Vagal regulation and children's social competence

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paulo A. Graziano (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan P. Keane

Abstract: "Research on the relation between children's physiological capacity to modulate arousal and social competence has been limited and has focused primarily on brain electrical activity or the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Only recently have researchers begun to study the crucial role of the parasympathetic branch of the ANS in modulating metabolic output to foster engagement and disengagement strategies that are considered important for social development. This study examined the relation between vagal regulation, an index of the parasympathetic influence on the heart, and children's social competence and behavior problems in school. In this study, 335 kindergarteners participated in a laboratory assessment designed to examine physiological regulation and a sociometric assessment designed to examine peer status. In addition, teacher and parent reports of behavioral and social functioning were collected. Results indicated that girls with higher levels of vagal regulation had better peer status and better social skills, including greater ability to deal with problem situations with peers (as reported by teachers) than girls with lower levels of vagal regulation. No significant associations emerged for boys. "--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2005
children, physiological capacity, arousal, social competence, brain electrical activity, sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, metabolic output, social development, vagal regulation,
Social skills in children--Study and teaching
Emotions and cognition

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