PSY2DEV: Psychology Lab Report - Understanding Temperament in Children - Case Study Assessment

December 21, 2017
Author : Alex

Solution Code: 1ACFB

Question: Psychology Case Study

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Psychology Case Study

Case Scenario/ Task

For part 1 of the lab report, you will be writing the introduction (including aims and hypotheses) and methods section for the lab study “Understanding Temperament in Children” in the format of a psychology laboratory report. American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition formatting should be used.

The abstract, results and discussion sections for your report will be included in Lab Report Part 2.

  • APA (2010). Publication manual of the APA, 6th ed.
  • Burton (2010). An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology (3rd ed.). Milton: John Wiley & Sons.

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A lot of research has been conducted regarding temperaments. However, there is a lot of room to conduct research on the influence of the parents and how their upbringing influences the temperaments of their children. Due to age, children may exhibit similar behavior during their early stages of development and often parents fail to recognize the temperaments of their first children. However, during the upbringing of the second child parents may realize that what worked for the first child is not necessarily working for the second child in terms of regulation and reactivity (Prior, 2000). The puzzle becomes even harder if the second child is of different gender. In most cases researchers have failed to directly indicate and prove whether gender or age determines the temperament of the child (Prior M. S., 1993). Researchers have tried to predict the outcome of temperaments for the successive children in the same family something that has always brought mixed results. However, of most importance is the ability of the parent to discipline (firm control) and parental warmth (support and affection) that have played a big role in bringing out temperaments (Sanson, 1996). It must be noted that temperament behaviors are independent of the parenting roles offered by the parents.

However, the two depend on each other and hence it can be argued that temperament and parenting affect each other and so is the outcome of the two. The major problems faced by the researchers in this area of study is that research conducted rely on one point responses a factor that may hinder the researchers from attaining the reliable data (Anthony, 2005). Behavior control varies in life of an organism and the challenges also change with the environment especially as the child begin to interact with the environment we expect behavior and temperament also to change with time (Cloninger, 2008). For that reason, longitudinal studies are necessary for this kind of research in order to come up with reliable date. Previous researches and even current research have challenges of replicating the real life experiences to the lab context hence the studies may not also provide reliable data. Due to such challenges most of the researchers have only relied on cross-sectional research methods in addition to correlations. These type of studies have the disadvantage of preventing inferences especially in the direction of influence hence the validity and reliability of the studies are questioned (Goodman & Gotlib, 1999). However, there have been successful research which have shown reliable results in terms of predicting subsequent child behavior and temperament. For example, it has been found that anxiety and depression is mostly associated with the negative emotional reactivity while positive child development is largely associated with high degrees of warmth and firm parenting. Psychopathology in parents have also been found to associate negative behavior in children. That include depression and stress in mothers (Josefsson, Jokela, Cloninger, & Hintsanen M, 2013). It must also be noted that character influence is highly determined by age and gender. Differences in maturity also affects the same. As people grow older they tend to be modify their behavior and reaction hence can be reflected on the self-regulation, emotion, and behavior. Even though children may poses same temperaments their level of maturity and integration will remain different and that of course depends on how the parents rear their children in the context of the environment. In that case the paper conducts research based on these two hypotheses

  • Is temperament associated with child age or gender?
  • Is temperament associated with parent stress?

Both child age and gender in relation to the parenting environment have huge effects on the temperament of the child. The research paper therefore seeks to verify whether the age and the gender of the child plays a huge role in defining the temperament of the child. Similarly, the paper also seeks to find out the extent at which the parents stress affect the temperament of the child.


The study will take the approach of quantitative study. A total of 178 participants participated in the study. The recruitment was based on the fact that the parent has a child aged 1-12 years old. The parent was also required to be of 18 years old and above and lived within Australia. Ethical issues were also observed. Participation was free and voluntary and the parents were assured of their privacy. The parents were served with questionnaires which were sent through the emails. The parents were required to answer the questionnaires and email them back. An open ended questionnaire was adopted (Cloninger, 2008). The average age of the children was 6.60 years old while that of the parents/ caregivers was 38.3 years old. That is an average from 20-61 years of the parents. Out of the 178 participants 101 were female children while 77 were male children. In addition, the parental relationship also showed huge influence on mothers. The parent relationship to child showed that 154 mother/female caregiver were present and 24 father/male caregiver also participated (Sanson, 1996). The study also aimed at finding out the parents highest education levels. 46 of the parents were found to have had a postgraduate university degree while 47 were found to have an undergraduate university degree. 52 of them were having Tafe /certificate while 33 of them concluded their studies at high school level. Most of the participants spoke in English only. That included 152 of them. 17 of the participants spoke English plus another language while 1 would not speak English, but spoke another language. 8 of the participants had missing data on language spoken. The significance differences of age of the parents and the children was also significant in the study as it is easy to make general conclusion about the children of certain age and gender (Anthony, 2005).

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