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Title: Maternal sensitivity during infancy and the regulation of startle in preschoolers
Authors: Tsotsi S.
Borelli J.L.
Abdulla N.B.
Tan H.M. 
Sim L.W.
Sanmugam S.
Tan K.H. 
Chong Y.S. 
Qiu A. 
Chen H. 
Rifkin-Graboi A.
Keywords: Attachment
child anxiety
startle response
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Tsotsi S., Borelli J.L., Abdulla N.B., Tan H.M., Sim L.W., Sanmugam S., Tan K.H., Chong Y.S., Qiu A., Chen H., Rifkin-Graboi A. (2018). Maternal sensitivity during infancy and the regulation of startle in preschoolers. Attachment and Human Development. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Caregiving insensitivity and fear dysregulation predict anxiety symptoms in children. It is unclear, however, whether sensitive parental care during infancy predicts fear regulation later in childhood. To address this question, we asked whether observed maternal sensitivity, measured at 6 months, predicts 42-month-old children’s laboratory-induced fear responses (n=213) during a fear-eliciting episode. We predicted that higher levels of maternal sensitivity would be associated with greater fear regulation. We operationalized fear regulation as decreases in fear over repeated trials of a novel, potentially frightening, stimulus. Two aspects of fear responses were considered: expressed fear and startle. Expressed fear scores did not decrease over time but children exhibited less startle behavior in the second half of the task. Maternal sensitivity predicted this startle attenuation across trials. These findings highlight the contribution of maternal sensitivity during infancy to the development of fear regulation in early childhood, further suggesting its influence on offspring anxiety problems. © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Source Title: Attachment and Human Development
ISSN: 14616734
DOI: 10.1080/14616734.2018.1542737
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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