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ERIC Number: EJ858881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Children's Patterns of Emotional Reactivity to Conflict as Explanatory Mechanisms in Links between Interpartner Aggression and Child Physiological Functioning
Davies, Patrick T.; Sturge-Apple, Melissa L.; Cicchetti, Dante; Manning, Liviah G.; Zale, Emily
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v50 n11 p1384-1391 Nov 2009
Background: This paper examined children's fearful, sad, and angry reactivity to interparental conflict as mediators of associations between their exposure to interparental aggression and physiological functioning. Methods: Participants included 200 toddlers and their mothers. Assessments of interparental aggression and children's emotional reactivity were derived from maternal surveys and a semi-structured interview. Cortisol levels and cardiac indices of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity were used to assess toddler physiological functioning. Results: Results indicated that toddler exposure to interparental aggression was associated with greater cortisol levels and PNS activity and diminished SNS activity. Toddler angry emotional reactivity mediated associations between interparental aggression and cortisol and PNS functioning. Fearful emotional reactivity was a mediator of the link between interparental aggression and SNS functioning. Conclusions: The results are interpreted within conceptualizations of how exposure and reactivity to family risk organize individual differences in physiological functioning.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A