Jerome Kagan on Temperament

Research in temperament has blossomed in the last 15 years through the efforts of literally hundreds of scientists in many disciplines.

Occasional Temperament Conferences:

The 24th OCCASIONAL TEMPERAMENT CONFERENCE. Quebec, Canada November5-7, 2023

OTC 24: Manoir des Sables, Orford, Québec

Summary of the 24th OTC by Jean-Pascal Lemelin.
Posted February 2, 2024.

The 24th Occasional Temperament Conference (OTC) was held at the Manoir des Sables, Orford, Québec, October 5-7, 2023, in a joyful atmosphere and an idyllic natural setting. It was the first time OTC was presented in Canada. Dr. Jean-Pascal Lemelin (Program Chair) and Dr. Yann Le Corff (Program Co-Chair), from the University of Sherbrooke, Dr. Annie Bernier (Program Co-Chair), from the University of Montreal, and Dr. Nicolas Berthelot (Program Co-Chair) from the University of Québec at Trois-Rivières, hosted the conference with the assistance of Florence Paillon, Mylène Villeneuve Cyr, Geneviève Rivard, Kim Deschênes and Geneviève L’Écuyer.
The 24th OTC attracted over 140 participants from all over the world, making it one of the most attended editions since these meetings were put in place. The scientific program included 4 preconference workshops, 7 symposiums including a total of 40 oral presentations, and 47 poster presentations, fueling reflections and stimulating discussions among participants.
Themes of the workshops (and their respective leaders) were: Latent Profile Analysis in Temperament Research (Roy Martin, University of Georgia); Caring for the Spirited Child (Sean McDevitt, Behavioral-Developmental Initiatives); Hippocrates Revisited: Neurochemical Biomarkers of Temperament and Psychopathology (Irina Trofimova & William Sulis, McMaster University); A Preconference on New INSIGHTS (Sandee McClowry, New York University).
Themes of the symposiums (and their respective chairs) were: Adversity, vulnerability, psychopathology, and temperament (Kirby Deater-Deckard, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Santiago Morales, University of Southern California); Neuroscience, biology, and temperament (Martha Ann Bell, Virginia Tech); Social relationships, parenting, and temperament (Tracy Spinrad, Arizona State University); Practical and clinical applications of temperament (Sean McDevitt, Behavioral-Developmental Initiatives); Temperament in the school context (Kathleen Rudasill, Virginia Commonwealth University); Development and measurement of temperament (Koraly Perez-Edgar, Pennsylvania State University); Culture, gender, and temperament (Samuel Putnam, Bowdoin College).
The event featured two prestigious keynote speakers. Dr. Nancy Eisenberg, Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University, who was introduced by Dr. Cynthia Smith (Virginia Tech University), offered the participants a very comprehensive address around the construct of effortful control, entitled “Top down self-regulation in children: Conceptualization, operationalization, and correlates”. Dr. Jennifer Tackett, Editor-in-Chief for Clinical Psychological Science and professor at Northwestern University, who was introduced by Dr. Sarah De Pauw (Ghent University), contributed an exciting presentation centered on leadership entitled “Who are the Game Changers? Why We Need to Study Leadership in Childhood and Adolescence”.
Three Jan Kristal awards were awarded before the gala dinner to Dr. Masha Gartstein (Washington State University), Dr. Kathleen Rudasill (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Dr. Patricia McGuire in recognition for their distinguished contributions to the application of temperament theory and measures for the welfare of children.
The event was supported by the Université de Sherbrooke, the Université de Montréal, and several research groups of which the program chair and co-chairs are members: Le Groupe de recherche et d’intervention sur les adaptations sociales de l’enfance (GRISE; Group for Research and Intervention on Children’s Social Adjustment;, le Centre de recherche universitaire sur les jeunes et les familles (CRUJeF; et le Groupe de recherche et d’intervention auprès des enfants vulnérables et négligés (GRIN).
All details, including the conference programs, can be found here:

Report of the OTC 23 Meeting from the Organizers.
Posted December 20, 2020.

The 23rd Occasional Temperament Conference was hosted by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, on November 1st and 2nd 2020, and was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drs. Cindy Smith (Program Chair) and Martha Ann Bell (Program Co-Chair) hosted the conference and were assisted by Graduate Student Program Organizer, Diana Devine.

Dr. Cynthia Stifter of The Pennsylvania State University was the invited keynote speaker and her presentation, The Foundational Role of Temperament in Child Development: A Case for Childhood Obesity, addressed the ways that child temperament and child obesity are intertwined.

Dr. Sean McDevitt organized our opening symposium, Honoring the Contributions of Dr. William Carey, whom we sadly lost earlier this year. In this session, clinicians and researchers discussed the ways their work has been influenced by Bill Carey, who was so integral to the study of child temperament. Presenters in this symposium were: Dr. Robert Hudson, Drs. Sara Harkness and Charles Super, Drs. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and Janet Crow, Dr. Cindy Ratekin, and Dr. Patricia McGuire.

Our other conference symposia included: Temperament in the Context of Developmental Disabilities, organized by Dr. Laudan Jahromi (Columbia University); Temperament and Culture, organized by Dr. Carlos Valiente (Arizona State University) and Dr. Sara Harkness (University of Connecticut); Temperament and Technology, organized by Dr. Koeun Choi (Virginia Tech); Temperament and Neuroscience, organized by Dr. Rebecca Brooker (Texas A&M University); Temperament and Regulation, organized by Dr. Diane Lickenbrock (Western Kentucky University); Temperament and Cognition, organized by Dr. Wallace Dixon (East Tennessee State University); and Temperament and Socialization, organized by Dr. Esther Leerkes and Ms. Lauren Bailes (University of North Carolina at Greensboro).

Conference participants were able to view the 62 poster presentations prior to the conference and then participate in a series of six virtual question and answer poster sessions with faculty and graduate student presenters. Poster session themes included: Temperament in Infancy; Temperament in Applied and Contextual Settings; Temperament and Parenting; Temperament and Neurobehavior and Physiology; Temperament in Toddlerhood and Early Childhood; Temperament in Middle Childhood through Adolescence.

The Jan Kristal Memorial Award was presented Dr. Elaine Aron to acknowledge her important work on highly sensitive temperaments. Helen Neville gave an overview of Dr. Aron's accomplishments, including her many published books.

Due to the virtual format of the conference, the planned preconference sessions were canceled.

Thanks to the many efforts of the conference organizers, colleagues at the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at Virginia Tech, researchers, clinicians, and practitioners, and poster and paper presenters, we were able to enjoy a well-attended virtual conference in early November. There were over 150 registrants and nearly 100 participants attended the keynote address. The generosity of the sponsors of our conference (Department of Human Development and Family Science, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, College of Science, Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment, all from Virginia Tech) allowed for reduced registration rates for graduate students and early career scholars.

Please visit the website for our conference: to view the agenda and download the conference program, which includes abstracts for all papers and posters.

OTC2020 VIRTUAL website can be found at:

22nd Occasional Temperament Conference: Murcia, Spain, May, 2018. Updated June 18, 2018.

OTC22keynote Meeting Summary from Carmen Gonzalez-Salinas

The 22nd Occasional Temperament Conference was held at the University of Murcia, Spain, May 3-25, 2018. It was hosted by Jose Antonio Carranza and Carmen Gonzalez-Salinas, from the University of Murcia, and Charo Rueda, from the University of Granada. In accordance with the selected theme, a multidisciplinary approach to the study of temperament, this meeting brought together a variety of research addressing temperament from different disciplines, including Neuroscience, Personality and Developmental Psychology, as well as studies of application in clinical and educational settings. In this occasion, two outstanding researchers were invited. Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg (Leiden University), keynote speaker, reviewed correlational and experimental evidence for the concept of differential susceptibility. Nancy Eisenberg organized a roundtable oriented to reflect about conceptual issues, and the contribution of temperament to the study of psychological development. Additional components of the panel were Marinus Izjendoorn (University of Leiden), Liliana Lengua (University of Washington), Marcel Zentner (University of Innsbruck), Reinhard Pekrun (University of Munich), and Carmen Gonzalez-Salinas (University of Murcia).

The Jan Kristal Memorial Award was introduced by Sean McDevitt and given to Barbara Medoff-Cooper and Liliana Lengua to acknowledge their important contribution for the welfare of children. Masha Gartstein kindly summarized Liliana's professional and academic trajectory, and we could congratulate Liliana personally.

The preconference workshops addressed varied topics concerning research and practice on temperament. Jose A. Lopez-Lopez (Bristol Medical School; meta-analysis), Brian French (University of Washington; multilevel modeling), Sam Putnam (Bodowin College; test construction), Scott Frohn (University of Nebraska; test construction), Sean McDevitt (psychologist, Arizona; temperament and parenting in referred children), Irina Trofimova (McMaster University; temperament and mental disorders), and William Sulis (McMaster University; temperament and mental disorders), generously introduced us to their respective topics.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the conference organizers, scientific committee, preconference leaders, conference speakers, and poster presenters, we enjoyed an exciting scientific program. More international participation was encouraged this year, resulting in a record in the number of attendees (more than 100) that came from about 25 different countries. However, we missed the TC members who couldn't make this conference. We sent warm messages for Bill Carey and Mary Rothbart in a special postcard we printed for them.

The scientific agenda was complemented with joyful activities, such as the gala dinner at the Real Casino de Murcia, the guided city tour, and the day trip to Cartagena and the Roman Theater. The city of Murcia was quite animated during these days, as "The Three Cultures Festival" (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian) offered street music and dance.

Go here: here: to download the OTC22 conference program and book of abstracts

The 21st Occasional Temperament Conference. October 20-22, 2016 Talaris Conference Center, Seattle, WA

otc21a Keynote Address: Nathan Fox

Report of the OTC 21 Meetings from the Organizers. Posted December 14, 2016.

The theme of the 2016 Occasional Temperament Conference was "Temperament across the lifespan: From biology to intervention" with the goal of integrating basic biological, behavioral and mental health research with their translation to prevention and intervention. This meeting included several preconference events, offering clinical and advanced quantitative training, with a record number of conference attendees and community members taking advantage of these OTC opportunities. The conference consisted of 8 symposia and over 20 poster presentations, all informing the audience regarding current scientific inquiry into temperament and related fields.

The keynote address given my Nathan Fox was particularly illuminating, spanning the spectrum of studies addressing the development behavioral inhibition and highlighting the work of his prominent former students.

Jan Kristal award recipients broke new ground as well, with the work of Jack Bates and Kare S. Olafsen, the first academic and the first European colleagues recognized at this meeting.

In another innovative move, this meeting was co-hosted by Liliana Lengua (University of Washington) and Masha Gartstein (Washington State University), who shared responsibility for planning the meeting.

Seattle proved to be a worthy destination, providing many tourist attractions along with information shared at the OTC sessions. As is customary, the next location was discussed at the planning session at the end of the meeting, with potential future sites including US and European destinations - stay tuned!

Click here for Conference details.

Click here for OTC 21 Abstracts of Papers & Posters

The 20th OCCASIONAL TEMPERAMENT CONFERENCE. Lincoln, Nebraska, November 7-9, 2014

otc21a2 OTC 20: Keynote Address with Jack Bates

The 2014 OTC meeting held last weekend in Lincoln, NE was superb! A gathering of 60+ professionals in the areas of research, practice and education attended a preconference, 8 symposia, 15 posters and a keynote address by Jack Bates. Attendees came from as far away as Australia, Spain, Poland and Mexico City. Sandee McClowry and Helen Neville each received a Jan Kristal Memorial Award for application of temperament to benefit children. Kathy Rudasill, the organizer, along with a group of dedicated students did a marvelous job of hosting the meeting and assisting with local arrangements. This conference will be remembered in particular because of her Nebraska Nice! hospitality. A planning meeting was held at the end of the conference to discuss the date and location of the next OTC.

Click here for Conference details.

Click here for copies of slides and presentations and to view photos.