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Applying new RDoC dimensions to the development of emotion regulation: Examining the influence of maternal emotion regulation on within-individual change in child emotion regulation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 December 2021

Amy L. Byrd*
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Angela H. Lee
Department of Psychology, University of Oregon,Eugene, OR, USA
Olivia A. Frigoletto
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Maureen Zalewski
Department of Psychology, University of Oregon,Eugene, OR, USA
Stephanie D. Stepp
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Author for Correspondence: Amy L. Byrd, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Sterling Plaza, Suite 408, 201 North Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA15213; E-mail:


While the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) acknowledges that environmental and developmental influences represent important elements of the RDoC framework, there is little specificity regarding how and when to systematically examine the impact of these dimensions on domains of function. The primary aims of this paper are to demonstrate the ways in which the RDoC can be expanded to include an explicit emphasis on (a) assessing within-individual change in developmental processes over time and (b) evaluating the extent to which selective and measurable environmental influences drive meaningful change during key developmental periods. We provide data from an ongoing randomized control trial as a proof of concept to highlight how repeated assessments within an experimental intervention design affords the unique opportunity to test the impact of environmental influences on within-individual change. Using preliminary data from 77 mother–child dyads repeatedly assessed across 12 months during the sensitive preschool period, we demonstrate the impact of change in maternal emotion regulation (ER) on within-individual growth in child ER and link that growth to fewer teacher-reported externalizing problems. In line with this Special Issue, findings are discussed within the context of expanding and clarifying the existing RDoC framework to explicitly incorporate environmental and developmental dimensions.

Special Issue Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Applying new RDoC dimensions to the development of emotion regulation: Examining the influence of maternal emotion regulation on within-individual change in child emotion regulation
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