Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Regulating sadness and fear from outside and within: Mothers' emotion socialization and adolescents' parasympathetic regulation predict the development of internalizing difficulties

  • Paul D. Hastings (a1), Bonnie Klimes-Dougan (a2), Kimberly T. Kendziora (a3), Ann Brand (a4) and Carolyn Zahn-Waxler (a5)...

Abstract

Multilevel models of developmental psychopathology implicate both characteristics of the individual and their rearing environment in the etiology of internalizing problems and disorders. Maladaptive regulation of fear and sadness, the core of anxiety and depression, arises from the conjoint influences of ineffective parasympathetic regulation of emotion and ineffective emotion socialization experiences. In 171 youths (84 female, M = 13.69 years, SD = 1.84), we measured changes of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in response to sadness- and fear-inducing film clips and maternal supportive and punitive responses to youths' internalizing emotions. Youths and mothers reported on youths' internalizing problems and anxiety and depression symptoms concurrently and 2 years later at Time 2. Maternal supportive emotion socialization predicted fewer, and punitive socialization predicted more, mother-reported internalizing problems at Time 2 only for youths who showed RSA suppression to fear-inducing films. More RSA suppression to sadness-inducing films predicted more youth-reported internalizing problems at Time 2 in girls only. In addition, less supportive emotion socialization predicted more youth-reported depression symptoms at Time 2 only for girls who showed more RSA suppression to sadness. RSA suppression to sadness versus fear might reflect different patterns of atypical parasympathetic regulation of emotional arousal, both of which increase the risk for internalizing difficulties in youths, and especially girls, who lack maternal support for regulating emotions.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Paul D. Hastings, Center for Mind & Brain, University of California, Davis, 267 Cousteau Place, Davis, CA 95618; E-mail: pdhastings@ucdavis.edu.

References

Hide All
Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Integrative guide for the 1991 CBCL/4–18, YSR, and TRF profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.
Achenbach, T. M., McConaughy, S. H., & Howell, C. T. (1987). Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: Implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 213232.
Alloy, L. B., Kelly, K. A., Mineka, S., & Clements, C. M. (1990). Comorbidity of anxiety and depressive disorders: A helplessness–hopelessness perspective. In Maser, J. D. & Cloninger, C. R. (Eds.), Comorbidity of mood and anxiety disorders (pp. 499543). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.
Angold, A., Costello, E. J., & Erkanli, A. (1999). Comorbidity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 5787.
Arnone, D., McKie, S., Elliott, R., Thomas, E. J., Downey, D., Juhasz, G., et al. (2012). Increased amygdala responses to sad but not fearful faces in major depression: Relation to mood state and pharmacological treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 841850.
Auerbach, R. P., & Hankin, B. L. (2012). Cognitive vulnerability, stress, and symptom specificity in children and adolescents. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 5, 237239.
Beauchaine, T. P. (2012). Physiological markers of emotion and behavior dysregulation in externalizing psychopathology. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 77, 7986.
Belsky, J., & Pluess, M. (2009). Beyond diathesis stress: Differential susceptibility to environmental influences. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 885908.
Bosch, N. M., Riese, H., Ormel, J., Verhulst, F., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2009). Stressful life events and depressive symptoms in young adolescents: Modulation by respiratory sinus arrhytmia? The TRAILS study. Biological Psychology, 81, 4047.
Boyce, W. T., Quas, J., Alkon, A., Smider, N., Essex, M., & Kupfer, D. J. (2001). Autonomic reactivity and psychopathology in middle childhood. British Journal of Psychiatry, 179, 144150.
Brody, L. R., & Hall, J. A. (2000). Gender, emotion, and expression. In Lewis, M. & Haviland-Jones, J. M. (Eds.), The handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 338349). New York: Guilford Press.
Bruner, J. S. (1975). From communication to language: A psychological perspective. Cognition, 3, 255287.
Bylsma, L. M., Morris, B. H., & Rottenberg, J. (2008). A meta-analysis of emotional reactivity in major depressive disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 676691.
Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, G. G., Larsen, J. T., Poehlmann, K. M., & Ito, T. A. (2000). The psychophysiology of emotion. In Lewis, R. & Haviland-Jones, J. M. (Eds.), The handbook of emotion (2nd ed., pp. 173191). New York: Guilford Press.
Cassano, M., Perry-Parrish, C., & Zeman, J. (2007). Influence of gender on parental socialization of children's sadness regulation. Social Development, 16, 210231.
Chaplin, C., & Zahn-Waxler, C. (2005). Parental socialization of emotion expression: Gender differences and relations to child adjustment. Emotion, 5, 8088.
Chaplin, T. M., & Aldao, A. (2013). Gender differences in emotion expression in children: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 735765.
Cicchetti, D. (2008). Integrating biological processes into the design and evaluation of preventive interventions. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 7371022.
Cicchetti, D., & Curtis, W. J. (2007). Multilevel perspectives on pathways to resilient functioning. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 627629.
Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2009). The past achievements and future promises of developmental psychopathology: The coming of age of a discipline. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 1625.
Crowell, S. E., Beauchaine, T. P., McCauley, E., Smith, C. J., Stevens, A. L., & Sylvers, P. (2005). Psychological, autonomic, and serotonergic correlates of parasuicide among adolescent girls. Development and Psychopathology, 17, 11051127.
Dahl, R. E., Silk, J. S., & Siegle, G. J. (2012). Physiological measures of emotion dysregulation: Investigating the development of affective disorders. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 77, 6978.
De Los Reyes, A., Salas, S., Menzer, M. M., & Daruwala, S. E. (2013). Criterion validity of interpreting scores from multi-informant statistical interactions as measures of informant discrepancies in psychological assessments of children and adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 25, 509519.
Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., & Wyatt, T. (in press). The socialization of emotional competence. In Grusec, J. E. & Hastings, P. D. (Eds.), Handbook of socialization (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.
Eisenberg, N. (2010). Empathy-related responding: Links with self-regulation, moral judgment, and moral behavior. In Eisenberg, N. (Ed.), Prosocial motives, emotions, and behavior: The better angels of our nature (pp. 129148). Washington DC: American Psychological Association Press.
Eisenberg, N., Cumberland, A., & Spinrad, T. L. (1998). Parental socialization of emotion. Pyschological Inquiry, 9, 241273.
Ekman, P. (1999). Basic emotions. In Dalgleish, T. & Power, M. (Eds.), Handbook of cognition and emotion. Sussex: Wiley.
Ellis, B. J., Boyce, W. T., Belsky, J., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2011). Differential susceptibility to the environment: An evolutionary–neurodevelopmental theory. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 728.
El-Sheikh, M., Keiley, M., Erath, S., & Dyer, J. W. (2013). Marital conflict and growth in children's internalizing symptoms: The role of autonomic nervous system activity. Developmental Psychology, 49, 92108.
El-Sheikh, M., & Whitson, S. A. (2006). Longitudinal relations between marital conflict and child adjustment: Vagal regulation as a protective factor. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 3039.
Fabes, R. A., Poulin, R. E., Eisenberg, N., & Madden-Derdich, D. A. (2002). The Coping with Children's Negative Emotions Scale (CCNES): Psychometric properties and relations with children's emotional competence. Marriage and Family Review, 34, 285310.
Fortunato, C. K., Gatze-Kopp, L. M., & Ram, N. (2013). Associations between respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity and internalizing and externalizing symptoms are emotion specific. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavior Neuroscience, 13, 238251.
Frijda, N. H. (1994). Emotions are functional, most of the time. In Ekman, P. & Davidson, R. J. (Eds.), The nature of emotion: Fundamental questions (pp. 112122). New York: Oxford University Press.
Garside, R. B., & Klimes-Dougan, B. (2002). Socialization of discrete negative emotions: Gender differences and links with psychological distress. Sex Roles, 47, 115128.
Ge, X., Lorenz, F. O., Conger, R. D., & Elder, G. H. (1994). Trajectories of stressful life events and depressive symptoms during adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 30, 467483.
Giletta, M., Scholte, R. H., Burk, W. J., Engels, R. C. M. E., Larsen, J. K., Prinstein, M. J., et al. (2011). Similarity in depressive symptoms in adolescents' friendship dyads: Selection or socialization? Developmental Psychology, 47, 18041814.
Gottman, J. M., Katz, L. F., & Hooven, C. (1996). Parental meta-emotion philosophy and the emotional life of families: Theoretical models and preliminary data. Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 243268.
Gottman, J. M., Katz, L. F., & Hooven, C. (1997). Meta-emotion: How families communicate emotionally. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Graziano, P., & Derefinko, K. (2013). Cardiac vagal control and children's adaptive functioning: A meta-analysis. Biological Psychology, 94, 2237.
Hankin, B. L., & Abela, J. R. Z. (2005). Development of psychopathology: A vulnerability-stress perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Hastings, P. D., & De, I. (2008). Parasympathetic regulation and parental socialization of emotion: Biopsychosocial processes of adjustment in preschoolers. Social Development, 17, 211238.
Hastings, P. D., & Guyer, A. E. (in press). The physiological underpinnings of child psychopathology. In Schneider, B. H. (Ed.), Child psychopathology. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hastings, P. D., Kahle, S., & Han, H-S. G. (2014). Developmental affective psychophysiology: Using physiology to inform our understanding of emotional development. In Lagatutt, K. (Ed.), Children and emotion: New insights into developmental affective science (pp. 1328). Basel, Switzerland: Karger.
Hastings, P. D., & Miller, J. G. (2014). Autonomic regulation, polyvagal theory, and children's prosocial development. In Padilla-Walker, L. M. & Carlo, G. (Eds.), The complexities of raising prosocial children (pp. 112127). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hastings, P. D., Nuselovici, J. N., Klimes-Dougan, B., Kendziora, K. T., Usher, B. A., Ho, M-h. R., et al. (2009). Dysregulated coherence of subjective and cardiac emotional activation in adolescents with internalizing and externalizing problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50, 13481356.
Hastings, P. D., Shirtcliff, E. A., Klimes-Dougan, B., Allison, A. L., DeRose, L., Kendziora, K. T., et al. (2011). Allostasis and the development of internalizing and externalizing problems: Changing relations with physiological systems across adolescence. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 11491165.
Hastings, P. D., Sullivan, C., McShane, K. E., Coplan, R. J., Utendale, W. T., & Vyncke, J. D. (2008). Parental socialization, vagal regulation and preschoolers' anxious difficulties: Direct mothers and moderated fathers. Child Development, 79, 4564.
Hastings, P. D., Zahn-Waxler, C., & Usher, B. A. (2007). Cardiovascular and affective reactions to social stress in adolescents with internalizing and externalizing problems. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31, 111.
Hollingshead, A. B. (1975). Four Factor Index of Social Status. Unpublished manuscript, Yale University, Department of Sociology.
Hopkins, J., Lavigne, J. V., Gouze, K. R., LeBailly, S. A., & Bryant, F. B. (2013). Multi-domain models of risk factors for depression and anxiety symptoms in preschoolers: Evidence for common and specific factors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 41, 118.
Howes, P. W., Cicchetti, D., Toth, S. L., & Rogosch, F. A. (2000). Affective, organizational, and relational characteristics of maltreating families: A systems perspective. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 95110. doi:10.1037//0893-3200.14.1.95
Hunter, E. C., Katz, L. F., Schortt, J. W., Davis, B., Leve, C., Allen, N. B., et al. (2011). How do I feel about feelings? Emotion socialization in families of depressed and healthy adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 428441.
Katz, L. F., & Hunter, E. C. (2007). Maternal meta-emotion philosophy and adolescent depressive symptomatology. Social Development, 16, 343360.
Klimes-Dougan, B., Brand, A. E., Zahn-Waxler, C., Usher, B., Hastings, P. D., Kendziora, K., et al. (2007). Parental emotion socialization in adolescence: Differences in sex, age, and problem status. Social Development, 16, 326342.
Klimes-Dougan, B., Hastings, P. D., Granger, D. A., Usher, B. A., & Zahn-Waxler, C. (2001). Adrenocortical activity in at-risk and normally developing adolescents: Individual difference in salivary cortisol basal levels, diurnal variation, and responses to social challenges. Development and Psychopathology, 13, 695719.
Klimes-Dougan, B., & Zeman, J. (2007). Introduction to the special issue of social development: Emotion socialization in childhood and adolescence. Social Development, 16, 203209.
Kochanska, G., Kim, S., Barry, R. A., & Philibert, R. A. (2011). Children's genotypes interact with maternal responsive care in predicting children's competence: Diathesis–stress or differential susceptibility? Development and Psychopathology, 23, 605616.
Kogan, A., Gruber, J., Shallcross, A. J., Ford, B. Q., & Mauss, I. B. (2013). Too much of a good thing? Cardiac vagal tone's nonlinear relationship with well-being. Emotion, 13, 599604.
Krantz, D. S., Kop, W. J., Gabbay, F. H., Rozanski, A., Barnard, M., Klein, J., et al. (1996). Circadian variation of ambulatory myocardial ischemia: Triggering by daily activities and evidence for endogenous circadian component. Circulation, 93, 13641371.
Kriebig, S. D. (2010). Autonomic nervous system activity in emotion: A review. Biological Psychology, 84, 394421.
Liew, J., Johnson, A. Y., Smith, T. R., & Thoemmes, F. (2011). Parental expressivity, child physiological and behavioral regulation, and child adjustment: Testing a three-path mediation model. Early Education and Development, 22, 549573.
Magai, C. (1996). Emotions as a child. Unpublished manuscript, Long Island University, Brooklyn.
Malatesta-Magai, C. (1991). Development of emotion expression during infancy: General course and patterns of individual difference. In Garber, J. & Dodge, K. A. (Eds.), Cambridge studies in social and emotional development (pp. 4968). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Marsh, P., Beauchaine, T. P., & Williams, B. (2008). Dissociation of sad facial expression and autonomic nervous system responding in boys with disruptive behavior disorders. Psychophysiology, 45, 100110.
Miller, J. G., Chochol, C., Nuselovici, J. N., Utendale, W. T., Simard, M., & Hastings, P. D. (2013). Children's dynamic RSA change during anger and its relations with parenting, temperament, and control of aggression. Biological Psychology, 92, 417425.
Morris, A. S., Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., Myers, S. S., & Robinson, L. R. (2007). The role of the family context in the development of emotion regulation. Social Development, 16, 361388.
Natsuaki, M. N., Klimes-Dougan, B., Ge, X., Shirtcliff, E. A., Hastings, P. D., & Zahn-Waxler, C. (2009). Early pubertal maturation and internalizing problems in adolescence: Sex differences in the role of cortisol reactivity to interpersonal stress. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 38, 513524.
Nazzaro, P., Seccia, T., Vulpis, V., Schirosi, G., Serio, G., Battista, L., et al. (2005). Measures of total stress-induced blood pressure responses are associated with vascular damage. American Journal of Hypertension, 18, 12261232.
Nederhof, E., Belsky, J., Ormel, J., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2012). Effects of divorce on Dutch boys' and girls' externalizing behavior in Gene × Environment perspective: Diathesis stress or differential susceptibility in the Dutch Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey study? Development and Psychopathology, 24, 929939.
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Girgus, J. S. (1994). The emergence of gender differences in depression during adolescence. Psychological Bulletin, 115, 424443.
Nottelmann, E. D., & Jensen, P. S. (1995). Comorbidity of disorders in children and adolescents: Developmental perspectives. Advances in Clinical Child Psychology, 17, 109155.
Obradovic, J., Bush, N. R., & Boyce, W. T. (2011). The interactive effect of marital conflict and stress reactivity on externalizing and internalizing symptoms: The role of laboratory stressors. Development and Psychopathology, 23, 101114.
Obradovic, J., Bush, N. R., Stamperdahl, J., Adler, N. E., & Boyce, W. T. (2010). Biological sensitivity to context: The interactive effects of stress reactivity and family adversity on socioemotional behavior and school readiness. Child Development, 81, 270289.
O'Neal, C., & Malatesta-Magai, C. (2005). Do parents respond in different ways when children feel different emotions? The emotional context of parenting. Development and Psychopathology, 17, 467487.
Parra, G. R., Olsen, J. P., Buckholdt, K. E., Jobe-Shields, L., & Davis, G. L. (2010). A pilot study of the development of a measure assessing adolescent reactions to parents in the context of emotion socialization. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 19, 596606.
Perry, N. B., Mackler, J. S., Calkins, S. D., & Keane, S. P. (2014). A transactional analysis of the relation between maternal sensitivity and child vagal regulation. Developmental Psychology, 50, 784793.
Porges, S. W. (2011). The polyvagal theory: Neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communication, and self-regulation. New York: Norton.
Poulin, F., & Boivin, M. (2000). The role of proactive and reactive aggression in the formation and development of boys' friendships. Developmental Psychology, 36, 233240.
Rainville, P., Bechara, A., Naqvi, N., & Damasio, A. R. (2006). Basic emotions are associated with distinct patterns of cardiovascular reactivity. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 61, 518.
Rothbart, M. K., Ahadi, S. A., Hershey, K. L., & Fisher, P. (2001). Investigations of temperament at three to seven years: The Children's Behavior Questionnaire. Child Development, 72, 13941408.
Rudolph, K. D., & Flynn, M. (2007). Childhood adversity and youth depression: The role of gender and pubertal status. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 497521.
Sameroff, A. (2010). A unified theory of development: A dialectic integration of nature and nurture. Child Development, 81, 622.
Schwartz, O. S., Dudgeon, P., Sheeber, L. B., Yap, M. B. H., Simmons, J. G., & Allen, N. B. (2011). Observed maternal responses to adolescent behavior predict onset of major depression. Behavior Research and Therapy, 49, 331338.
Schwartz, O. S., Sheeber, L. B., Dudgeon, P., & Allen, N. B. (2012). Emotion socialization within the family environment and adolescent depression. Clinical Psychology Review, 32, 447453.
Shaffer, D., Fisher, P., Lucas, C. P., Dulcan, M. K., & Schwab-Stone, M. E. (2000). NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version IV (NIMH DISC-IV): Description, differences from previous versions, and reliability of some common diagnoses. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 2838.
St. Clair, M. C., Goodyer, I. M., Dunn, V., Herbert, J., Jones, P. B., & Croudace, T. (2012). Depressive symptoms during adolescence: Comparison between epidemiological and high-risk sampling. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 47, 13331341.
Starr, L. R., & Davila, J. (2012). Responding to anxiety in rumination of hopelessness: Mechanism of anxiety-depression symptom of co-occurrence? Cognitive Theory and Research, 36, 321337.
Stocker, C. M, Richmond, M. K., & Rhoades, G. K. (2007). Family emotional processes and adolescents' adjustment. Social Development, 16, 310325.
Tackett, J. L., Herzhoff, K., Reardon, K. W., & Smack, A. J. (2013). The relevance of informant discrepancies for the assessment of adolescent personality pathology. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 20, 378392.
Turner, S. M., Beidel, D. C., & Epstein, L. H. (1991). Vulnerability and risk for anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 5, 151166.
Wachs, T. D., & Gandour, M. J. (1983). Temperament, environment, and six month cognitive-intellectual development: A test of the organismic specificity hypothesis. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 6, 135152.
Weems, C. F., Zakem, A. H., Costa, N. M., Cannon, M. F., & Watts, S. E. (2005). Physiological response and childhood anxiety: Association with symptoms of anxiety disorders and cognitive bias. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34, 712723.
Wilcox, R. R. (2012). Introduction to robust estimation and hypothesis testing. Waltham, MA: Academic Press.
Zahn-Waxler, C., Crick, N. R., Shirtcliff, E. A., & Woods, K. E. (2006). The origins and development of psychopathology in females and males. In Cicchetti, D. & Cohen, D. J. (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Vol. 1. Theory and method (2nd ed., pp. 76138). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Zahn-Waxler, C., Klimes-Dougan, B., Hastings P. D., Duggal, S., Gruber, R., & Usher, B. A. (2001). The role of emotion in the development of psychopathology in adolescence. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Mental Health, Intramural Research Program.
Zahn-Waxler, C., Klimes-Dougan, B., & Slattery, M. J. (2000). Internalizing problems of childhood and adolescence: Prospects, pitfalls, and progress in understanding the development of anxiety and depression. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 443466.
Zahn-Waxler, C., Shirtcliff, E. A., & Marceau, K. (2008). Disorders of childhood and adolescence: Gender and psychopathology. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 4, 275303.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Regulating sadness and fear from outside and within: Mothers' emotion socialization and adolescents' parasympathetic regulation predict the development of internalizing difficulties

  • Paul D. Hastings (a1), Bonnie Klimes-Dougan (a2), Kimberly T. Kendziora (a3), Ann Brand (a4) and Carolyn Zahn-Waxler (a5)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.