Prediction from early interaction
Messinger
Face-to-face



Self-regulation develops in the context of mutual
regulatory parent-infant systems (face-to-face
interactions)
the coordination of affective expression during faceto-face interactions facilitates the transition from
mutual regulation to self-regulation.
Face-to-face synchrony  infants’ first opportunity
–
–
–
to practice interpersonal coordination of biological
rhythms,
to experience the mutual regulation of positive arousal,
to build the lead-lag structure of an adult
communication.
A close look at interaction
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The fundamental question of socialization
“How young children begin to adopt parental
rules, and how regulation of conduct shifts
from external to internal?” Kopp (1982)




From coordinated interactions at 3 months to selfregulation at 3 years control, self-control, self-regulation
- 12 to 18 months: children become capable of control, the
awareness of social demands and the ability to initiate,
maintain, and cease behavior, and to comply with
caregivers’ request.
- by 24 months: they acquire self control, which further
includes the ability to delay on request and begin to
regulate behavior, even in the absence of external monitors
- by 36 months: they begin to be capable of selfregulation, or flexibility of control processes that meet
changing situational demands.
WHY?
Face-to-face

The predilection of mothers to shift
affective states to match those of their
infants is related to increases in infants selfcontrol and cognitive performance at two
years
7
Face-to-face/still-face
More detail

Smiling and crying in SF at 2, 4, and 6 mos
was unstable
–
Crying %s stable from 4 – 6 mos
No impact of chronicity of maternal
depression on infant sf behavior
 % of smiling and crying in SF does not
predict mother rated internalizing and
externalizing at 18 months

9
But

Tercile groups
–
–

In fact
–
–

Smiling predicts externalizing
Crying predicts internalizing
Smilers (68%) show less externalizing
Criers (67%) show more internalizing
Mother depression also independently
predicts internalizing and externalizing
10
Prediction from the still-face



“Infants who failed to smile at 6 months in the
still-face interaction showed more externalizingtype behaviors than did other toddlers.
Infants who failed to cry at 6 months showed
fewer internalizing-type behaviors.”
TBCL
–
–
Internalizing: emotional instability, immaturity, shyness
Externalizing: oppositional and physical aggression
•
Moore et al., 2001
11
Dynamic still-face effect
Frequency
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
0
20
40
60
80
100 120 0
20
40
Seconds
60
80
Frequency
Smile
Gaze At Parent
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
100 120
Seconds
Observed
Predicted
Cry-Face
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
10
8
6
4
2
0
0
20
40
60
80
100 120 0
Seconds
psy.miami.edu/faculty/dmessinger/
20
40
60
80
100 120
Seconds
Ekas, et al., 2012
Frequency
Frequency
Social Bids
Face-to-face reciprocity  early
self-regulatory mechanisms
3/9 months



Infant difficult temperament
(1st year),
maternal synchrony
(3 months)
mutual synchrony
(9 months)
2 years
Self-control
(Feldman et al., 1999)
Developmental continuity
through adolescence

Participating in a synchronous exchange may sensitize
infants to the emotional resonance and empathy
underlying human relationships across the life span.
– “How do early relational patterns experienced in
infancy turn into stable personality orientations in
adolescence and adult life?” (Feldman, 2007)
– (3 months to 13 years)
18
Adolescent’s capacity to engage
in an empathetic exchange
Child self-regulated compliance across the
toddler and preschool years mediated the
relations between the lead-lag structure of
early interactions and the adolescent's
dialogical skills.
 Direct associations were found between
mother-infant synchrony and the capacity
for empathy in adolescence.

•
(Feldman, 07)
Mediated associations
Feldman, 07
20
Mother-infant synchrony
capacity for empathy in adolescence
Feldman, 2007
21
Mutual Responsive Orientation
“a positive, close, mutually binding, and
cooperative relationship, which
encompasses two components:
responsiveness and shared positive affect”
Kochanska
22

How does MRO work?
Positive mood yields prosocial behavior
 Promotes responsive stance toward parent
 And committed compliance

–
–
–
Eagerly working with parent
Potential pathway to internalization
Kochanska
Kochanska’s argument

Mutual positive expression in particular –
rather than matching of affect in general leads to children’s internalization of social
norms and committed compliance to
maternal directives
24
Organization of Conscience

Emotions and conduct
–
–
–

Emerge early
Show cross-situational consistency
Moderate longitudinal stability (.3-.6)
Precursors
–
–
Committed compliance: “An eager, willing
stance toward parental directives and demands”
Situational compliance: “Yield to parental
pressure”
Kolnik
The Evidence
200 mother-child dyads
 Concurrent and longitudinal links
 Between
MR relationships and a strong conscience
(Kochanska, 1997; Kochanska, Forman, & Coy, 1999; Kochanska & Murray, 2000)
Farhat
Children’s Conscience and SelfRegulation
(Kochanska & Aksan, 2006)
Conscience: an inner self-regulatory system
 Results from 3 large longitudinal studies

Temperament
Moral
Emotions
Predictors of
Conscience
Conscience
Socialization
Moral
Conduct
Kolnik
Predictors of Conscience

Temperament
–
Fearfulness

–
Effortful control


Underpinning of children’s guilt
Underpinning of children’s emerging ability to regulate their
conduct
Socialization of the family
–
–
Reciprocal, positive interactions necessary
Mutually responsive orientation (MRO)
Parent/child cooperativeness & responsiveness
 Shared dyadic positive affect

–
Parental warm discipline v. parental power assertion
Kolnik
Through interaction, infants
come to understand themselves
as social beings who affect and
are affected by others
psy.miami.edu/faculty/dmessinger/
Proposed mechanism
 Young
infants who act with the
developing expectation of eliciting
positive affect in the parent
develop to be young children who
regulate themselves to please their
parents.
34
Parent-Infant Interaction
Infant Smile, Mother Smile
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37
Empathy  ASD diagnosis
Empathy  ASD severity
r = -.45*
McDonald & Messinger (JADD, 2012)
Morality is implicitly interactive
 Acting
with respect to the
expectations of a generalized other—
norms—expecting one’s actions to
affect others.
40
Overall Finding

“Children growing up with parents who are
responsive to their needs and whose
interactions are infused with happy
emotions adopt a willing, responsive stance
toward parental influence and become eager
to embrace parental values and standards
for behavior.”
–
Kochanska, 2002
41
Which is better?
Messinger
Hane and Fox, 2006
Romero
Autism Risk and
Early Parent-Child Interaction
Dawson (2008)

Supported by evidence with diagnosed children:
–
–
Early Intervention (e.g., Lovaas 1987; Sallows & Graupner, 2005; Smith et al., 2000)
Language growth (Siller & Sigman 2002, 2008).
Different Structures of Parenting in the
Context of Emergent Autism: 15 months
r = .75***
No ASD
Emergent
ASD
Structuring
Emotional
Supportiveness
Structuring
Emotional
Supportiveness
r = .12ns
Baker, et al., 2010
Sensitivity (e=3.03, 76%)
Responsiveness
Respect for Autonomy
Positive Regard
Structuring
E.S.
.95
.83
.84
.86
Structuring
(e=2.87, 72%) (e=1.02, 25%)
Responsiveness
Respect for Autonomy
Positive Regard
Structuring
.98
.96
.98
1.00
Sensitive Structuring
Expressive Language Growth
Baker, et al., 2010
For toddlers who received
an ASD diagnosis
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Sensitive Structuring
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Thinking about feelings: emotion focus in
the parenting of children with early
developmental risk

Emotion—social skills
–
Among kids with delay and without
Baker & Crnic, 2009
Gangi
Still-faceSecurity