Thomas & Chess on Behavioral Individuality

Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess discuss temperament qualities in children.

What's New at B-DI

Facebook OTC 25, Texas A&M, College Station, TX
What's New at B-DI?
OTC 25 to be held at Texas A&M, Fall/Winter 2025. Updated May 4, 2024.

The 25th Occasional Temperament Conference (OTC) organizing committee was announced on the temperament listserv. The message, posted by Sam Putnam was as follows:

Dear Temperament Consortium colleagues,

I’m very pleased to pass along news regarding the next Occasional Temperament Conference. Jeff Liew at Texas A&M has given me permission to share the following message:

"Rebecca Brooker, Jun Wang, and I will serve as Co-Chairs on the Steering Committee. We have 3 Departments/Colleges represented by the Co-Chairs (Educational Psychology in College of Education and Human Development, Psychological and Brain Sciences in College of Arts & Sciences, and Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications in College of Agriculture and Life Sciences). The Committee also consists of Jeffrey Gagne and Zhe Wang as members. We are excited to host the next OTC at Texas A&M University, co-sponsored by 3 Departments and Colleges sometime in the late Fall/early Winter of 2025."

I am personally grateful to Jeff, Rebecca, Jun, Jeffery and Zhe for taking on this leadership role, giving us all the opportunity to connect and learn from each other once more. I am hopeful that all of you share my gratitude and enthusiasm. Looking forward to another wonderful meeting next year! Gig ‘em Aggies!

Summary of the 24th OTC by Jean-Pascal Lemelin. Updated 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:

New Facebook Group-Child Practitioners Network. Posted March 10th, 2022.

An online forum for professional discussion of the role of temperament in parenting infants, children and teens. Members may post questions, problems, techniques and methods for dealing with temperament in their practices. The forum is open to practitioners and researchers who envision applications of their findings, as well as professionals who deal with education, prevention and/or intervention in their professional practices.

The Facebook Group can be found at:

Note: The Facebook icon at the bottom of this page goes directly to the Child Practitioners Network.

VIRTUAL OTC2020, November 1st and 2nd. UPDATE.
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:

New Temperament Podcasts at the Science of Parenting website. Posted August 29, 2020.

Drop in on season three of the Science of Parenting Podcast as co-hosts Lori Hayungs and Mackenzie Johnson reveal there is no bad or good temperament. Each trait has assets and liabilities.
Podcast writer Barb Dunn Swanson helps encourage learning to understand, appreciate and work with the trait as that is what builds positive parenting opportunities.
Producer Mackenzie DeJong tries to stump the hosts with questions about how temperament applies to real life.
Go check it out!

The podcast list can be found at: