CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
UI symposium focuses on personality development in children
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Why do some children develop personalities that allow
them to adapt to and function well in society while others develop into
people who are less happy and less well adjusted? The reasons are varied
and complex, and it is more than just a question of "nature vs. nurture,"
said Grazyna Kochanska, Stuit Professor of psychology at the University
To explore the issues surrounding personality development in children,
the department of psychology and the College of Education have organized
a two-day Ida Beam Symposium at the UI. The symposium, "Adaptive and
Maladaptive Pathways in Personality Development," includes three presentations
Friday, April 17 given by distinguished scholars in the field and an informal
discussion with those professors at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 18 in Room
101 Spence Laboratories. The symposium is free and open to the public.
The April 17 presentations will be in the Triangle Ballroom of the Iowa
Memorial Union beginning at 1 p.m. with H. Hill Goldsmith, Leona Tyler
Professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He will
discuss the genetic basis for personality development and explain genetic
contributions to individual differences and temperament.
Mary K. Rothbart, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon,
will present the second topic, beginning at 2:10 p.m. She will discuss
children's temperament, including biologically-founded differences in several
affective systems and self-regulation systems, and how those early differences
affect the development of their personalities.
Finally, at 3:30 p.m., L. Alan Sroufe, a professor at the Institute
of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, will discuss the ways
in which experiences in early relationships during childhood shape an individual's
"These presentations will explore the varying modern views on the
broad range of differences we see in human personalities, and elucidate
the very complex and diverse factors that contribute to their origins and
development," said Kochanska, one of the symposium organizers.
Ida Cornelia Beam, a native of Vinton, willed her farm to the UI in
1977. Her only university connection was a relative who graduated from
the College of Medicine. With the proceeds from the sale of the farm, the
UI established a fund to bring top scholars in a variety of disciplines
to the university for lectures and discussions.