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Koss K.J.,Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis | George M.R.,University of South CarolinaColumbia | Cummings E.M.,University of Notre Dame | Davies P.T.,University of RochesterRochester | And 2 more authors.
Developmental Psychobiology | Year: 2013

Recent research supports the promise of examining interactive models of physiological processes on children's adjustment. The present study investigates interactions between children's autonomic nervous system activity and adrenocortical functioning in the context of marital discord; specifically, testing models of concurrent responses proposed by Bauer et al. ([2002] Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 23:102-113) in the prediction of children's behavioral responses to conflict and adjustment. Asymmetry and symmetry in children's salivary alpha-amylase and cortisol were examined in 195 children (M age=8 years) in response to viewing conflict vignettes. Results were partially consistent with an interactive model in the context of high marital discord; asymmetry among higher alpha-amylase and lower cortisol related to higher emotional insecurity and concurrent and subsequent maladjustment. In contrast, patterns of symmetrical responses were related to greater maladjustment for children exposed to lower levels of marital discord, supporting an additive model. Findings support the importance of a multisystem approach to investigating the adaptiveness of children's physiological stress responses, while also highlighting the value of considering physiological responses in the context of family risk. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Esposito E.A.,Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis | Koss K.J.,Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis | Donzella B.,Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis | Gunnar M.R.,Institute of Child DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis
Developmental Psychobiology | Year: 2015

The relations between early deprivation and the development of the neuroendocrine and central components of the mammalian stress response have been examined frequently. However, little is known about the impact of early deprivation on the developmental trajectories of autonomic function. Children adopted between 15-36 months from institutional care were examined during their first 16 months post-adoption (N=60). Comparison groups included same-aged peers reared in their birth families (N=50) and children adopted internationally from overseas foster care (N=46). The present study examined trajectories of baseline autonomic nervous system function longitudinally following entry into adopted families. Post-institutionalized children had higher sympathetic tone, measured by pre-ejection period (PEP). Individual differences in PEP soon after adoption served as a mediator between early deprivation and parent-reported behavioral problems 2 years post-adoption. There were no group differences in parasympathetic function, indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia. All three groups showed similar trajectories of ANS function across the 16 month period. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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