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Infants' Temperament and Mothers', and Fathers' Depression Predict Infants' Attention to Objects Paired with Emotional Faces.
J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2016 07; 44(5):975-90.JA

Abstract

Between 10 and 14 months, infants gain the ability to learn about unfamiliar stimuli by observing others' emotional reactions to those stimuli, so called social referencing (SR). Joint processing of emotion and head/gaze direction is essential for SR. This study tested emotion and head/gaze direction effects on infants' attention via pupillometry in the period following the emergence of SR. Pupil responses of 14-to-17-month-old infants (N = 57) were measured during computerized presentations of unfamiliar objects alone, before-and-after being paired with emotional (happy, sad, fearful vs. neutral) faces gazing towards (vs. away) from objects. Additionally, the associations of infants' temperament, and parents' negative affect/depression/anxiety with infants' pupil responses were explored. Both mothers and fathers of participating infants completed questionnaires about their negative affect, depression and anxiety symptoms and their infants' negative temperament. Infants allocated more attention (larger pupils) to negative vs. neutral faces when the faces were presented alone, while they allocated less attention to objects paired with emotional vs. neutral faces independent of head/gaze direction. Sad (but not fearful) temperament predicted more attention to emotional faces. Infants' sad temperament moderated the associations of mothers' depression (but not anxiety) with infants' attention to objects. Maternal depression predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions in infants low in sad temperament, while it predicted less attention in infants high in sad temperament. Fathers' depression (but not anxiety) predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions independent of infants' temperament. We conclude that infants' own temperamental dispositions for sadness, and their exposure to mothers' and fathers' depressed moods may influence infants' attention to emotion-object associations in social learning contexts.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129, 1018WS, Amsterdam, Netherlands. E.Aktar@uva.nl. Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018WS, Amsterdam, Netherlands. E.Aktar@uva.nl.Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129, 1018WS, Amsterdam, Netherlands.Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018WS, Amsterdam, Netherlands.Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018WS, Amsterdam, Netherlands.Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129, 1018WS, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Weesperplein 4, 1018XA, Amsterdam, Netherlands.Research Institute of Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018WS, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26446725

Citation

Aktar, Evin, et al. "Infants' Temperament and Mothers', and Fathers' Depression Predict Infants' Attention to Objects Paired With Emotional Faces." Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, vol. 44, no. 5, 2016, pp. 975-90.
Aktar E, Mandell DJ, de Vente W, et al. Infants' Temperament and Mothers', and Fathers' Depression Predict Infants' Attention to Objects Paired with Emotional Faces. J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2016;44(5):975-90.
Aktar, E., Mandell, D. J., de Vente, W., Majdandžić, M., Raijmakers, M. E., & Bögels, S. M. (2016). Infants' Temperament and Mothers', and Fathers' Depression Predict Infants' Attention to Objects Paired with Emotional Faces. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44(5), 975-90. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-015-0085-9
Aktar E, et al. Infants' Temperament and Mothers', and Fathers' Depression Predict Infants' Attention to Objects Paired With Emotional Faces. J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2016;44(5):975-90. PubMed PMID: 26446725.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Infants' Temperament and Mothers', and Fathers' Depression Predict Infants' Attention to Objects Paired with Emotional Faces. AU - Aktar,Evin, AU - Mandell,Dorothy J, AU - de Vente,Wieke, AU - Majdandžić,Mirjana, AU - Raijmakers,Maartje E J, AU - Bögels,Susan M, PY - 2015/10/9/entrez PY - 2015/10/9/pubmed PY - 2017/3/7/medline KW - Emotion KW - Fathers KW - Individual differences KW - Infancy KW - Pupil dilation KW - Temperament SP - 975 EP - 90 JF - Journal of abnormal child psychology JO - J Abnorm Child Psychol VL - 44 IS - 5 N2 - Between 10 and 14 months, infants gain the ability to learn about unfamiliar stimuli by observing others' emotional reactions to those stimuli, so called social referencing (SR). Joint processing of emotion and head/gaze direction is essential for SR. This study tested emotion and head/gaze direction effects on infants' attention via pupillometry in the period following the emergence of SR. Pupil responses of 14-to-17-month-old infants (N = 57) were measured during computerized presentations of unfamiliar objects alone, before-and-after being paired with emotional (happy, sad, fearful vs. neutral) faces gazing towards (vs. away) from objects. Additionally, the associations of infants' temperament, and parents' negative affect/depression/anxiety with infants' pupil responses were explored. Both mothers and fathers of participating infants completed questionnaires about their negative affect, depression and anxiety symptoms and their infants' negative temperament. Infants allocated more attention (larger pupils) to negative vs. neutral faces when the faces were presented alone, while they allocated less attention to objects paired with emotional vs. neutral faces independent of head/gaze direction. Sad (but not fearful) temperament predicted more attention to emotional faces. Infants' sad temperament moderated the associations of mothers' depression (but not anxiety) with infants' attention to objects. Maternal depression predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions in infants low in sad temperament, while it predicted less attention in infants high in sad temperament. Fathers' depression (but not anxiety) predicted more attention to objects paired with emotional expressions independent of infants' temperament. We conclude that infants' own temperamental dispositions for sadness, and their exposure to mothers' and fathers' depressed moods may influence infants' attention to emotion-object associations in social learning contexts. SN - 1573-2835 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26446725/Infants'_Temperament_and_Mothers'_and_Fathers'_Depression_Predict_Infants'_Attention_to_Objects_Paired_with_Emotional_Faces_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -