Patterns of RSA and observed distress during the still-face paradigm predict later attachment, compliance and behavior problems: A person-centered approach

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Esther M. Leerkes, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study examined profiles of infant observed distress and physiological regulation indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) levels during the still-face paradigm at 6 months using a person-centered approach. Mothers and infants (N = 206) participated in the study when infants were 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years old. Attachment was assessed at 1 year via the Strange Situation. Children's compliance behaviors were assessed at 2 years during a toy clean-up task. Mothers reported children's behavior problems at 4.5 years. Latent profile analysis yielded four profiles: highly distressed, but regulating; over-regulated; resilient to distress; and under-regulated. Infants in the “resilient to distress” profile characterized by high RSA levels and low negative affect exhibited the most adaptive outcomes such as lower attachment avoidance, higher compliance, and lower behavior problems. Therefore, this study highlights the importance of considering patterns of behavioral and physiological indicators of infant emotionality together for understanding adaptive functioning.

Additional Information

Developmental Psychobiology 60(6): 707–721
Language: English
Date: 2018
arousal, joint effect, regulation, RSA, still-face

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