The Infant Simulator Paradigm with Non-Parents: Attitudes, Physiology, and Observed Caregiving
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Objectives: This study aimed to identify factors, namely adult attachment and childhood parenting experiences, to investigate individual differences in parenting behavior using an infant simulator paradigm. Methods: One hundred and eighteen college-aged females completed questionnaires about adult attachment, how their parents responded to negative emotions, and attitudes about infant crying. Participants then interacted with a distressed infant simulator, while their behavior with the simulator and physiology were recorded. Results: Attachment avoidance was associated with less infant-oriented beliefs and more parent-oriented beliefs about infant crying. Adult attachment avoidance was also associated with greater physiological reactivity during the task, more physiological regulation, and increased caregiving behaviors. Attachment anxiety was related to a decrease in heart rate during the task. Remembered nonsupportive parental reactions were associated with more parent-oriented beliefs about infant crying as well as more caregiving during the task. However, caregiving quality was not related to any variables of interest in the study. Conclusions: Implications addressing potential intervention programs using the infant simulator and targeting at-risk populations to understand individual differences in parenting are discussed.
Adult attachment, Emotion socialization, Infant simulator, Non-parents, Parenting
Pruitt, Megan M.; McKay, Erin R.; Lelakowska, Gabriela; and Ekas, Naomi V., "The Infant Simulator Paradigm with Non-Parents: Attitudes, Physiology, and Observed Caregiving" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 400.
Department of Psychology