Cumulative Risk, Parenting Behaviors, and the Development of Executive Functions in Early Childhood: A Role for Physiological Self-Regulation? Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
Creator
  • Holochwost, Steven John
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Abstract
  • The present study examined the associations among cumulative risk, parenting behaviors, and executive functions in a longitudinal sample of young children. In addition, it assessed the role of physiological self-regulation as a potential moderator of the relationships of both risk and parenting with executive functions. Exposure to cumulative risk over the first year of life was found to predict composite measures of maternal sensitivity and negative-intrusiveness. Among African American children, cumulative risk also predicted executive functions at school entry, but this relationship was not observed among European American children. Instead, among European American children the effects of cumulative risk on executive functions were mediated by negative-intrusiveness. Physiological self-regulation was operationalized as membership in one of five clusters extracted from the joint basal activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Thus defined, physiological self-regulation moderated the effect of cumulative risk on the development of executive functions. These results are discussed in the context of developmental trajectories within each physiological system and the unexpected relationships of ethnicity with risk, parenting, executive functions, and physiological self-regulation.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Gariépy, Jean-Louis
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013
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