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Preschoolers' psychophysiological responses to mood induction tasks moderate the intergenerational transmission of internalizing problems

Preschoolers' psychophysiological responses to mood induction tasks moderate the intergenerational transmission of internalizing problems

Biological Psychology 117: 159-169

To identify factors that can both exacerbate risk for, and protect against, internalizing problems during early childhood, the present study examined whether children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) suppression in response to emotionally-laden film clips would moderate the association between maternal and child anxious/depressive symptoms in a cross-sectional sample of 108 mothers (M age=30.68years, SD=6.06) and their preschool-age children (M age=3.50years, SD=0.52, 61.30% male). Results indicated that RSA suppression in response to the fear clip moderated the positive association between maternal and child anxious/depressive symptoms, such that higher suppression served a protective-stabilizing function while lower suppression exacerbated children's risk for internalizing symptoms in the context of higher maternal symptoms. Moderation findings involving RSA suppression in response to a happiness-inducing clip were consistent with biological sensitivity to context; the association between maternal and child symptoms was strongest for children higher in suppression.

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Accession: 058609933

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27045275

DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.03.015

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