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Title:Electrophysiological, observed, and subjective emotional responses to infant vocalizations: the role of adult attachment
Author(s):Groh, Ashley
Director of Research:Roisman, Glenn I.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Roisman, Glenn I.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bost, Kelly; McElwain, Nancy L.; Heller, Wendy; Fraley, R.C.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Adult Attachment
Emotion Regulation
Infant Vocalizations
electroencephalograph (EEG) asymmetry
Abstract:This study examined the significance of adult attachment—as assessed with both narrative-based and self-report measures—for adults’ electrophysiological, behavioral, and subjective emotional responding to infant distress and non-distress vocalizations. Results revealed that narrative-based adult attachment—as measured by the Attachment Script Assessment—was consistently associated with responding to infant distress. Individuals higher on secure base script knowledge—as reflected in their ability to generate narratives in which attachment-related threats are recognized, competent help is provided, and the problem is resolved—were found to exhibit reduced relative left (vs. right) frontal EEG asymmetry from rest indicative of decreased positive emotion, lower observed tension, and decreased reported feelings of positive emotion in response to infant crying. In contrast, secure base script knowledge was not found to be significantly associated with responding to infant laughter. Self-reported avoidance and anxiety—as measured by the Relationship Styles Questionnaire—were not found to be consistently associated with responding to infant crying or infant laughter. Results are discussed in terms of their role in extending the literature on the biological correlates of adult attachment, the empirical divergence of narrative-based and self-report adult attachment measures, the contribution of narrative-based adult attachment to the organization and effectiveness of emotional responding to infant distress vocalizations, and the possible implications of these findings for the intergenerational transmission of attachment-relevant experience.  
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Ashley M. Groh
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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