Matching Items (51)

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Associations Between Sleep and Cognitive Function in Middle Childhood: The Moderating Role of Early Life Socioeconomic Status

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The objective of the current study was to examine sleep and academic functioning during middle childhood. More specifically, the twin design was used to determine the heritability of academic competence and sleep. Phenotypic analyses using multi-level mixed model regressions were

The objective of the current study was to examine sleep and academic functioning during middle childhood. More specifically, the twin design was used to determine the heritability of academic competence and sleep. Phenotypic analyses using multi-level mixed model regressions were performed to predict academic functioning from sleep. Lastly, socioeconomic status was tested as a moderator in the associations between sleep and academic functioning. Participants included twins (N = 191 families; Mage = 8.47 years) recruited from Arizona birth records at 12 months of age. Sleep duration, latency, onset, efficiency, variability, and sleep problems were assessed using actigraph watches and the Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire. Academic functioning was assessed using subtests of the Woodcock Johnson Cognitive Test of Achievement-IV (picture vocabulary, passage comprehension, and applied problems) and the MacArthur Health and Behavior Questionnaire. As determined by twin intraclass correlations, the heritability of academic competence ranged from 51-76%. Sleep heritability ranged from 14-80%. In addition, phenotypic analyses only showed a significant association between sleep latency and WJ picture vocabulary scores. More specifically, sleep latency was negatively associated with the picture vocabulary subtest. Additional models were run to examine if any interactive effects were present between early SES and the various sleep parameters. Several significant associations were observed with applied problems scores and parent-reported academic competence. Specifically, for children of low SES, a significant positive association was observed for sleep duration and WJ applied problems scores, as well as for sleep efficiency and WJ applied problems scores. No significant associations were observed for sleep efficiency and HBQ scores with children of any SES. Also, no significant relationships were observed with children of high SES for any of the academic measures.

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2018-05

Dynamic Characteristics of Parent-Child Interactions: Mediating Role in Relation Between Parental Catastrophizing and Child Chronic Pain

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Child chronic pain is both common and consequential and identification of malleable risk factors is a critical step towards developing effective interventions. Existing evidence points to the possibility that parent behavior may play a significant role in the development of

Child chronic pain is both common and consequential and identification of malleable risk factors is a critical step towards developing effective interventions. Existing evidence points to the possibility that parent behavior may play a significant role in the development of children’s chronic pain through modeling of pain-related behaviors. An important parental trait that predicts parent behavior in pain contexts is parental pain catastrophizing, which has been linked to child pain outcomes as well as to increased facial pain behavior in both parents and their children during pain induction. Existing research has examined facial pain behavior in aggregate, summarizing facial expressions over the course of an entire dyadic interaction, which does not allow for evaluation of the dynamic interplay between a parent and child. The current study aimed to test the hypothesis that higher parental catastrophizing would predict decreased flexibility in emotional dynamics between parent and child (reflected in facial affect during a parent-child interaction that occurs within the context of child pain-induction), which would in turn predict fewer child chronic pain symptoms. The approach used dynamic systems analysis of facial behaviors during the parent-child interaction during the child’s performance of a pain inducing cold pressor task to assess dyadic emotional flexibility. Nine-year old children from a larger sample of twins (N = 30) were video recorded during a cold-water pain task while their parents observed them. Videos of the children and their parent from these interactions were analyzed using facial action unit software (AffDex), into positive, neutral, and negative facial emotional expressions. Synchronized parent and child coded facial data were then analyzed for flexibility using GridWare (version 1.1). Parents completed the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) to assess parental trait pain catastrophizing and the Body Pain Location/Frequency scale to assess child chronic pain symptoms during the prior three months. Contrary to prediction, parental catastrophizing was related to higher levels of flexibility, and flexibility was unrelated to child chronic pain. Exploratory analyses indicated that children with higher levels of effortful control had more emotionally flexible interactions with their parent during the cold pressor, and emotionally flexible interactions predicting lower levels of children’s negative emotional responses to the acute pain task. suggesting some promising avenues for future research.

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2019-05

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The Heritability of Different Indices of the Diurnal Cortisol Rhythm in Middle Childhood and Phenotypic Associations with the Home Environment

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Research has shown that environmental stressors that occur during childhood and early adolescence are associated with multiple deficits in physiological and psychological functioning later in life. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been proposed as a potential biological mechanism through which

Research has shown that environmental stressors that occur during childhood and early adolescence are associated with multiple deficits in physiological and psychological functioning later in life. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been proposed as a potential biological mechanism through which these phenotypic alterations occur as studies have shown a link between early life adversity and altered diurnal cortisol patterns (Goldman-Mellor, Hamer, & Steptoe, 2012; Gunnar & Quevedo, 2008). Given research has shown that diurnal cortisol levels are influenced by genetic factors (Veen et al., 2011), but that a majority of differences across subjects can be attributed to the environment (Schreiber et al., 2006), phenotypic associations were explored between the quality of the home environment and children's diurnal cortisol patterns. The first aim of this study was to determine the level of genetic and environmental contributions to different parameters of diurnal cortisol rhythm. The second aim of this study was to examine whether the quality of the home environment, particularly indicators involving parenting and the physical environment, was associated with these same diurnal cortisol measures. A diverse sample of 320 twin children were assessed at 8 years using gold standard home environment interviews and a measure of diurnal cortisol rhythm across three days with three samples taken from each twin every day. Twin intraclass correlations indicated high levels of heritability for the morning to afternoon diurnal cortisol slope as well as the afternoon to evening slope, while measures of cortisol in the afternoon, evening, and across the day showed low levels of heritability, which suggested that differences in the environment were a more influential factor. Multilevel regression analyses showed that the overall quality of the home environment was found to be significantly negatively associated with cortisol levels at bedtime and negatively associated across the morning to afternoon slope at a trend level. The physical environment and emotional climate of the home were not significantly associated with any indicators of the diurnal cortisol pattern. A unique seasonality effect was noted as cortisol measurements taken from participants during the summer were significantly increased when compared to participants throughout the rest of the year. Overall, these findings showed a unique association between the quality of the home environment and diurnal cortisol levels at bedtime and perhaps the change in cortisol levels across the morning to afternoon, as well as a possible seasonal covariate which may affect diurnal cortisol measurements and one which often goes overlooked in cortisol research.

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2018-05

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Bidirectional Relationship Between Parenting and Problem Behaviors: A Longitudinal Genetically Informed Design

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While previous research has investigated the influence parenting styles have on child behavior, there has not been consistent findings on how child behavior in return influences parenting. This study goes beyond the literature by examining bidirectional influences of combined dyad

While previous research has investigated the influence parenting styles have on child behavior, there has not been consistent findings on how child behavior in return influences parenting. This study goes beyond the literature by examining bidirectional influences of combined dyad for emotional availability and early problem behaviors (composited across 12 and 30 months) predicting parental warmth, authoritarian parenting, internalizing, externalizing and ADHD symptoms at age eight. This study also examined whether genetic or environmental factors were driving these behaviors. Participants were from the ongoing Arizona Twin Project (N=340 twin children). 25% of the twins were monozygotic, 35% were same-sex dizygotic, and 35% were opposite-sex dizygotic twins. Preliminary correlations showed bidirectional effects between early emotional availability, problem behaviors and parental warmth, authoritarian parenting, internalizing, externalizing and ADHD symptoms at age eight; however, once twin dependence and covariates were controlled for, the bidirectional effects were no longer significant. One important finding emerged: early problem behaviors were predictive of later problem behaviors at eight years. The study also found that externalizing and ADHD symptoms were more heritable than emotional availability, early problem behaviors, and internalizing symptoms. Therefore, interventions should be developed addressing the environmental influences that contribute to early problem behaviors.

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2018-05

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The Effects of Maternal Postpartum Depression on Dyadic Emotion Dysregulation

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Postpartum depression is recognized as the most common psychiatric disorder that appears in approximately 10-15% of women, with higher frequencies among low-income minority women. Past studies have revealed that depressive symptoms negatively impact child development and mother-child synchrony. The current

Postpartum depression is recognized as the most common psychiatric disorder that appears in approximately 10-15% of women, with higher frequencies among low-income minority women. Past studies have revealed that depressive symptoms negatively impact child development and mother-child synchrony. The current study's purpose was to explore the effects of postpartum depressive symptoms on later dyadic dysregulation. The data was collected from Las Madres Nuevas' study, a longitudinal investigation. Participants were 322 Mexican and Mexican American mother-infant dyads from the Phoenix metropolitan area who were recruited though a Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) prenatal clinic. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to measure depression 6 weeks postpartum. Additionally, the dysregulation-coding scheme used at child's 24 months of age measured the children's, mothers', and dyads' regulatory skills throughout their interactions with each other. Linear regression analyses were the central analyses of this study. In the first regression analysis, results showed that mother's age at prenatal visit (p= 0.44), 6-week depression score (p= 0.37), mother's education (p= 0.77), and number of biological children (p= 0.28) did not significantly predict dyadic dysregulation at 24 months. The second linear regression analysis concluded that the 6-week depression score, mother's country of birth, the interaction of maternal depression and country of birth, mother's education, mother's age at prenatal visit, and number of biological children also did not predict dyadic dysregulation at 24 months. Although not statistically significant, the findings suggest that the Hispanic Paradox theory, conservation of native cultural values, and strong social support have protective effects in Mexican immigrant and Mexican American childbearing women.

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2018-05

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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. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations

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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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, such as Affectiva, were developed to code facial expressions automatically

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 in children, it is related to poorer child functioning, and

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

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Genetic and Environmental Influences on Children's Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Parenting

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The purpose of the current study was to determine the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of prosocial behavior in children using a population of 356 twins at 8 years of age. The study also aimed to examine whether

The purpose of the current study was to determine the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of prosocial behavior in children using a population of 356 twins at 8 years of age. The study also aimed to examine whether qualities of parenting (specifically authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles) were phenotypic predictors of prosocial behavior. Both parent-reports and objective ratings of global prosocial behavior were used. Results supported prosocial behavior as a genetically-influenced trait with heritability estimates of 44% and 68% for parent reported and observed prosocial behavior, respectively. Data also suggested prosocial behavior as an environmentally-influenced trait. As hypothesized, authoritative parenting was moderately correlated with parent-reported prosocial behavior and authoritarian parenting was found to be low-to-moderately negatively correlated with parent-reported prosocial behavior. Multi-variable regressions demonstrated that authoritative parenting was significantly predictive of increased parent-reported prosocial behavior but authoritarian parenting was not predictive of decreased parent reported prosocial behavior. However, observed prosocial behaviors were largely independent of both authoritative and authoritarian styles of parenting.

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2017-12

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EXAMINING THE ADDITIVE INFLUENCE OF PRENATAL RISK FACTORS AND THE POSTNATAL ENVIRONMENT ON INFANT FUNCTIONING

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The relations between prenatal risk factors and postnatal risk and protective factors and infant outcomes were examined. Mothers, primarily of low-income background and Latina ethnicity, were interviewed within 24 hours of giving birth, and then again when their infants were

The relations between prenatal risk factors and postnatal risk and protective factors and infant outcomes were examined. Mothers, primarily of low-income background and Latina ethnicity, were interviewed within 24 hours of giving birth, and then again when their infants were five and nine months of age. The relations between prenatal stress, postnatal environment, and infant maturity and temperament were analyzedusing a multiple regression model. We controlled for the covariates: mother's education level and infant's birth weight. Maternal prenatal risk factors predicted lower infant Regulation and lower Developmental Maturity at nine months. Maternal postnatal risks did not predict infant outcomes, but maternal expectations for their child provided a significant association for three of the four infant outcomes: Regulation, Surgency, and Infant Developmental Maturity. The results underscore the importance of prenatal stress holding its significance with the addition of postnatal measures. Future studies would need to explore deeper into a multitude of postnatal factors, in order to accurately portray associations between maternal prenatal stress and infant health.

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2012-05