Document Detail

Relational psychophysiology: lessons from mother-infant physiology research on dyadically expanded states of consciousness.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19235090     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The authors illustrate how their work on mother-infant "relational psychophysiology" might inform psychotherapy research. They examined psychophysiology in 18 mother-infant dyads (infants' age: 5 months) during normal interaction and a still-face perturbation. They measured respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) as an index of emotion regulation and explored whether skin conductance (SC) concordance, previously linked to therapist empathy, occurs in mothers and infants. During the still-face episode, SC concordance correlated to infant negative engagement. Upon reengagement, when mothers often soothe their infants, concordance instead correlated to behavioral synchrony, an index of maternal sensitivity. Furthermore, maternal RSA became correlated to infant negative engagement. These findings suggest that a mother trying to calm her infant calms herself physiologically and her sensitivity on a behavioral level becomes coherent physiologically. Implications for psychotherapy research are discussed.
Jacob Ham; Ed Tronick
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychotherapy research : journal of the Society for Psychotherapy Research     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1468-4381     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychother Res     Publication Date:  2009 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-02-25     Completed Date:  2010-06-08     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9110958     Medline TA:  Psychother Res     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  619-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
Beth Isreal Medical Center, New York, & Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 10 Nathan D. Perlman Place, New York, NY 10003, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Arrhythmia, Sinus / epidemiology*
Crying / psychology
Facial Expression
Galvanic Skin Response / physiology
Interpersonal Relations*
Mother-Child Relations*
Psychotherapy / methods*,  standards
Stress, Psychological / diagnosis,  psychology,  therapy*
Comment In:
Psychother Res. 2009 Nov;19(6):649-53   [PMID:  20183411 ]

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