Infant temperament, pleasure in parenting, and marital happiness in adoptive families

Leslie D. Leve, Laura V. Scaramella, Beverly I. Fagot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Temperamental characteristics have been related to later externalizing and internalizing behavioral outcomes. To assess the relationship between temperament and the early family environment, we measured infant temperament, pleasure in parenting, and marital happiness via parent report in 99 families with a nonrelative adoptive infant. Perceptions of child temperament were assessed using two subscales of the Infant Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ; Rothbart, 1981). Mothers and fathers who rated their adoptive child as showing more Distress to Limitations (on the IBQ) reported less pleasure in routine parenting activities; this effect was mediated by marital happiness for fathers. Mothers reported less pleasure in parenting with infants perceived to be more temperamentally fearful (on the IBQ). The bidirectional relationship between temperamental characteristics and pleasure in parenting is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-558
Number of pages14
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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