The aim of this study was to analyze the extent to which the relations and the stability of the neonatal behaviour and the infant behaviour at both 4 and 12 months could be used to predict the infant temperament at 6 years. Seventy-two full-term, normal-weight, healthy children were followed from 3 days postpartum to 6 years. Neonatal behaviour at 3 and 30 days was assessed using the Neonatal Behaviour Assessment Scale (NBAS), behaviour at 4 and 12 months was assessed using the Infant Behaviour Record (IBR) from the Bayley Scales for Infant Development (BSID) and temperament at 6 years was assessed using the Dimensions of Temperament Survey-Revised (DOTS-R). Negative and positive affectivity and attention were the factors extracted from the behaviours of the IBR. Our results showed a low/moderate correlation between neonatal behaviour on the one hand and behaviour at 4 and 12 months and temperament at 6 years on the other hand. The motor performance, orientation and ANS stability of the neonate at 3 and 30 days were predictors of positive and negative affectivity at 4 months. State regulation and ANS stability at 3 days were predictors of negative affectivity and attention respectively at 12 months. Negative affectivity at 12 months and endurance at 30 days were predictors of general activity and persistence/attention at 6 years. Also, an inverse relation was found between state regulation at 30 days and general activity at 6 years, and a positive relation was found between attention at 4 months and persistence/attention at 6 years. We conclude that neonatal behaviour and behaviour in the first year of life are good predictors of temperament at 6 years and that early negative affectivity has an important role on infant temperament development.
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