Child Temperament

New Thinking About the Boundary Between Traits and Illness

David Rettew (Author)


Exploring the differences between temperamental traits and psychological disorders.

What is the difference between a child who is temperamentally sad and one who has depression? Can a kid be angry by temperament without being mentally ill? How can two thrill-seeking parents end up with a shy, risk-averse child?

The subject of personality and how we differ from one another behaviorally has long fascinated parents, teachers, and scientists, but because no true “pathology” was involved, it was traditionally the arena of psychologists and behavioral scientists. Today, the question of temperament—and how it contributes to the development of psychiatric disorders—is one posed by mainstream psychiatry as a major area of investigation. From depression to ADHD to autism, temperament can play a definite role, but how, and to what degree?

In this book, David Rettew examines the research and discusses the factors that can propel children with particular temperamental tendencies toward or away from more problematic trajectories.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • September 2013
  • ISBN 978-0-393-70730-4
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 288 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Rettew’s book is a great starting point for parents in search of a basic primer on the subject. . . . [T]he book will not only help you learn what to do, but help you prepare for your child’s next psychiatric assessment, clinical review, or IEP meeting.” — PsychCentral

“[F]ull of useful practical advice for parents, schools, psychologists, and psychiatrists. This Harvard-trained physician discusses the issues with wisdom, compassion, and clinical insight.” — PsycCritiques

“Dr. Rettew has channeled his career-long pursuit of the concepts surrounding temperament into a fascinating, comprehensive, and most of all clear and sensible working model. Child Temperament will be of enormous value to clinicians, scientists, parents, and all who are interested in the development of children. Beautifully written in a style that is amazingly enjoyable to read, with tables and summaries that students and scientists alike will find indispensable, this is a major compilation that should anchor all future exploration of temperament and help illuminate the path forward for future work in this field.” — John N. Constantino, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri; Psychiatrist-In-Chief, St. Louis Children’s Hospital

“This is the only book you will need on child temperament. Dr. Rettew provides a clear, comprehensive, and credible synthesis of the current scientific research and techniques for applying this knowledge in a high-quality, practical manner, in a variety of settings. This book is highly accessible and relevant to a broad audience—from clinicians and researchers to parents, teachers, and other professionals who work with children.” — Sanchit Maruti, MD, MS, Chief Resident and Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, University of Vermont, College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, Vermont

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