Publications by authors named "Alex Busuito"

5 Publications

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In sync: Physiological correlates of behavioral synchrony in infants and mothers.

Dev Psychol 2019 May 11;55(5):1034-1045. Epub 2019 Feb 11.

Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Infant-mother behavioral synchrony is thought to scaffold the development of self-regulation in the first years of life. During this time, infants' and mothers' physiological regulation may contribute to dyadic synchrony and, in infants, dyadic synchrony may support infants' physiological regulation. Because the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) serve different regulatory functions, the current study aimed to elucidate relations between infants' and mothers' SNS and PNS functioning and dyadic behavioral synchrony. Skin conductance (SC; SNS index), respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; PNS index), heart period (HP; index of joint SNS and PNS arousal), and behavioral synchrony were assessed in 6-month-old infants (N = 140) and their mothers during a mild social stressor, the Face-to-Face Still-Face paradigm (Tronick, Als, Adamson, Wise, & Brazelton, 1978). Synchrony was related to infants' and mothers' PNS and to mothers' broad autonomic arousal but not to SNS-specific arousal. Higher levels of behavioral synchrony were associated with lower infant RSA but with higher mother HP and RSA at baseline and in each Face-to-Face Still-Face paradigm episode. Therefore, lower RSA infants may have required more synchronous engagement with mothers to support regulation, while higher RSA, less aroused mothers may have been particularly well-attuned to infants' emotions. Findings suggest that each individual's physiological state may contribute to the behavioral functioning of the dyad. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000689DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465151PMC
May 2019

The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Child Maltreatment: Parasympathetic Substrates of Interactive Repair in Maltreating and Nonmaltreating Mother-Child Dyads.

Child Maltreat 2019 11 23;24(4):353-363. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.

Children's repair of conflict with parents may be particularly challenging in maltreating families, and early, stressful parent-child interactions may contribute to children's altered neurobiological regulatory systems. To explore neurobiological signatures of repair processes, we examined whether mother and child individual and dyadic respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) covaried with interactive repair differently in maltreating versus nonmaltreating mother-preschooler dyads ( = 101), accounting for whether repair was mother or child initiated. Mother-initiated repair was equally frequent and protective across groups, associated with no change in mother or child RSA at higher levels of repair. But lower levels of mother repair were associated with child RSA withdrawal in nonmaltreating dyads versus child RSA augmentation in maltreating dyads. In maltreating dyads only, higher child-initiated repair was associated with higher mean mother RSA, whereas lower child repair was associated with mother RSA withdrawal. Findings suggest that interactive repair may have a buffering effect on neurobiological regulation but also that maltreating mothers and children show atypical neurobiological response to interpersonal challenges including differences related to children conducting the work of interactive repair that maltreating parents are less able to provide. We conclude by considering the role of maladaptive parent-child relationship processes in the biological embedding of early adversity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077559518824058DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556358PMC
November 2019

Mother-Child Coregulation of Parasympathetic Processes Differs by Child Maltreatment Severity and Subtype.

Child Maltreat 2018 08 11;23(3):211-220. Epub 2018 Jan 11.

2 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA.

Parasympathetic processes appear to underlie maladaptive parent-child interactions in maltreating families, but it is unknown whether parent-child coregulation of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) differs by child maltreatment severity and subtype. RSA coregulation in maltreating and nonmaltreating mother-child dyads ( N = 146; age 3-5 years) during two dyadic tasks was analyzed using dynamic time series modeling. Nonmaltreating dyads showed positive RSA concordance but maltreating dyads (when examined as one group) did not. However, when examined separately by subtype, physically abusive dyads showed positive concordance and neglectful dyads no concordance, in dyadic RSA. Patterns were further modified by maltreatment severity, which predicted discordant RSA (one partner's RSA predicting decreases in the other's) in both groups. Specifically, higher physical abuse severity predicted lower resting child RSA, declining mother RSA over time, and mother RSA predicting declines in child RSA over time, suggesting a mother-driven dyadic stress response. Higher neglect severity predicted increasing child RSA over time and child RSA predicting declines in mother RSA over time, suggesting a child-driven maternal stress response. These findings show there are distinct patterns of RSA coregulation in nonmaltreating, physically abusive, and neglectful mother-child dyads, which may inform etiology and intervention with respect to stress regulation in maltreating families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1077559517751672DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6026580PMC
August 2018

Physiological functioning moderates infants' sensory sensitivity in higher conflict families.

Dev Psychobiol 2017 07 26;59(5):628-638. Epub 2017 May 26.

The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Children exposed to parent conflict may be at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders by becoming sensitized to conflict cues in their environments. This study explored possible precursors to negative child outcomes associated with parent conflict by examining the relation between parent conflict and infants' (N = 36; 23-42 weeks; 44% female) behavioral sensitivity to general sensory stimuli (e.g., loud noises, physical touch). To determine whether infants' characteristic autonomic arousal and regulation moderated this association, infant baseline skin conductance (SC) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) were measured. Parents reported levels of parent conflict, and mothers reported infants' behavioral sensory sensitivity. The association between parent conflict and lower threshold for sensory sensitivity was strongest for infants with higher physiological arousal (higher SC) and lesser capacity for physiological regulation (lower RSA). Children may become more sensitive to environmental stimuli as a function of parent conflict during infancy, though this appears to depend on characteristic physiological arousal and regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21528DOI Listing
July 2017

Dyadic flexibility mediates the relation between parent conflict and infants' vagal reactivity during the Face-to-Face Still-Face.

Dev Psychobiol 2017 05 21;59(4):449-459. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

Parent conflict is related to attenuated infant vagal reactivity, suggesting less effective regulation. Because infants' self-regulation develops in the context of coregulation, the current study examined a novel measure, flexibility, purported to reflect dyadic reorganization in response to contextual demands. Flexibility was expected to mediate the relation between greater conflict and lesser vagal reactivity during the reunion episode of the Face-to-Face Still-Face (FFSF). Six-month-old infants' and their mothers' (N = 53) affective behaviors were observed during the FFSF and heart rate data were collected for infants. Flexibility was computed using state-space analysis of dyadic behaviors and measured variability in and movement among dyadic states. Conflict was related to lesser infant vagal reactivity in the reunion through lower flexibility, suggesting less effective recovery from social stress. Flexibility may capture aspects of coregulation affected by environmental stress and may be one mechanism by which conflict contributes to developing vagal regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/dev.21508DOI Listing
May 2017