Parent-child coregulation is thought to be an important precursor for children's developing self-regulation, but we know little about how individual parent factors shape parent-child physiological coregulation. We examined whether maternal baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), teaching, and disengagement were associated with stronger or weaker coregulation of RSA between mothers and their 3-year-old children (N = 47), modeled across 18 min of observed dyadic interaction using multilevel coupled autoregressive models. Whereas greater maternal teaching was associated with stronger coregulation in mother and child RSA over time, maternal disengagement was related to weaker coregulation, specifically more divergent parent and child RSA at higher levels of maternal disengagement. Coregulation of mother-child RSA was also weaker when mothers’ baseline RSA was higher. Findings contribute to the emerging knowledge base on real-time patterns of parent-child physiological coregulation in early childhood and suggest that mothers’ physiology and behavioral engagement with the child play an important role in mother-child physiological coregulation patterns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Developmental Biology
- Behavioral Neuroscience