Autonomic reactivity of children to separation and reunion with foster parents

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether foster children showed different autonomic nervous system activity on separation and reunion than control children. Autonomic nervous system activity in foster children was examined in relation to time in placement and disinhibited attachment. METHOD: The sample included 60 foster and 50 control children between 2 and 7 years of age who participated with their caregivers in a modified Strange Situation. Heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and pre-ejection period were monitored continuously. Foster caregivers reported disinhibited symptoms on the Disturbances of Attachment Interview. RESULTS: The Strange Situation elicited less RSA reactivity in foster children. Differences in RSA, heart rate, and pre-ejection period responses on the specific separation and reunion episodes were not significant. RSA responses on separation from the stranger and on reunion with the foster caregiver were partly explained by time in placement and disinhibited attachment. CONCLUSIONS: Early experiences of relationship disruptions in foster children as well as short placements may have an impact on children's adaptation to environmental and relational challenges. Stable placement may facilitate adaptive affect regulation, except for children with disinhibited symptoms. Copyright 2007 © American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1196-1203
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume46
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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Reunion
Parents
Caregivers
Autonomic Nervous System
Heart Rate
Interviews

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@article{876a855f5ee044b591382882cb665079,
title = "Autonomic reactivity of children to separation and reunion with foster parents",
abstract = "OBJECTIVE: To determine whether foster children showed different autonomic nervous system activity on separation and reunion than control children. Autonomic nervous system activity in foster children was examined in relation to time in placement and disinhibited attachment. METHOD: The sample included 60 foster and 50 control children between 2 and 7 years of age who participated with their caregivers in a modified Strange Situation. Heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and pre-ejection period were monitored continuously. Foster caregivers reported disinhibited symptoms on the Disturbances of Attachment Interview. RESULTS: The Strange Situation elicited less RSA reactivity in foster children. Differences in RSA, heart rate, and pre-ejection period responses on the specific separation and reunion episodes were not significant. RSA responses on separation from the stranger and on reunion with the foster caregiver were partly explained by time in placement and disinhibited attachment. CONCLUSIONS: Early experiences of relationship disruptions in foster children as well as short placements may have an impact on children's adaptation to environmental and relational challenges. Stable placement may facilitate adaptive affect regulation, except for children with disinhibited symptoms. Copyright 2007 {\circledC} American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.",
author = "C. Schuengel and M. Oosterman",
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language = "English",
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Autonomic reactivity of children to separation and reunion with foster parents. / Schuengel, C.; Oosterman, M.

In: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 46, 2007, p. 1196-1203.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Autonomic reactivity of children to separation and reunion with foster parents

AU - Schuengel, C.

AU - Oosterman, M.

PY - 2007

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N2 - OBJECTIVE: To determine whether foster children showed different autonomic nervous system activity on separation and reunion than control children. Autonomic nervous system activity in foster children was examined in relation to time in placement and disinhibited attachment. METHOD: The sample included 60 foster and 50 control children between 2 and 7 years of age who participated with their caregivers in a modified Strange Situation. Heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and pre-ejection period were monitored continuously. Foster caregivers reported disinhibited symptoms on the Disturbances of Attachment Interview. RESULTS: The Strange Situation elicited less RSA reactivity in foster children. Differences in RSA, heart rate, and pre-ejection period responses on the specific separation and reunion episodes were not significant. RSA responses on separation from the stranger and on reunion with the foster caregiver were partly explained by time in placement and disinhibited attachment. CONCLUSIONS: Early experiences of relationship disruptions in foster children as well as short placements may have an impact on children's adaptation to environmental and relational challenges. Stable placement may facilitate adaptive affect regulation, except for children with disinhibited symptoms. Copyright 2007 © American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

AB - OBJECTIVE: To determine whether foster children showed different autonomic nervous system activity on separation and reunion than control children. Autonomic nervous system activity in foster children was examined in relation to time in placement and disinhibited attachment. METHOD: The sample included 60 foster and 50 control children between 2 and 7 years of age who participated with their caregivers in a modified Strange Situation. Heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and pre-ejection period were monitored continuously. Foster caregivers reported disinhibited symptoms on the Disturbances of Attachment Interview. RESULTS: The Strange Situation elicited less RSA reactivity in foster children. Differences in RSA, heart rate, and pre-ejection period responses on the specific separation and reunion episodes were not significant. RSA responses on separation from the stranger and on reunion with the foster caregiver were partly explained by time in placement and disinhibited attachment. CONCLUSIONS: Early experiences of relationship disruptions in foster children as well as short placements may have an impact on children's adaptation to environmental and relational challenges. Stable placement may facilitate adaptive affect regulation, except for children with disinhibited symptoms. Copyright 2007 © American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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JO - Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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