Typologies of dyadic mother-infant emotion regulation following immunization

Penina M. Backer, Kelsey M. Quigley, Cynthia A. Stifter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Mother-infant dyadic emotion regulation – the joint modulation of affective rhythms as interactive partners dynamically respond to each other across time – has been shown to promote social-emotional wellbeing both during and beyond infancy. Although contributions of dyadic regulation to self-regulatory development may particularly apparent during infant distress, studies have traditionally examined dyadic regulation in low-stress contexts. The present study addresses this gap by identifying distinct patterns of mother-infant dyadic emotion regulation following a highly distressing immunization procedure and then examining how these groups differed in mother and infant personality and temperament characteristics. Mother-infant dyads (N = 131) were videotaped during a routine immunization procedure, and infant crying and maternal soothing behaviors were subsequently coded. Cluster analysis was applied to trajectories of latent states representing each dyad's post-immunization behaviors. Results indicated five typologies of dyadic regulation following infant immunization. These typologies reflected the effectiveness with which the dyad worked together to soothe infant distress, as well as the specific maternal soothing behaviors employed. Differences in maternal personality and infant temperament among clusters indicated that both mothers and infants contributed to the dynamic regulatory process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
StatePublished - Nov 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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