Thomas & Chess on Behavioral Individuality

Alexander Thomas and Stella Chess discuss temperament qualities in children.

What's New at B-DI

Facebook Child Temperament Facebook Group
What's New at B-DI?

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: