A dynamic system analysis of dyadic flexibility and stability across the Face-to-Face Still-Face procedure: Application of the state space grid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Face-to-Face Still-Face (FFSF) paradigm allows to study the mother-infant dyad as a dynamic system coping with social stress perturbations. The State Space Grid (SSG) method is thought to depict both flexibility and stability of the dyad across perturbations, but previous SSG evidence for the FFSF is limited. The main aims were: (1) to investigate mother-infant dyadic flexibility and stability across the FFSF using the SSG; (2) to evaluate the influence of dyadic functioning during Play on infant Still-Face response and of infant stress response in affecting dyadic functioning during Reunion. Forty 4-month-old infants and their mothers were micro-analytically coded during a FFSF and eight SSG dyadic states were obtained. Dyadic flexibility and attractor states were assessed during Play and Reunion. Infants' stress response was coded as negative engagement during the Still-Face episode. Two dyadic states, "maternal hetero-regulation" and "affective mismatch", showed significant changes in the number of visits from Play to Reunion. During Play "maternal positive support to infant play" emerged as attractor state, whereas during Reunion a second attractor emerged, namely "affective mismatch". Dyadic affective mismatch during Play correlated with infants' negative engagement during Still-Face, whereas infants' response to Still-Face resulted in minor social matching during Reunion. Findings provide new insights into the flexible, yet stable, functioning of the mother-infant dyad as a dynamic system. Evidence of a reciprocal influence between dyadic functioning and infant social stress response are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Volume38
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • Dynamic systems
  • Mother-infant interaction
  • Social stress
  • State space grid
  • Still-Face paradigm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A dynamic system analysis of dyadic flexibility and stability across the Face-to-Face Still-Face procedure: Application of the state space grid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this