The aim of our research was to consider whether adolescents' temperament matches their teachers' expectations, and are related to symptoms of school maladjustment. The study was based on the 'goodness of fit' model introduced by Thomas and Chess. The findings confirmed the significant role of teachers' expectations as regards the functioning of adolescents at school. Contrary to previous studies a direct link between pupils' temperament and their behavioural problems in a school environment was not found. High expectations of teachers in respect to their pupils' strength of inhibition and the difference between these expectations and the actual temperament of adolescents seemed to be the most important predictor of maladjustment symptoms. The increase in the number of behavioural problems was also associated with teachers' expectations of low level of experience seeking, and a predominance of inhibition over excitation, as far as the balance of nervous processes was concerned. The discrepancy between these expectations and the actual temperamental traits of adolescents was additionally associated with adjustment difficulties. This suggests that the relationships between these findings might be considered in terms of the concept of temperament risk factor.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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