Associations between infant behaviors during the face-to-face still-face paradigm and oppositional defiant and callous-unemotional behaviors in early childhood
Wagner, N. J., Mills-Koonce, W. R., Propper, C. B., Willoughby, M. T., Rehder, P. D., Moore, G. A., & Cox, M. J. (2016). Associations between infant behaviors during the face-to-face still-face paradigm and oppositional defiant and callous-unemotional behaviors in early childhood. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 44(8), 1439-1453. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-016-0141-0
Deficits in social orienting (i.e., gazing toward caregivers) during dyadic interactions and reactivity to stressful stimuli have been identified as behavioral correlates of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and callous-unemotional (CU) behaviors in older children. The goal of the current study was to investigate infants' mother-directed gaze and reactivity during the face-to-face and still-face episodes of the face-to-face stillface paradigm performed at 6 months in the prediction of ODD and CU behaviors in early childhood. Using data from the Durham Child Health and Development study (n = 206), hierarchical regression analyses revealed that infants' negative reactivity during the still-face episode and mother-directed gaze during the face-to-face episode predicted fewer ODD behaviors in early childhood. Examination of interaction effects suggested that mother-directed gaze attenuated the negative relation between reactivity and ODD and CU behaviors in early childhood. The current study is one of the first to extend downward the investigation of ODD and CU behaviors into infancy.