Contributions of Child’s Physiology and Maternal Behavior to Children’s Trajectories of Temperamental Reactivity

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Susan D. Calkins, Professor (Creator)
Susan P. Keane, Professor (Creator)
Marion O'Brien, Professor, Director of Family Research Center and Associate Dean for Research (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Trajectories of children’s temperamental reactivity (negative affectivity and surgency) were examined in a community sample of 370 children across the ages of 4 to 7 using Hierarchical Linear Modeling. Children’s physiological reactivity (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA), physiological regulation (?RSA), and maternal parenting behavior were included as predictors of children’s trajectories of temperamental reactivity. Results indicated that negative affectivity and surgency decreased from 4 to 7 years of age, however within-person changes in negative affectivity were dependent on levels of baseline RSA and not age. Increases in negative affectivity were also predicted by higher levels of earlier maternal controlling behavior. Decreases in surgency were predicted by higher levels of ?RSA during mother-child interaction tasks and positive parenting behavior. Baseline RSA and maternal controlling parenting also accounted for interindividual differences in children’s negative affectivity at age 7, while gender and children’s baseline RSA accounted for interindividual differences in children’s surgency at age 7. Overall, these results provide further evidence that parenting behavior and children’s RSA influence the changes that occur in children’s temperamental reactivity.

Additional Information

Developmental Psychology, 46, 1089-1102
Language: English
Date: 2010
temperament, RSA, parenting

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