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Understanding Emotion Dynamics and Observed Cooperation and Conflict in the Sibling Relationship

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Sibling interactions are natural contexts for learning about the appropriate expression of emotions. The emotionally charged nature of sibling interactions creates a convenient context to explore emotional reactivity and regulation.

Sibling interactions are natural contexts for learning about the appropriate expression of emotions. The emotionally charged nature of sibling interactions creates a convenient context to explore emotional reactivity and regulation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations among parent-reported sibling relationship quality, observed sibling prosocial and antisocial behaviors displayed when playing a competitive marble game, and children's emotions coded from videotape. The sample consisted of 58 twin children who are currently participating in the longitudinal Arizona Twin Project. Parents completed the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire online at 5 and 8 years. Additionally, a competitive marble game interaction between the siblings took place in the home at 8 years and was videotaped for objective coding of prosocial, antisocial, and control behavior. Facial expressions were also coded from videotape using Emotient FACET software across the marble game interaction. Three mean composites of emotion were created, including positive and negative emotional facial expressions. Results showed that parent reported warmth did not predict the occurrence of positive emotions during the sibling interaction. However, siblings with high conflict showed less fear during the interaction. Parent reports of warmth predicted the extent to which siblings differed on emotion expression, however conflict did not. Parent ratings of conflict and warmth did not predict the extent to which the sibling dyad was emotionally intense. Findings regarding genetic and environmental effects were in line with previous reports of genetic influence on prosocial behavior and negative emotion, and expressions of joy being influenced by the environment. This study investigated noteworthy aspects of the sibling relationship that appear to promote children's adaptive development.

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  • 2018-05

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The Role of Parenting and Parental Pain in Children's Chronic Pain Experience

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Children's chronic pain has many contributing factors, including family environment, genetics, and parenting. Still, pediatric chronic pain remains understudied, and little research has been conducted on predictors of child pain

Children's chronic pain has many contributing factors, including family environment, genetics, and parenting. Still, pediatric chronic pain remains understudied, and little research has been conducted on predictors of child pain onset. This study aims to elucidate some of these factors by examining the role of parenting style and parental pain in children's chronic pain experience. The study answered the following questions: 1) Is child chronic pain heritable?; 2) Do parenting styles and/or parental pain predict child pain?; and 3) Is parenting style the mediating variable in the relation between parent pain and child pain? A twin study design was employed to account for both genetic and environmental influences in pain. Primary and secondary caregivers completed pain questionnaires regarding their own and their children's pain. The caregivers also completed questionnaires regarding their own parenting styles. Observer ratings were used as additional measures of primary caregiver parenting. Results indicated that child pain is heritable and that parental pain was significantly related to child pain. However, parenting style did not predict child pain and was not a mediator in the relationship between parental pain and child pain. Further research on other parenting factors or predictors of pain may lead to prevention of pediatric chronic pain or more effective management of child pain symptoms.

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  • 2018-05

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A Comparison of Hand and Computer Coding of Expressions of Emotion

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Hand-coding systems of measuring facial expressions were developed to study and analyze human emotions, but they are time-intensive and thus seldom used. As technology has advanced, new computer software programs,

Hand-coding systems of measuring facial expressions were developed to study and analyze human emotions, but they are time-intensive and thus seldom used. As technology has advanced, new computer software programs, such as Affectiva, were developed to code facial expressions automatically using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Since this technology is still new, Affectiva and its validity remain understudied, and no psychological research has been conducted to compare Affectiva computer coding and hand coding of children’s emotions. The purpose of this study was to compare hand and computer coding of children’s expressions of emotion during a videotaped parent-child interaction. The study answered the following questions: 1) Do hand and computer coding agree?; and 2) Are hand and computer coding in higher agreement for some emotions than others? The sample included 25 pairs of twins from the Arizona Twin Project. Facial expressions were coded from videotape by a trained and reliable human coder and using the software Affectiva. The results showed that hand and computer coded emotion were in agreement for positive, but not negative emotions. Changing the context of the interaction to elicit more negative emotion, and using the same indicators of each emotion in computer and hand coding are suggested to improve the comparison of computer and hand coding.

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  • 2020-05

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The Relation Between Child Chronic Pain and Internalizing Symptoms: An Analysis of Sibling Relationships as Moderators and Child Social Engagement as a Mediator

Description

Pediatric chronic pain is surprisingly common and impactful, prospectively predicting poorer mental and physical health outcomes. Internalizing symptoms represents one such outcome. It is the most common cluster of symptoms

Pediatric chronic pain is surprisingly common and impactful, prospectively predicting poorer mental and physical health outcomes. Internalizing symptoms represents one such outcome. It is the most common cluster of symptoms in children, it is related to poorer child functioning, and it has been linked to future functioning/psychopathology. The psychosocial mechanisms through which child pain may impact internalizing have yet to be fully elaborated, but withdrawal from social engagement with peers has been proposed as one possible mechanism. Additionally, sibling relationships may play a role in enhancing or diminishing a child’s social engagement while they are in pain. The current study aimed to examine whether child social engagement at age 8 mediates the relation between child chronic pain at age 8 and internalizing symptoms at age 9. Further, the study tested whether sibling warmth and sibling conflict act as moderators between child chronic pain and child social engagement. The physical and emotional health, quality of sibling relations, and extracurricular social engagement of 491 twin children from 247 families were assessed at age 8 and age 9 via surveys completed by the children’s primary caregivers. Findings showed that child pain at age 8 did not predict lower levels of social engagement, and social engagement did not predict child internalizing at age 9. Sibling warmth, but not conflict, significantly moderated the pain—social engagement relation. Together, these findings indicate that the relation between chronic pain and internalizing functions differently in children than in adults through a variety of cognitive, environmental, and social factors. More longitudinal research in this area will help establish changes in the relation between pain and internalizing from childhood into adulthood.

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  • 2020-05