Matching Items (15)

152979-Thumbnail Image.png

Father involvement in Mexican American families

Description

Research demonstrating the importance of the paternal role has been largely conducted using samples of Caucasian men, leaving a gap in what is known about fathering in minority cultures. Family

Research demonstrating the importance of the paternal role has been largely conducted using samples of Caucasian men, leaving a gap in what is known about fathering in minority cultures. Family systems theories highlight the dynamic interrelations between familial roles and relationships, and suggest that comprehensive studies of fathering require attention to the broad family and cultural context. During the early infancy period, mothers' and fathers' postpartum adjustment may represent a critical source of influence on father involvement. For the current study, Mexican American (MA) women (N = 125) and a subset of their romantic partners/biological fathers (N = 57) reported on their depressive symptoms and levels of father involvement (paternal engagement, accessibility, and responsibility) during the postpartum period. Descriptive analyses suggested that fathers are involved in meaningful levels of care during infancy. Greater paternal postpartum depression (PPD) was associated with lower levels of father involvement. Maternal PPD interacted with paternal gender role attitudes to predict father involvement. At higher levels of maternal PPD, involvement increased among fathers adhering to less segregated gender role attitudes and decreased among fathers who endorsed more segregated gender role attitudes. Within select models, differences in the relations were observed between mothers' and fathers' reports of paternal involvement. Results bring attention to the importance of examining contextual influences on early fathering in MA families and highlight the unique information that may be gathered from separate maternal and paternal reports of father involvement.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

158499-Thumbnail Image.png

Estimating the Causal Effect of Maternal Depression During Early Childhood on Child Externalizing and Internalizing Problems

Description

Background. Hundreds of studies have linked maternal depression to negative child outcomes. However, these studies have been correlational, so they cannot rule out alternative explanations such as that child

Background. Hundreds of studies have linked maternal depression to negative child outcomes. However, these studies have been correlational, so they cannot rule out alternative explanations such as that child characteristics evoke maternal depression or that confounding variables are causes of both phenomena. Design. I applied a propensity score approach to data from the Early Steps Multisite Trial, a sample of 731 low-income families tracked approximately annually from ages 2 through 16. Families were equated on propensity scores based on a large set of baseline characteristics, producing two groups that were similar across all measured characteristics except for the presence of clinically significant symptoms of maternal depression during toddlerhood. Children’s longitudinal behavioral outcomes from parent-, teacher-, and self-report measures were compared across the equated groups in order to estimate the causal effects of maternal depression. Results. Both matching and weighting were successful in equating families with depressed and non-depressed mothers on a set of 89 potential confounding variables measured at child age 2. Prior to any adjustment for confounding, the effect of maternal depression was statistically significant for 41 of 48 mother-, secondary-caregiver-, and teacher-reported outcomes. Effect sizes were consistent with the larger literature and in the small to medium range. After matching or weighting to equate families with depressed versus non-depressed mothers, the effects of maternal depression at age 2 was statistically significant for 6 of 48 mother-, secondary-caregiver-, and teacher-reported outcomes. Adjusted effect sizes were in the very small to small range. Conclusions. Findings are consistent with the claim that there is a very small causal effect of exposure to maternal depression at child age 2 on child externalizing and internalizing behavior in early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence. While awaiting replication, results suggest (a) that treatment of maternal depression should not be expected to substantially reduce child externalizing and internalizing behavior problems; (b) that very large sample sizes are needed to adequately investigate causal developmental processes that link maternal depression to child behavior; and (c) that causal inference methods can be an important addition to the toolbox of developmental psychopathologists.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

153052-Thumbnail Image.png

Stress, depression, and the mother-infant relationship across the first year

Description

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a significant public health concern affecting up to half a million U.S. women annually. Mexican-American women experience substantially higher rates of PPD, and represent an underserved

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a significant public health concern affecting up to half a million U.S. women annually. Mexican-American women experience substantially higher rates of PPD, and represent an underserved population with significant health disparities that put these women and their infants at greater risk for substantial psychological and developmental difficulties. The current study utilized data on perceived stress, depression, maternal parenting behavior, and infant social-emotional and cognitive development from 214 Mexican-American mother-infant dyads. The first analysis approach utilized a latent intercept (LI) model to examine how overall mean levels and within-person deviations of perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and maternal parenting behavior are related across the postpartum period. Results indicated large, positive between- and within-person correlations between perceived stress and depression. Neither perceived stress nor depressive symptoms were found to have significant between- or within-person associations with the parenting variables. The second analysis approach utilized an autoregressive cross-lagged model with tests of mediation to identify underlying mechanisms among perceived stress, postpartum depressive symptoms, and maternal parenting behavior in the prediction of infant social-emotional and cognitive development. Results indicated that increased depressive symptoms at 12- and 18-weeks were associated with subsequent reports of increased perceived stress at 18- and 24-weeks, respectively. Perceived stress at 12-weeks was found to be negatively associated with subsequent non-hostility at 18-weeks, and both sensitivity and non-hostility were found to be associated with infant cognitive development and social-emotional competencies at 12 months of age (52-weeks), but not with social-emotional problems. The results of the mediation analyses showed that non-hostility at 18- and 24-weeks significantly mediated the association between perceived stress at 12-weeks and infant cognitive development and social-emotional competencies at 52-weeks. The findings extend research that sensitive parenting in early childhood is as important to the development of cognitive ability, social behavior, and emotion regulation in ethnic minority cultures as it is in majority culture families; that maternal perceptions of stress may spillover into parenting behavior, resulting in increased hostility and negatively influencing infant cognitive and social-emotional development; and that symptoms of depressed mood may influence the experience of stress.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

153748-Thumbnail Image.png

A multi-method examination of mother-infant synchrony as a predictor of social and emotional problems

Description

The parent-child relationship is one of the earliest and most formative experiences for social and emotional development. Synchrony, defined as the rhythmic patterning and quality of mutual affect, engagement, and

The parent-child relationship is one of the earliest and most formative experiences for social and emotional development. Synchrony, defined as the rhythmic patterning and quality of mutual affect, engagement, and physiological attunement, has been identified as a critical quality of a healthy mother-infant relationship. Although the salience of the quality of family interaction has been well-established, clinical and developmental research has varied widely in methods for observing and identifying influential aspects of synchrony. In addition, modern dynamic perspectives presume multiple factors converge in a complex system influenced by both nature and nurture, in which individual traits, behavior, and environment are inextricably intertwined within the system of dyadic relational units.

The present study aimed to directly examine and compare synchrony from three distinct approaches: observed microanalytic behavioral sequences, observed global dyadic qualities, and physiological attunement between mothers and infants. The sample consisted of 323 Mexican American mothers and their infants followed from the third trimester of pregnancy through the first year of life. Mothers were interviewed prenatally, observed at a home visit at 12 weeks postpartum, and were finally interviewed for child social-emotional problems at child age 12 months. Specific aspects of synchrony (microanalytical, global, and physiological) were examined separately as well as together to identify comparable and divergent qualities within the construct.

Findings indicated that multiple perspectives on synchrony are best examined together, but as independent qualities to account for varying characteristics captured by divergent systems. Dyadic relationships characterized by higher reciprocity, more time and flexibility in mutual non-negative engagement, and less tendency to enter negative or unengaged states were associated with fewer child social-emotional problems at child age 12 months. Lower infant cortisol was associated with higher levels of externalizing problems, and smaller differences between mother and child cortisol were associated with higher levels of child dysregulation. Results underscore the complex but important nature of synchrony as a salient mechanism underlying the social-emotional growth of children. A mutually engaged, non-negative, and reciprocal environment lays the foundation for the successful social and self-regulatory competence of infants in the first year of life.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

154354-Thumbnail Image.png

Predicting variation in responsiveness to the family check-up in early childhood: a mixture model approach

Description

The present study applied latent class analysis to a family-centered prevention

trial in early childhood to identify subgroups of families with differential responsiveness to the Family Check-up (FCU) intervention. The sample

The present study applied latent class analysis to a family-centered prevention

trial in early childhood to identify subgroups of families with differential responsiveness to the Family Check-up (FCU) intervention. The sample included 731 families of 2-year- olds randomized to the FCU or control and followed through age five with yearly follow up assessments (Dishion et al., 2014; Shaw et al., 2015). A two-step mixture model was used to examine whether specific constellations of family characteristics at age 2 (baseline) were related to intervention response at age 3, 4, and 5. The first step empirically identified latent classes of families based on a variety of demographic and adjustment variables selected on the basis of previous research on predictors of response to the FCU and parent training in general, as well as on the clinical observations of FCU implementers. The second step modeled the effect of the FCU on longitudinal change in children's problem behavior in each of the empirically derived latent classes. Results suggested a five-class solution, where a significant intervention effect of moderate-to- large size was observed in one of the five classes. The families within the responsive class were characterized by child neglect, legal problems, and mental health issues. Pairwise comparisons revealed that the intervention effect was significantly greater in this class of families than in two other classes that were generally less at risk for the development of disruptive behavior problems, and post hoc analyses partially supported these results. Thus, results indicated that the FCU was most successful in reducing child problem behavior in the highly distressed group of families. We conclude by discussing the potential practical utility of these results and emphasizing the need for future research to evaluate this approach's predictive accuracy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

157277-Thumbnail Image.png

Emerging self-regulation: contributing infant and maternal factors

Description

The ability to self-regulate is arguably the single most important skill a child develops early in life. Self-regulation skills are consistently linked to indices of health, success, and wellbeing. The

The ability to self-regulate is arguably the single most important skill a child develops early in life. Self-regulation skills are consistently linked to indices of health, success, and wellbeing. The predominating perspective in self-regulation developmental research has emphasized the role of the early caregiving environment, specifically maternal characteristics and behavior, in shaping infants’ emerging regulatory skills. Using two complementary studies, this dissertation draws from a longitudinal sample of 322 low-income, Mexican American mother-infant dyads to better understand mothers’ and infants’ unique roles in contributing to emerging infant regulatory processes. The first study explores the unique contributions of intrinsic (i.e., infant gaze) and extrinsic (i.e., maternal gaze) factors in understanding infant dysregulated emotion and behavior during mother-infant interactions. Using actor partner interdependent models (APIMs), the role of infant and maternal gaze in understanding infant dysregulation were examined longitudinally across three mother-infant interaction tasks (i.e., soothing, teaching, and peekaboo), as well as within task. The expected relations among gaze and dysregulation did not emerge in the longitudinal model; however, differential patterns of associations emerged by task. Findings are discussed within the intersection of risk, culture, and the dyadic interaction context.

The second study connects patterns of specific maternal behaviors (i.e., acknowledging, gaze, vocal appropriateness, appropriate range of affect, consistency of style, resourcefulness, and touch) associated with maternal sensitivity to infant cortisol reactivity and recovery. Latent profile analysis (LPA) revealed four distinct combinations of maternal sensitivity behaviors. One pattern emerged as a risk profile—differentiated by higher maternal stress—and was associated with significantly more infant cortisol recovery compared to other profiles. Both studies offer a more nuanced understanding of the respective roles of infant and maternal factors in the development of self-regulation. Further explication of developmental processes involved in early regulatory functioning has implications for advancing both scientific knowledge and improved targeting of prevention and early intervention efforts to promote optimal child outcomes, particularly in populations that at increased risk for developmental psychopathology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

153058-Thumbnail Image.png

Maternal Intrusiveness and infant affect: transactional relations and effects on toddler internalizing problems

Description

Maternal intrusiveness is an important predictor of child mental health problems. Evidence links high levels of maternal intrusiveness to later infant negativity, and child internalizing problems. However, children also influence

Maternal intrusiveness is an important predictor of child mental health problems. Evidence links high levels of maternal intrusiveness to later infant negativity, and child internalizing problems. However, children also influence the manner in which parents interact with them. For example, infants that show more negative emotionality elicit less positive parenting in their caregivers. Infant affect is also associated with later child internalizing difficulties. Although previous research has demonstrated that maternal intrusiveness is related to infant affect and child internalizing symptomatology, and that infant affect is a predictor of internalizing problems and parenting, no studies have looked at the transactional relations between early maternal intrusiveness and infant affect, and whether these relations in infancy predict later childhood internalizing symptomatology. The present study investigates young children's risk for internalizing problems as a function of the interplay between maternal intrusiveness and infant affect during the early infancy period in a low-income, Mexican-American sample. Participants included 323 Mexican-American women and their infants. Data were collected when the infants were 12, 18, 24, and 52 weeks old. Mothers were asked to interact with their infants in semi-structured tasks, and mother and infant behaviors were coded at 12, 18, and 24 weeks. Maternal intrusiveness was globally rated, and duration of infant negative- and positive affect was recorded. Mother reports of child Internalizing symptomatology were obtained at 52 weeks. Findings suggest that there are transactional relations between early maternal intrusiveness and infant negative affect, while the relations between infant positive affect and maternal intrusiveness are unidirectional, in that infant positivity influences parenting but not vice versa. Further, findings also imply that neither maternal intrusiveness, nor infant affect, influence later toddler internalizing symptomatology. Identifying risk processes in a Mexican-American sample adds to our understanding of emerging infant difficulties in this population, and may have implications for early interventions.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

153331-Thumbnail Image.png

A transdiagnostic approach to understanding psychopathology in late adolescents: parent-adolescent relationship dynamics discriminate latent classes of psychological adjustment

Description

Comorbidity is a significant problem for current classification systems of psychopathology (i.e., DSM-V). One issue is that the underlying mechanisms shared among comorbid disorders are poorly understood, especially potential psychosocial

Comorbidity is a significant problem for current classification systems of psychopathology (i.e., DSM-V). One issue is that the underlying mechanisms shared among comorbid disorders are poorly understood, especially potential psychosocial mechanisms such as family dynamics. The current study used latent class analysis to empirically classify patterns of psychopathology within a large community sample of late adolescents (age 18-19) based on their lifetime psychological adjustment measured using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Videotaped family interactions of adolescents (age 16-17) and their parents were micro and macro coded and the resulting family dynamics were compared across the three empirically defined groups of psychological adjustment which emerged from the latent class analysis: 1) an early onset, persistent antisocial behavior class; 2) an emotionally distressed and substance using class; and 3) a typically developing class. It was found that some directly observed family dynamics, including parental monitoring, dyadic positive engagement and coercive engagement discriminated among empirically derived classes. It was also found that particular tasks better discriminated among classes with regard to specific family dynamics (e.g., family activity task best discriminated among classes on dyadic positive engagement). Overall, findings suggest that novel methodologies like latent class analysis can be useful in attempting to map underlying transdiagnostic mechanisms onto the current diagnostic framework. The findings also highlight the importance of taking many variables into consideration when attempting to understand how family dynamics are associated with psychological adjustment.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

150478-Thumbnail Image.png

Family systems in the context of child risk: an observational analysis

Description

Family plays an important yet understudied role in the development of psychopathology during childhood, particularly for children at developmental risk. Indeed, much of the research on families has actually concentrated

Family plays an important yet understudied role in the development of psychopathology during childhood, particularly for children at developmental risk. Indeed, much of the research on families has actually concentrated more on risk processes in individual family members or within-family subsystems. In general, important and complex associations have been found among family-related constructs such as marital conflict, parent-child relationships, parental depression, and parenting stress, which have in turn been found to contribute to the emergence of children's behavioral problems. Research has begun to emerge that certain family system constructs, such as cohesion, organization, and control may influence children's development, but this research has been limited by a focus on parent-reports of family functioning, rather than utilizing observational methods. With notable exceptions, there is almost no observational research examining families of children at developmental risk. This study examined the longitudinal relations among family risk and family system constructs, as well as how family systems constructs mediated the relations between family risk and child outcome. Further, the study examined how developmental risk moderated these relations. The sample followed 242 families of children with and without developmental risk across the transition-to-school period. Family risk factors were assessed at 5 years, using parental reports of symptomatology, parenting stress, and marital adjustment, and observational assessments of the parent-child relationship. Family system constructs (cohesion, warmth, conflict, organization, control) were measured at age 6 using structured observations of the entire family playing a board game. Child behavior problems and social competence were assessed at age 7. Results indicated that families of children with developmental delays did not differ from families of typically developing children on the majority of family system attributes. Cohesion and organization mediated the relations between specific family risk factors and social competence for all families. For families of typically developing children only, higher levels of control were associated with more behavior problems and less social competence. These findings underscore the importance of family-level assessment in understanding the development of psychopathology. Important family effects on children's social competence were found, although the pathways among family risk and family systems attributes are complex.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

154840-Thumbnail Image.png

Infant temperamental reactivity and emerging behavior problems in a Mexican American sample

Description

Clinically meaningful emotional and behavioral problems are thought to be present beginning in infancy, and may be reliably assessed in children as young as 12 months old. However, few studies

Clinically meaningful emotional and behavioral problems are thought to be present beginning in infancy, and may be reliably assessed in children as young as 12 months old. However, few studies have investigated early correlates of emotional and behavioral problems assessed in infancy. The current study investigates the direct and interactive contributions of early infant and caregiver characteristics thought to play an important role in the ontogeny of behavior problems. Specifically, the study examines: (1) the links between temperamental reactivity across the first year of life and behavior problems at 18 months, (2) whether children high in temperamental reactivity are differentially susceptible to variations in maternal sensitivity, (3) the extent to which child temperamental risk or susceptibility may further be explained by mothers’ experiences of stressful life events (SLEs) during and before pregnancy. Data were collected from 322 Mexican American families during prenatal, 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-week home interviews, as well as during 12- and 18-month lab interviews. Mother reports of SLEs were obtained between 23-40 weeks gestation; temperamental negativity and surgency at 6 weeks and 12 months; and internalizing and externalizing behaviors at 18 months. Maternal sensitivity during structured mother-infant interaction tasks at the 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-week visits was assessed by objective observer ratings. Study findings indicated that maternal SLEs before birth were associated with more infant negativity across the first year of life, and that negativity in turn was associated with more internalizing problems at 18 months. Ecological stressors thought to be associated with sociodemographic risk factors such as low-income and ethnic minority status may begin to exert cascades of influence on children’s developmental outcomes even before birth.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016