of theory
Despite the long tradition of temperament, there is still no clear uniform definition of the term.
The expressions “personality” “character” and “temperament” are often used interchangeably for one another.
personality can be understood as the totality of (psychological) properties and behaviors that give each person their own, characteristic, unmistakable individuality. It is a largely stable or long-lasting structure of individual properties with regard to character, temperament, intelligence and basic physical conditions of a person.
character refers to the largely constant attitudes, modes of action, individual peculiarities and, above all, the values of a person. The term character often has a moral value. For example, someone has a "good" or "bad" character.
temperament describes the type of drive and activity that manifest themselves in the form of feelings, will formation and instinctual life. The temperament forms the personality together with the intelligence and the physique.
(see Zentner, ibid, p. 25f)
Today, depending on the theoretical background, temperament is understood as an innate behavioral calm, innate personality trait, as individual differences in reactivity or in emotional arousal regulation (cf. Hong, 2006, p. 40, quoted from Papousek, 1999, p. 158) .
In temperament research there are concepts from different theoretical directions:
- Temperament refers to different dimensions of behavior. This is about individual differences in behavior in development = developmental psychological background.
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