Casasola, Marianella, Jui Bhagwat, Stacey N. Doan, and Hailey Love. “Getting Some Space: Infants' and Caregivers' Containment and Support Spatial Constructions During Play.” Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol. 159, 2017, pp. 110-128.
Abstract: Using a cross-sectional design, we examined the containment and support spatial constructions infants spontaneously create and those they observe when playing with a nesting toy. Infants (N=76) of 8, 13, or 18months played alone for 2min and then played with a caregiver for another 2min. At 8months, infants created few relations; at 13months, they inserted objects, resulting in containment, and stacked objects, resulting in support; at 18months, they created more than three times more containment relations than support relations, a result replicated in a second study. In contrast, caregivers created more support relations than containment relations, regardless of infant age, but labeled containment more than support. The results highlight differential exposure to containment and support in infant solitary and dyadic play. By 18months, infants gain greater firsthand experience with containment, a relation that is further reinforced by caregiver labeling.
Dich, Nadya, Stacey N. Doan, and Gary W. Evans. “In Risky Environments, Emotional Children Have More Behavioral Problems but Lower Allostatic Load.” Health Psychology, vol. 36, issue 5, 2017, pp. 468-476.
Objective: Developmental models of temperament by environment interactions predict that children’s negative emotionality exacerbates the detrimental effects of risky environments, increasing the risk for pathology. However, negative emotions may have an adaptive function. Accordingly, the present study explores an alternative hypothesis that in the context of high adversity, negative emotionality may be a manifestation of an adaptive coping style and thus be protective against the harmful effects of a stressful environment. Method: Prospective combined effects of negative emotionality and cumulative risk (confluence of multiple risk factors related to poverty) on children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms and allostatic load, an index of cumulative physiological dysregulation, were assessed in 239 children (46% female, baseline age = 9). Negative emotionality and cumulative risk were assessed at baseline. Internalizing and externalizing behaviors were measured at 4- and 8-year follow-ups. Allostatic load was measured at baseline and both follow-ups using neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and metabolic parameters. Linear mixed-effect models were used to analyze the prospective associations between negative emotionality, cumulative risk, and the outcomes—allostatic load and internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Results: The combination of high cumulative risk exposure and high negative emotionality was associated with highest levels of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. However, consistent with the alternative hypothesis, negative emotionality reduced the effects of high cumulative risk on allostatic load. Conclusions: In the context of risky environments, negative emotionality may offer some physical health benefits.
Doan, Stacey N., and Gary W. Evans. “Culture, Stress, Poverty and Allostatic Load.” The Handbook of Culture and Biology, edited by José M. Causadias, Eva H. Telzer, and Nancy A. Gonzales, Wiley & Sons, 2017, pp. 255-278.
Abstract: Recent conceptualizations of the consequences of poverty and stress have focused on allostatic load theory. The allostatic load framework argues that repeated and chronic exposure to stress leads to "wear and tear on the body," which accumulates over time. A large body of research has documented that poverty and its associated stress become "biologically embedded" and lead to later detrimental health outcomes, and recent work posits allostatic load as a possible mechanism. Researchers, however, have often neglected the role of culture in shaping these processes. In the current chapter we review the literature on poverty, stress, and allostatic load. We also explore the empirical evidence demonstrating race and ethnic differences with regard to allostatic load. We conclude with a discussion of the importance of culture, and elaborate on the ways in which culture may influence these processes at the societal, familial, and individual levels.
Doan, Stacey N., Twila Tardif, Alison Miller, Sheryl Olson, Daniel Kessler, Barbara Felt, and Li Wang. “Consequences of ‘Tiger Parenting’: A Cross-Cultural Study of Maternal Psychological Control and Children's Cortisol Stress Response.” Developmental Science, vol. 20, issue 3, 2017, e12404.
Abstract: Parenting strategies involving psychological control are associated with increased adjustment problems in children. However, no research has examined the extent to which culture and psychological control predict children's stress physiology. We examine cultural differences in maternal psychological control and its associations with children's cortisol. Chinese (N = 59) and American (N = 45) mother-child dyads participated in the study. Mothers reported on psychological control. Children's cortisol was collected during a stressor and two indices of Area Under the Curve (AUC) were computed: AUCg which accounts for total output, and AUCi, which captures reactivity. Results indicate that Chinese mothers reported higher levels of psychological control and Chinese children had higher levels of AUCg than their American counterparts. Across both cultures, psychological control was significantly associated with increased cortisol levels as indexed by AUCg. There were no associations for AUCi. Finally, mediation analyses demonstrated that psychological control fully explained cultural differences in children's cortisol stress response as indexed by AUCg.
Hong, Fang, Stacey N. Doan, Angelica Lopez, and Gary W. Evans. “Relations among Temperament, Self-Regulatory Strategies and Gender in Predicting Delay of Gratification.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8, 2017, article 1925.
Abstract: Self-regulation is associated with many positive outcomes, but there is limited information about individual difference regarding children's spontaneous use of strategies to self-regulate and the relative success of those strategies. In the current study, we examined whether temperament and gender are associated with self-regulation and explored the types of spontaneous strategies children use during Mischel's delay of gratification protocol. In addition, we investigated whether spontaneous strategy use during the task could moderate the effects of temperament on self-regulation and whether temperament would mediate the effect of gender on self-regulation. Participants were 349 9-year-olds (182 boys, Mage = 9.18, SD = 1.17). Mothers reported on children's temperament and the Delay of Gratification task was used to assess self-regulation. Both temperament and child's gender were significantly associated with children's delay time. Girls were able to delay longer than boys, and children scoring high on activity level were less able to delay. Activity level also mediated the relationship between gender and delay time. Finally, we found an interaction effect between activity level and certain strategies in relation to self-regulatory behavior.
Son, Heimi, Young Ae Lee, Dong Hyun Ahn, and Stacey N. Doan. “Maternal Understanding of Child Discipline and Maltreatment in the United States, South Korea, and Japan.” Children and Youth Services Review, vol. 82, 2017, pp. 444-454.
The purpose of this study is to examine American, Korean, and Japanese mothers' perceptions of maltreatment, and the factors influencing those perceptions in the context of general parenting and discipline. Through a cross-cultural comparative approach, we hope to identify potential universalities as well as cultural specific perceptions of parenting behaviors. For this purpose, a total of 153 mothers with a child aged 3 to 6 years participated in the current study. Participants came from East Coast of the United States (N = 48); Seoul, Korea (N = 65); Japan (Tokyo and Saitama) (N = 40). A modified version of a previously established questionnaire (Ahn, Park, & Lee, 1998) assessed mothers' attitudes toward multiple disciplinary behaviors. This questionnaire presented 17 specific vignettes describing disciplinary scenarios that could occur while disciplining children in everyday life, some of which could be perceived as physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. Results of the study suggest significant differences between groups in terms of maternal perceptions of maltreatment and the factors influencing maternal perceptions. American mothers reported the highest mean score among the three countries in perceiving discipline centered on corporal punishment as physical abuse. Korean mothers displayed a dual attitude of perceiving the scenario as maltreatment, but also rating it as likely to occur in everyday life. Japanese mothers showed the most permissive attitude toward harsh parental behaviors among the three countries on the grounds that they considered a strict and punitive attitude as a method of discipline. Overall, mothers of all three countries had the lowest scores for perceiving the vignette corresponding to neglect as maltreatment.