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Title:Real-time mother-child physiological coordination: the moderating effect of a mutually responsive orientation
Author(s):Hu, Yannan
Advisor(s):McElwain, Nancy L.
Contributor(s):Tu, Kelly M.
Department / Program:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Discipline:Human Dvlpmt & Family Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Physiological coordination
Mutually responsive orientation
Abstract:From a bio-behavioral framework, mother-child real-time physiological and behavioral coordination each play an important role in children’s socioemotional development, and these processes are interdependent. However, we have limited knowledge about the temporal pattern of real-time physiological coordination, and empirical evidence on the associations between these behavioral and physiological processes has been sparse. The current study addressed these gaps in the literature by using real-time indices of maternal and child parasympathetic dynamics (i.e., Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia; RSA) and dyadic behaviors in 15-s epochs to test the extent to which physiological coordination within the dyad was contingent on the dyad’s mutually responsive orientation (MRO; assessed via observer ratings). Based on data from 110 mothers and their preschoolers (56 girls, M age = 53.63 months, SD = 7.74) across two 5-min play tasks (i.e., puzzle, pretend play), the results from a series of two-level coupled autoregressive models indicated that the dyad’s overall level of MRO moderated mother-lead RSA coordination, and this pattern emerged across both play tasks. For dyads showing higher MRO, increases in maternal RSAt-1 predicted increases in children’s subsequent RSAt, controlling for the stability of within-person RSA change over time. However, for dyads showing lower MRO, changes in maternal RSAt-1 did not predict subsequent changes in child RSAt. No effects of MRO emerged for concurrent or child-lead RSA coordination. Consistent with the framework of bio-behavioral synchrony, results suggest that, in the context of cooperative play, mother-lead physiological coordination may be conditional upon mother-child mutual responsiveness. Findings highlight the importance of investigating temporal patterns of physiological coordination in various mother-child interactive contexts.
Issue Date:2020-12-08
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Yannan Hu
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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