Notre Dame Babies & Families

toddlers on slide

Principal Investigator: Julie Braungart-Rieker, Ph.D.

This longitudinal study of the development of emotion regulation from infancy to toddlerhood began in 2001 and was funded by NIH. Four major goals guided this study: (1) to examine the correlates and predictors of affect regulation from infancy to toddlerhood; (2) to examine the degree to which emotion regulatory patterns during early infancy are predictive of infant-parent attachment and to what extent such relations are mediated or moderated by parent sensitivity; (3) to examine the extent to which emotion regulatory patterns and attachment during infancy predict later styles of emotion regulation and social competence during toddlerhood; and (4) to compare processes occurring for infant-mother dyads versus infant-father dyads. In this study, 135 families (infants, mothers, and fathers) participated in six laboratory visits when infants were 3-, 5-, 7-, 12-, 14-, and 20-months of age. The first three visits centered on infants’ affective and regulatory responses during the Still-Face Paradigm (Tronick et al., 1978), as well as mothers’ and fathers’ sensitivity in responding to their infants’ emotionality. Attachment data (Strange Situation; Ainsworth et al., 1978) was collected at the 12- (infant-mother) and 14-month (infant-father) visits. Finally, measures of children’s social competence during several laboratory paradigms as well as mothers’ and fathers’ control tactics were assessed at the 20 month visit. Questionnaire data at appropriate ages were also obtained from mothers and fathers to assess parents’ perceptions of their child’s temperament, language development, parental involvement, and marital conflict.