• Journal Article

Measures of Infant Behavioral and Physiological State Regulation Predict 54-Month Behavior Problems

Citation

Dale, L. P., O'Hara, E. A., Schein, R., Inserra, L., Keen, J., Flores, M., & Porges, S. (2011). Measures of Infant Behavioral and Physiological State Regulation Predict 54-Month Behavior Problems. Infant Mental Health Journal, 32(4), 473-486. DOI: 10.1002/imhj.20306

Abstract

This study investigated whether measures of infant temperament, regulatory disorders, and physiological reactivity and concurrent measures of family environment were predictors of child behavior problems at 54 months of age. The sample consisted of 23 children-mother dyads. The sample recruitment strategy emphasized testing both typical and fussy/difficult infants at 9 months of age. Children were categorized into low and high behavioral problem groups at 54 months of age. The children in the high behavioral problem group were more likely at 9 months to have been temperamentally difficult, to have been classified as regulatory disordered, and to have displayed respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) regulation difficulties. These children also were more likely to come from families described as less cohesive and providing less focus on active/recreational activities when the children were 54 months old. A logistic regression analysis, including only the 9-month infant measures (i.e., difficultness, regulatory disorders classification, and RSA regulation), resulted in a significant model with 100.0% accurate classification into high or low behavioral problem groups. Data suggest that infant measures of behavioral and physiological state regulation may be early indicators of child behavior problems, especially internalizing problems