Temperament significantly contributes to the genesis and development of behavioural problems in children. A difficult temperament during the first years of life, for example, increases the risk of future adjustment problems, whereas an easy temperament is a protective factor in multiple-risk environments.
Although temperamental traits are detectable manifest very early in life and seem to vary little over time, the environment in which the child is growing up is likely to influence these tendencies present at birth.
This paper examines the temperament of Québec infants at the age of about 5 months in 1998. The mother's and father's perceptions of the infant are first presented. Furthermore, associations between certain characteristics of the infant and his environment and the parents' perception of a difficult temperament are examined.