To further the understanding of the effects of early experiences, 9-month-old infants were observed during a frustration task. The analytical sample was composed of 348 linked triads of participants (adoptive parents, adopted child, and birth parent[s]) from a prospective adoption study. It was hypothesized that genetic risk for externalizing problems and affect dysregulation in the adoptive parents would independently and interactively predict a known precursor to externalizing problems: heightened infant attention to frustrating events. Results supported the moderation hypotheses involving adoptive mother affect dysregulation: Infants at genetic risk showed heightened attention to frustrating events only when the adoptive mother had higher levels of anxious and depressive symptoms. The Genotype × Environment interaction pattern held when substance use during pregnancy was considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology