Interparental aggression and infant patterns of adrenocortical and behavioral stress responses

Nissa R. Towe-Goodman, Cynthia A. Stifter, W. Roger Mills-Koonce, Douglas A. Granger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Drawing on emotional security theory, this study examined linkages between interparental aggression, infant self-regulatory behaviors, and patterns of physiological and behavioral stress responses in a diverse sample of 735 infants residing in predominately low-income, non-metropolitan communities. Latent profile analysis revealed four classes of adrenocortical and behavioral stress-response patterns at 7 months of age, using assessments of behavioral and cortisol reactivity to an emotion eliciting challenge, as well as global ratings of the child's negative affect and basal cortisol levels. The addition of covariates within the latent profile model suggested that children with more violence in the home and children who used less caregiver-oriented regulation strategies were more likely to exhibit a pattern of high cortisol reactivity with moderate signs of distress rather than the average stress response, suggesting possible patterns of adaptation in violent households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-699
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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