Mother-infant dyadic reparation and individual differences in vagal tone affect 4-month-old infants' social stress regulation

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Abstract

Infants' social stress regulation (i.e., reactivity and recovery) might be affected by mother-infant dyadic functioning and infants' vagal tone (i.e., respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA). This study investigated the role of a specific dyadic functioning feature (i.e., dyadic reparation) and individual differences in vagal tone regulation (i.e., RSA suppression vs. non-suppression) in relation to social stress regulation in 4-month-old infants. A total of 65 mother-infant dyads participated in the face-to-face still-face paradigm. Social stress reactivity and recovery were measured as negative emotionality during Still-Face and Reunion episodes, respectively. RSA was measured during Play, Still-Face, and Reunion episodes. Suppressors had higher dyadic reparation during Play and higher recovery from social stress compared with non-suppressors. Higher reparation during Play was associated with lower reactivity and higher recovery only for suppressors. Findings suggest a joint role of infants' RSA individual differences and dyadic reparation in affecting infants' social stress regulation at 4 months of age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-170
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume140
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015

Keywords

  • Dyadic reparation
  • Mother-infant interaction
  • Respiratory sinus arrhythmia
  • Social stress
  • Still-Face paradigm
  • Vagal tone suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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