Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Major/Program

Psychology

First Advisor's Name

Daniel Bagner

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Lorraine Bahrick

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Laura Dinehart

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Paulo Graziano

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

emotion socialization, behavior problems, emotion regulation, depression, parenting training

Date of Defense

9-12-2018

Abstract

Early parent-infant interactions play a critical role in the social, emotional, and behavioral development of children. While several aspects of parent-infant interactions have been thoroughly examined, parent emotion socialization has not been examined to the same extent. The current work aimed to examine the development of parent emotion-related talk in mothers of infants with and without elevated behavior problems in two studies. The first study examined the developmental trajectory of parent emotion-related talk among mothers of infants with and without elevated behaviors. Furthermore, a secondary goal of the study was to examine the effect of parent emotion-related talk on infant behavior and regulation. The study included 101 mother-infant dyads including 43 infants with and 58 infants without elevated behavior problems. All mothers completed a measure on child behavior, videotaped behavioral observations of mother-infant interactions, and a brief emotion regulation task with their infant at three assessments. Growth analyses demonstrated different developmental changes in parent emotion-related talk in mothers of infants with and without elevated behavior problems. For mothers of infants with elevated behavior problems, the starting point of parent emotion-related talk was very low with a significant linear increase, and no significant variability. However, for mothers of infants without elevated behavior problems, there was significant variability in the starting point of parent emotion-related talk as well as the trajectory over time. Furthermore, for mothers of infants with elevated behavior problems parent emotion-related talk at the first assessment significantly predicted infant emotion regulation at the third assessment. These preliminary results highlight the differences in parent emotion-related talk in mothers of infants.

The goal of the second study was to examine the effect of a brief in-home parenting intervention on parent emotion-related talk. The study included 58 mother-infant dyads, with 28 mother-infant dyads assigned to the standard care group and 30 mother-infant dyads assigned to the intervention group. Mothers in the intervention group used more parent emotion-related talk at post-intervention than mothers in the standard care group. Furthermore, maternal depressive symptoms at baseline significantly moderated the effect of the intervention on parent emotion-related talk at post-intervention and follow-up. Specifically, mothers with higher depressive symptoms at baseline who received the intervention, demonstrated higher levels of parent emotion-related talk than mothers with lower scores of depressive symptoms who received the intervention.

Identifier

FIDC007702

COinS
 

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