Document Detail

Infants' and mothers' vagal reactivity in response to anger.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19818088     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Exposure to anger in the family is a risk factor for disruptive behavior disorders characterized by ineffective vagal regulation. Effects of anger on developing vagal regulation may be due to direct exposure or to effects on parents' regulation of emotion as parents support infants' regulation. Little is known about the impact of anger during infancy when important regulatory systems emerge.
METHODS: Six-month-old infants (N = 48) and their mothers were exposed to anger, excitement, or neutral affect then observed in the Still-Face Paradigm (SFP). Vagal tone, indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), was measured.
RESULTS: Infants exposed to anger subsequently showed greater RSA withdrawal to mothers' still-face than infants exposed to other emotions. Mothers exposed to anger showed greater RSA withdrawal than other mothers during emotion exposure and across all episodes of the SFP.
CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to anger may sensitize infants to stress and lead to increased need for physiological regulation. Exposure to anger makes increased demands on mothers' self-regulation, which could detract from their abilities to support infants' regulation.
Ginger A Moore
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2009-10-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines     Volume:  50     ISSN:  1469-7610     ISO Abbreviation:  J Child Psychol Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2009 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-10-21     Completed Date:  2010-01-12     Revised Date:  2013-05-31    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375361     Medline TA:  J Child Psychol Psychiatry     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1392-400     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anger / physiology*
Arrhythmia, Sinus / physiopathology
Child Psychology*
Family Conflict / psychology
Mothers / psychology*
Vagus Nerve / physiology*
Grant Support

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