PARENTING SELF-EFFICACY, MOTHERS’ EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS, AND FRONTAL EEG ASYMMETRY

Open Access
Author:
Hajal, Nastassia Josephine
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 19, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Pamela M Cole, Ginger A Moore, Thesis Advisor
  • Pamela Marie Cole, Thesis Advisor
  • Ginger A Moore, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • infancy
  • parenting self-efficacy
  • maternal emotion
  • EEG asymmetry
Abstract:
This study aimed to add to the literature on parent emotion. Specifically, it examined relations between parenting self-efficacy and physiological and behavioral measures of emotion in mothers of infants. Mothers’ facial expressions of emotion and EEG asymmetry were examined while mothers watched videos of their own infants in a range of emotional situations. Greater parenting self-efficacy and more approach (as indexed by EEG asymmetry) were related to maternal positive expressions (joy) that were longer, more intense, and quicker to onset and peak, and negative emotional expressions (sadness and lip tension) that were shorter and slower to onset. Furthermore, parenting self-efficacy had a moderating effect on the relation between EEG asymmetry and some dynamic measures of maternal emotion. Specifically, for some measures of maternal joy, sadness, and lip tension, cohesion between measures of facial expression and brain activity depended on the level of parenting self-efficacy. Implications for future research on parental emotion will be discussed.