Matching Items (44)

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

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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Effects of Specific Visual Stimulation on Human Stress Indicators

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The purpose of our study was to evaluate whether viewing videos of dogs had an effect on the stress response of college students. While there is strong support in the

The purpose of our study was to evaluate whether viewing videos of dogs had an effect on the stress response of college students. While there is strong support in the literature for demonstrating the beneficial effect of human-canine interactions on human stress indicators, there is very little to no literature on whether or not this phenomenon translates across a digital medium. We hypothesized that when exposed to a video of golden retriever puppies after a stress-inducing task, an individual would experience an increase in blood pressure recovery rate and a decline in perceived stress. In order to study this, we put together several surveys to test our participants' perceived stress, and we measured blood pressure several times in order to obtain a physiological measure of stress. Additionally, in order to produce a guaranteed stress response in our participants, we gave them 2 minutes to prepare a 4 minute video-recorded speech that they were not made aware of prior to entering the testing facility. After the speech task, the experimental group quietly viewed a pleasant 4 minute video containing imagery of dogs, while the control group sat silently for the same duration of time. During this time, the control group was asked to mentally review their performance and to focus intently on the feelings they experienced while giving their speech. Through these measures we found a significant recovery rate in systolic blood pressure and a trending difference between groups for the decline in negative affect. The data demonstrated that the experimental group had blood pressure levels that were significantly closer to their baseline levels when compared to the control group, whose blood pressure did not decline at the same rate. Additionally, the experimental group experienced a higher level of change in negative affect when asked to self-report their level of stress before the speech task and after the conditional recovery period. Interestingly, these findings can be applied to recent literature suggesting that systolic blood pressure is the most important factor of cardiac health to consider when assessing an individual for risk of heart disease or cardiac arrest. While the sample size of this study was small, the significant reduction in systolic blood pressure within the experimental group could indicate the possible efficacy of utilizing digital media containing imagery of canines as a form of therapy for systolically-hypertensive individuals as a means of managing their condition.

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  • 2017-05

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Does Social Intelligence Improve with Training? A Focus on the Moderating Role of Neuroticism

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This study examined the effectiveness of a Social Intelligence Intervention (SII) in improving components of social intelligence, and whether neuroticism moderates such associations in 130 participants aged 45-70. We hypothesized

This study examined the effectiveness of a Social Intelligence Intervention (SII) in improving components of social intelligence, and whether neuroticism moderates such associations in 130 participants aged 45-70. We hypothesized that the SII will improve participants' social intelligence across several factors: social awareness, social skills, social information processing, and perspective taking. Furthermore, we examined if neuroticism moderated participants' responsiveness to the intervention. Specifically, we hypothesize that individuals with high levels of neuroticism will have greater improvements in social intelligence. Individuals were randomly assigned to participate in the SII (n=71) or an attention control condition (n=59) that focused on healthy living tips. Individuals provided self-report data prior to participation in the study, and following completion of the intervention or attention control condition. The results were not statistically significant, however there was a trend for social information processing to improve with the SII. Neuroticism and time significantly moderated social awareness. This research suggests that the SII may not be effective in improving social intelligence scores for participants in midlife. Thus, the SII should be enhanced to surpass improvements that could potentially be from common factors in the intervention.

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  • 2016-12

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The Influence of Extracurricular Activities on Self-Regulation in Childhood

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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between extracurricular activities and self-regulation in 400 five year old twin children. Extracurricular activities were assessed using the Health and

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between extracurricular activities and self-regulation in 400 five year old twin children. Extracurricular activities were assessed using the Health and Behavior Questionnaire, and self-regulation was assessed using the Children's Behavior Questionnaire. While there initially was a significant correlation between extracurricular activities and self-regulation, that correlation became non-significant when controlling for SES and sex in a mixed model regression model. Nearly all of the children who did not participate in extracurricular activities came from lower SES families, leading to a lack of a "control group" for the high SES families. When only taking into account the lower SES half of the sample, the correlation between extracurricular activities and self-regulation became stronger and the correlation between SES and self-regulation became non-significant. Extracurricular activities do appear to promote self-regulation in children coming from low SES families, yet their effects on children coming from high SES families is still unknown.

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  • 2016-12

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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

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

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

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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

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

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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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

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

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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

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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Date Created
  • 2018-05