Video Observation Systems in Psychology and Cognitive Neurosciences

Gain new insights through scientific observational studies using the latest audio, video and software technology

An important method of data collection in scientific studies is video-based observation. It enables insights that are not possible through live observation or other data collection methods.

In order to be able to carry out such studies efficiently and effectively, the right equipment is required.

The award-winning solutions from Mangold International have been installed in thousands of universities, research institutions and clinics worldwide. They have become the de facto standard over many years. 

The major advantage of these solutions is their simple and intuitive operation. This allows users to quickly start their data acquisition and evaluation. Valid results are also achieved rapidly.

Unlock the World of Observational Research with Mangold INTERACT

Unlock the World of Observational Research with Mangold INTERACT

Carry out qualitative and quantitative video-based observational studies easily with INTERACT.

By seamlessly integrating video, audio, physiology, and live observations, INTERACT allows you to answer complex research questions quickly in a single software tool.

Video observation studies by Mangold INTERACT users

Unwilling or unable – do babies know?

Verhaltensforschung - Unterscheidungsfähigkeit von Kleinkindern und Babies

Any baby is happy when it gets a toy from its mother. But sometimes a mother might tease her baby a little, and play with it intentionally in full view. The mother may also accidentally drop the toy. This means she can't give the toy to the baby because it has fallen on the ground. In the latter case, babies were observed reacting with an increased degree of impatience.

The study using Mangold INTERACT software shows that small children from the age of 9 months are evidently able to distinguish between targeted actions and errors or accidents.

More: Unwilling Versus Unable - Infants’ Understanding of Intentional Action

Father-child interaction patterns as a precursor to future externalisation problems in school-age children

Father playing with child

In a follow-up study over more than 10 years, the behavioural interactions of 72 fathers and their children was recorded. The interactions recorded during normal play and care situations were analysed. The researchers wanted to find out to what extent the behavioural interactions between father and child are related to externalisation problems. These problems often involve symptoms that manifest as aggression, hyperactivity, delinquency, lack of attention, etc.

The study provides an additional indication regarding the quality of father-child interactions in early childhood. These can determine later problematic behaviour in school. These types of studies make the future development of children more predictable.

More: Father-infant interaction patterns as precursors of children's later externalizing behavior problems

ADHD observation study with mothers

ADHD observation study with mothers

“Education is one of the complex tasks of the adult life stage, which requires cognitive, emotional and behavioural efforts. Belskys process model identifies three areas of determinants of the parental function: the personal psychological resources of parents, the contextual sources of stress and support, and the characteristics of the child”.

More: ADHS-Symptome-research-poster

ADHD Symptoms, Inhibitory Control and Parenting among Mothers of Children with and without ADHD - A video evaluation with Mangold INTERACT

ADHD Symptoms, Inhibitory Control and Parenting

To be able to develop meaningful therapies for psychologically sensitive children, it is important to identify specific communication and interaction deficits. Here the interaction of the child with a dog suitable for this purpose can provide important findings, because children have a natural affinity to animals, and dogs in particular are always of the utmost interest, irrespective of the child’s cognitive or reflective capacity. The observational study was able to derive characteristic interaction styles for four diagnostic groups.

More:  (GERMAN) Interaktionsmuster und nonverbale Kommunikation psychisch auffälliger Kinder mit einem Therapiehund

Specialists for Video Observation Studies - for more than 30 years

Turn-key Individual Video Observation Labs

Turn-key Individual Video Observation Labs

Capture, observe and analyze behavior easily, with a Mangold International AV Observation Lab.

Mangold offers state-of-the-art research software, audio, video, computer and data acquisition systems for a wide range of research applications.

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We support researchers around the world in their observational studies by providing scientifically proven software for data acquisition, content coding and data evaluation.

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Portable Video Observation Labs - Tailored to Your Needs

Portable Video Observation Labs - Tailored to Your Needs

Whether at school, on campus, at participants' homes, or in a shopping mall, your mobile observation lab is ready to go in minutes.

Capture, observe and analyze behavior easily, with a Mangold International portable AV observation lab.

Human Behavior

Less frequent face looking in infancy is related to autism likelihood status but not diagnosis: A study of parent-infant interaction

Authors: Thorup E., Bölte S., Falck-Ytter T. (2024)


Previous research suggest that autistic children look less at faces than neurotypically developing children, but this finding is based predominantly on screen-based eye tracking studies, with unfamiliar faces used as stimuli. The aim of the current study was to assess 10-month-olds’ gaze to faces in a more naturalistic context - during free play with a parent - in relation to later autism diagnosis.

Parents were asked to play with their infant ‘as they usually would’ with a set of toys on the floor. During the first 5 min of play, infant gaze to parent’s face was video coded.

Infants at elevated likelihood of autism (N = 18 with later diagnosis; 46 without later diagnosis), regardless of later diagnostic status, produced fewer gaze shifts towards their parents’ faces than infants at low likelihood of autism (N = 18). Infants in all groups spent only ~3 % of their time looking at parents’ faces, and there was no group difference in terms of the proportion of time spent looking at faces. There was neither a correlation between infant face looking and scores on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2, nor between infant face looking and autistic traits in the parent.

During toy play, all infants – irrespective of later diagnosis – spent very little time looking at parents’ faces. Infants at elevated likelihood of autism made fewer gazes to their parents’ faces than neurotypically developing infants, which could potentially affect opportunities for social learning. The effect was not specifically linked to later autism diagnosis.

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AVALIAÇÃO DE RESPOSTAS CEREBRAIS DURANTE A INTERAÇÃO INTERPESSOAL EM GRUPOS: teste de viabilidade de um protocolo experimental com desenho colaborativo

Authors: Valéria Gonçalves da Cruz Monteiro

Enter abstract here

Introdução: A interação interpessoal é um componente importante dentro do processo de criação de vínculos empáticos. Grande parte do conhecimento sobre este comportamento e seus correlatos neurais, entretanto, advém de estudos que utilizam abordagens de pessoa única ou segunda pessoa, isto porque a experimentação naturalística em dinâmicas sociais de grupo apresenta diversos desafios metodológicos. Objetivo: Desenvolver um protocolo experimental naturalístico para avaliação de respostas cerebrais e comportamentais durante a interação interpessoal em grupos utilizando uma dinâmica de desenho colaborativo. Métodos: O protocolo consistiu na utilização combinada da técnica de fNIRS, para avaliação das respostas hemodinâmicas do córtex pré-frontal medial (área cerebral previamente relacionada à cognição social), e da observação baseada em vídeo, para mensuração de comportamentos de interação social. Foi desenvolvido um paradigma de desenho em bloco nos quais uma condição social foi comparada a uma condição controle não-social. A condição social foi inspirada em uma atividade de dinâmica de grupo naturalística (i.e. desenho colaborativo). A factibilidade do protocolo foi avaliada em quartetos de jovens desconhecidos. Para descrever as respostas comportamentais de interação, foram utilizadas métricas de olhares compartilhados derivadas da análise de vídeo. Métricas de desenho quantitativas e qualitativas foram utilizadas para caracterizar habilidades individuais. A amplitude das respostas hemodinâmicas e sincronização dos sinais obtidos com o fNIRS foram utilizadas para caracterizar os correlatos neurais. Resultados: Das 4 coletas realizadas, um quarteto foi excluído por controle de qualidade dos sinais de fNIRS, e dois por problemas técnicos da gravação do vídeo. Um maior número de olhares compartilhados foi observado na condição social do protocolo em relação à condição não-social. A complexidade dos traços de desenho apresentou diferenças qualitativas com o aumento progressivo da representação de detalhes oriundos da observação dos parceiros. A sincronicidade dos sinais cerebrais foi observada somente na parte final da interação. Conclusões: A execução do protocolo é parcialmente viável devido a fatores como a alta complexidade técnica em aferir simultaneamente múltiplas medidas de desfecho (comportamento de desenho, gravação de vídeo e sinais de fNIRS) e a alta demanda cognitiva da tarefa de desenho colaborativo. A partir destas observações, são descritas sugestões e alternativas para a melhoria do desenho do estudo em potenciais futuras aplicações.

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Observing prosociality and talent: the emotional characteristics and behavioral outcomes of elevation and admiration in 6.5- to 8-year-old children

Authors: Gibhardt, S., Hepach, R., & Henderson, A. M. E. (2024)


Seeing others getting the help they need and deserve elicits positive emotions in young children (Hepach et al., 2012; Hepach & Tomasello, 2020). However, it remains unclear whether the positive emotions elicited are an indicator of the moral emotion of elevation which has been shown to be a distinct emotion that leads to increased prosocial behaviour in adults (Cox, 2010; Haidt, 2000, 2003; Schnall et al., 2010). Here we examined the specific emotional characteristics and behavioural outcomes of two closely related other-praising moral emotions: elevation and admiration. We exposed 182 6.5- to 8.5-year-old children being raised in Aotearoa, New Zealand, to an elevation- and admiration-inducing video clip. Afterwards children’s emotion experiences and prosocial behaviour was measured. Findings revealed higher levels of happiness, care and warmth in the elevation condition and higher levels of upliftment in the admiration condition. Perhaps surprisingly, findings revealed no differences in prosocial behaviour between the elevation and admiration conditions. This is the first study to assess elevation in childhood and offers a novel paradigm to investigate the role of moral emotions as potential motivators underlying helping.

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Why things can go wrong when parents try to help children with their homework: The role of parental emotion regulation and mentalization.

Authors: Cohen, R., Gershy, N., & Davidov, M. (2024)


Parents’ involvement in homework can enhance children’s self-efficacy, self-regulation, and autonomous motivation for learning. Regrettably, in practice, parental involvement often contains intrusive, controlling, and discouraging behaviors that can curtail benefits. The present study sought to identify parenting characteristics that may contribute to counterproductive parental homework involvement. Two central mechanisms were examined: parental emotion dysregulation and low parental mentalization. We hypothesized that difficulties regulating negative affect would contribute to negative and hostile parental behavior during homework (but not to controlling behavior), whereas difficulties in parental mentalization would contribute to increased controlling parental practices (but not to parental negativity). The sample included 101 Israeli parents and their elementary school children (M = 8.32, SD = 1.77, 51.5% girls). Parent–child interaction during homework was videotaped at a home visit and subsequently coded to reflect the levels of control and negativity shown by the parent. Parental emotion dysregulation was assessed using a self-report questionnaire (the difficulties in emotion regulation scale), and parental capacity for mentalization was coded from interviews using the reflective functioning manual. Consistent with hypotheses, parental mentalization difficulties were linked to increased parental control, whereas parental emotion dysregulation was linked to parental negativity. These associations persisted even after controlling for children’s externalizing problems and children’s homework performance, as reported by parents. The findings highlight the differential paths by which parents’ diminished emotion regulation and decreased mentalization can foster counterproductive involvement in their children’s homework. We discuss the implications of the findings for parents’ homework involvement and teachers’ support of positive parental involvement. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved)

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Parent attention-orienting behavior is associated with neural entropy in infancy

Authors: Williams,C.L.,Belkowitz,A.R.,Nance,M.G.,Mortman,E.T.,Bae,S.,Ahmed,S.‐B.,& Puglia,M.H.(2024)


Parents use joint attention to direct infants to environmental stimuli. We hypothesized that infants whose parents provide more bids for joint attention will display a more complex neural response when viewing social scenes. Sixty-one 8-month-old infants underwent electroencephalography (EEG) while viewing videos of joint- and parallel-play and participated in a free play interaction. EEG data was analyzed using multiscale entropy, which quantifies neural variability. Free play interactions assessed parent alternating gaze, a behavioral mechanism for directing attention to environmental cues. We found a significant positive association between parent alternating gaze and neural entropy in frontal and central regions. These results suggest a relationship between parent behavior and infant neural mechanisms that regulate social attention, underlying the importance of parental cues in forming neural networks. 

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Behavioral Voluntary and Social Bioassays Enabling Identification of Complex and Sex-Dependent Pain-(-Related) Phenotypes in Rats with Bone Cancer

Authors: Segelcke D, Linnemann J, Pradier B, Kronenberg D, Stange R, Richter SH, Görlich D, Baldini N, Di Pompo G, Verri WA Jr., et al. (2023)


Cancer-induced bone pain (CIBP) is a common and devastating symptom with limited treatment options in patients, significantly affecting their quality of life. The use of rodent models is the most common approach to uncovering the mechanisms underlying CIBP; however, the translation of results to the clinic may be hindered because the assessment of pain-related behavior is often based exclusively on reflexive-based methods, which are only partially indicative of relevant pain in patients. To improve the accuracy and strength of the preclinical, experimental model of CIBP in rodents, we used a battery of multimodal behavioral tests that were also aimed at identifying rodent-specific behavioral components by using a home-cage monitoring assay (HCM). Rats of all sexes received an injection with either heat-deactivated (sham-group) or potent mammary gland carcinoma Walker 256 cells into the tibia. By integrating multimodal datasets, we assessed pain-related behavioral trajectories of the CIBP-phenotype, including evoked and non-evoked based assays and HCM. Using principal component analysis (PCA), we discovered sex-specific differences in establishing the CIBP-phenotype, which occurred earlier (and differently) in males. Additionally, HCM phenotyping revealed the occurrence of sensory-affective states manifested by mechanical hypersensitivity in sham when housed with a tumor-bearing cagemate (CIBP) of the same sex. This multimodal battery allows for an in-depth characterization of the CIBP-phenotype under social aspects in rats. The detailed, sex-specific, and rat-specific social phenotyping of CIBP enabled by PCA provides the basis for mechanism-driven studies to ensure robustness and generalizability of results and provide information for targeted drug development in the future.

Keywords: bone cancer; pain; home cage; rodent-specific behavior

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Prospective controlled study on the effects of deep brain stimulation on driving in Parkinson’s disease

Authors: Fründt, O., Mainka, T., Vettorazzi, E. et al. (2023)


To explore the influence of bilateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) on car driving ability in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), we prospectively examined two age-matched, actively driving PD patient groups: one group undergone DBS-surgery (PD-DBS, n = 23) and one group that was eligible for DBS but did not undergo surgery (PD-nDBS, n = 29). In PD-DBS patients, investigation at Baseline was done just prior and at Follow-up 6–12 month after DBS-surgery. In PD-nDBS patients, time interval between Baseline and Follow-up was aimed to be comparable. To assess the general PD driving level, driving was assessed once in 33 age-matched healthy controls at Baseline. As results, clinical and driving characteristics of PD-DBS, PD-nDBS and controls did not differ at Baseline. At Follow-up, PD-DBS patients drove unsafer than PD-nDBS patients. This effect was strongly driven by two single PD-DBS participants (9%) with poor Baseline and disastrous Follow-up driving performance. Retrospectively, we could not identify any of the assessed motor and non-motor clinical Baseline characteristics as predictive for this driving-deterioration at Follow-up. Excluding these two outliers, comparable driving performance between PD-DBS and PD-nDBS patients not only at Baseline but also at Follow-up was demonstrated. Age, disease duration and severity as well as Baseline driving insecurity were associated with poorer driving performance at Follow-up. This first prospective study on driving safety in PD after DBS surgery indicates that DBS usually does not alter driving safety but might increase the risk for driving deterioration, especially in single subjects with already unsafe driving prior to DBS surgery.

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Cross-cultural differences in visual object and background processing in the infant brain 

Authors: Köster M., Bánki A., Yamasaki D., Kato M., Itakura S., Hoehl S. (2023)


Human visual cognition differs profoundly between cultures. A key finding is that visual processing is tuned toward focal elements of a visual scene in Western cultures (US and Europe) and toward the background in Eastern cultures (Asia). Although some evidence for cultural differences exists for young children, to date, the ontogenetic origins of cultural differences in human visual cognition have not been unveiled. This study explores early cross-cultural differences in human visual processing, by tracking the neural signatures for object versus background elements of a visual scene in the electroencephalogram (EEG) of 12-month-old infants, in Vienna (Austria; a Western culture; n = 35) and Kyoto (Japan; an Eastern culture; n = 36). Specifically, we separated neural signatures by presenting object and background at different stimulation frequencies (5.67 and 8.5 Hz). Results show that human visual processing is different between cultures from early on. We found that infants from Vienna showed a higher object signal, in contrast to infants from Kyoto, who showed an accentuated background signal. This early emergence of cultural differences in human vision may be explained in part by early social experiences: In a separate interaction phase, mothers from Vienna pointed out object (versus background) elements more often than mothers from Kyoto. To conclude, with a cross-cultural developmental neuroscience approach, we reveal that cross-cultural differences in visual processing of object and background are already present in the first year after birth, which is much earlier than previously thought.

Keywords: visual system development, infant cognition, frequency tagging, cross-cultural comparison, social learning

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A new online paradigm to measure spontaneous pointing in infants and caregivers

Authors: Kaletsch K., Liszkowski U. (2024)


Index-finger pointing is a milestone in the development of referential communication. Previous research has investigated infants’ pointing with a variety of paradigms ranging from parent reports to field observations to experimental settings, suggesting that lab-based semi-natural interactional settings seem especially suited to elicit and measure infant pointing. With the Covid-pandemic the need for a comparable online tool became evident enabling also efficient, low-cost, large-scale, diverse data collection. The current study introduces a remote online paradigm, based on the established live ‘decorated-room’ paradigm. In Experiment 1, 12-months old infants and their caregivers (N = 24) looked at digitally presented stimuli together while being recorded with their webcam. We coded pointing gestures of infants and caregivers as well as caregivers’ responses to infants’ pointing. In Experiment 2 (N = 47), we optimized stimuli and investigated influences of stimulus characteristics. We systematically varied the style of depiction, stimulus complexity, motion, and facial stimuli. Main findings were that infants and caregivers pointed spontaneously, with mean behaviors ranging within the benchmarks of previously reported findings of the live decorated-room paradigm. Further, the social setting was preserved as revealed by significant relations between parents’ responsive points and infants’ pointing frequency. Analyses of stimuli characteristics revealed that infants pointed more to stimuli depicting faces than to other stimuli. The new remote online paradigm proves a useful addition to established paradigms. It offers novel opportunities for simplified assessments, large-scale sampling, and worldwide, diversified data collection.
Keywords: Pointing; Online data collection; Decorated-room; Responsiveness 

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Mother-infant social gaze dynamics relate to infant brain activity and word segmentation

Authors: Vanoncini M., Hoehl S., Elsner B., Wallot S., Boll-Avetisyan N., Kayhan E. (2024)


The ‘social brain’, consisting of areas sensitive to social information, supposedly gates the mechanisms involved in human language learning. Early preverbal interactions are guided by ostensive signals, such as gaze patterns, which are coordinated across body, brain, and environment. However, little is known about how the infant brain processes social gaze in naturalistic interactions and how this relates to infant language development. During free-play of 9-month-olds with their mothers, we recorded hemodynamic cortical activity of ´social brain` areas (prefrontal cortex, temporo-parietal junctions) via fNIRS, and micro-coded mother’s and infant’s social gaze. Infants’ speech processing was assessed with a word segmentation task. Using joint recurrence quantification analysis, we examined the connection between infants’ ´social brain` activity and the temporal dynamics of social gaze at intrapersonal (i.e., infant’s coordination, maternal coordination) and interpersonal (i.e., dyadic coupling) levels. Regression modeling revealed that intrapersonal dynamics in maternal social gaze (but not infant’s coordination or dyadic coupling) coordinated significantly with infant’s cortical activity. Moreover, recurrence quantification analysis revealed that intrapersonal maternal social gaze dynamics (in terms of entropy) were the best predictor of infants’ word segmentation. The findings support the importance of social interaction in language development, particularly highlighting maternal social gaze dynamics.

Keywords: Functional near-infrared spectroscopy; Infant word segmentation; Social gaze; Mother-infant interactions; Entropy; Recurrence quantification analysis 

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Sleep-dependent memory consolidation of televised content in infants 

Authors: Hermesch, N., Konrad, C., Barr, R.,Herbert, J. S., & Seehagen, S. (2023)


Infants face the constant challenge of selecting information for encoding and storage from a continuous incoming stream of data. Sleep might help in this process by selectively consolidating new memory traces that are likely to be of future relevance. Using a deferred imitation paradigm and an experimental design, we asked whether 15- and 24-month-old infants (N = 105) who slept soon after encoding a televised demonstration of target actions would show higher imitation scores (retention) after a 24-h delay than same-aged infants who stayed awake for ≥4 h after encoding. In light of infants’ well-known difficulties in learning and remembering information from screens, we tested if increasing the relevance of the televised content via standardised caregiver verbalisations might yield the highest imitation scores in the sleep condition. Regardless of sleep condition, 24-month-olds exhibited retention of target actions while 15-month-olds consistently failed to do so. For 24-month-olds, temporal recall was facilitated by sleep, but not by parental verbalisations. Correlational analyses revealed that more time asleep within 4 h after encoding was associated with better retention of the target actions and their temporal order in 24-months-olds. These results suggest that sleep facilitates memory consolidation of screen-based content in late infancy and that this effect might not hinge on caregivers’ verbal engagement during viewing.

Keywords: infants, scaffolding, screen media, sleep-dependent memory consolidation, transfer deficit

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Preterm toddlers’ joint attention characteristics during dyadic interactions with their mothers and fathers compared to full-term toddlers at age 2 years

Authors: Ataman-Devrim M., Quigley J., Nixon E. (2024)


The current study investigates Joint Attention (JA) characteristics (duration, frequency, source of initiation, type of JA, agent of termination, missed and unsuccessful episodes) in preterm and full-term toddlers’ interactions with their mothers and fathers, separately. Thirty-one singleton full-term (Mage = 24.07 months, SD = 1.45; 13 boys) and 17 singleton preterm toddlers (Madjustedage = 24.72 months, SD = 3.39; 12 boys) participated in the study with both parents. JA episodes were examined during dyadic five-minute free play sessions, were coded second-by-second, and were analysed using two-way mixed ANOVAs. Although the total amount of time spent in JA was not significantly different between the preterm and the full-term groups, JA episodes were more frequent, specifically supported JA episodes, and were more often terminated by the child during parent-preterm toddler interactions. Moreover, preterm toddlers missed their fathers’ attempts for JA more often than their mothers’ and more often than full-term toddlers missed their fathers’ and mothers’ bids for JA. Further, regardless of the birth status, toddlers initiated more JA with mothers than fathers, and fathers redirected their child’s attention to initiate JA more than mothers. Findings indicate that preterm toddlers may struggle to respond to JA bids, especially with their fathers, and to sustain their attention on a specific object or event during interactions. Preterm toddlers may need more support to engage in JA relative to their full-term peers, and redirecting attention strategy may not be optimal for them. Also, toddlers’ JA interactions may be different with their mothers and fathers. Findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating preterm toddlers’ JA characteristics with both parents compared to full-term toddlers at age two.

Keywords: Preterm; Joint attention; Interactions; Fathers; Mothers; Toddlers 

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Parent empathy and adolescent disclosure in the context of type 1 diabetes management

Authors: Main, A., Wiebe, D. J., Miramontes, M., Disla, J., Hanes, E., Cakan, N., & Raymond, J. K. (2024)


Adolescent disclosure to parents is a key aspect of positive parent-adolescent relationships and youth adjustment. We leveraged a study of diverse families with an adolescent with type 1 diabetes to examine how observed parental empathy during parent-adolescent conflict discussions about diabetes management was associated with observed adolescent disclosure and adolescent self-reported disclosure to parents. Adolescents with type 1 diabetes and the parent most involved in their diabetes care (N = 67 dyads) participated in the study. Parent empathy, adolescent disclosure, and parent positive affect during parent-adolescent conversations were rated by trained coders. Parents reported on their own empathy and adolescents reported on their own disclosure, parental knowledge of their diabetes management, and parental acceptance. Results indicated that observed parental empathy was associated with both observed and self-reported disclosure. This association remained after covarying other parent-adolescent relationship and parent dispositional, demographic, and diabetes variables. This study holds implications for promoting greater parental communication of empathy to encourage adolescent disclosure in the context of chronic illness management. 

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Popularity at first sight: Dominant behaviours mediate the link between extraversion and popularity in face-to-face and virtual group interactions

Authors: Buss, Martje & Wagner, Jenny & Bleckmann, Eva & Wieczorek, Larissa. (2024)


Although there is robust evidence that being more extraverted is related to higher popularity, only few studies have examined which actual behaviours (e.g., verbal content, body language) might explain this association. The current study examined whether observer‐rated dominant behaviours (nonverbal, paraverbal, verbal, and general cues) mediate the relationship between self‐rated extraversion and its facets (assertiveness, sociability, and activity) and other‐rated popularity in zero‐acquaintance settings. In two studies, we analysed data from face‐to‐face (Study 1, N = 124) and virtual (Study 2, N = 291) group interactions where participants were videotaped while performing a task and subsequently rated each other on popularity. Across studies, extraversion and the facets assertiveness and sociability were consistently associated with higher popularity, while the role of dominant behaviours differed. In Study 1, only two nonverbal behaviours, dominant gestures and upright posture, mediated the association between extraversion and popularity. In Study 2, all four types of behavioural cues mediated the association between extraversion (facets) and popularity. We discuss how these findings provide insights into the mechanisms of attaining popularity at zero acquaintance in diverse social settings.

Keywords: dominance, extraversion, interpersonal perceptions, popularity, social behaviors

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Maternal contingent responses to distress facilitate infant soothing but not in mothers with depression or infants high in negative affect

Authors: de Barbaro, Kaya & Khante, Priyanka & Maier, Meeka & Goodman, Sherryl. (2023)


Depression in mothers is consistently associated with reduced caregiving sensitivity and greater infant negative affect expression. The current article examined the real-time behavioral mechanisms underlying these associations using Granger causality time series analyses in a sample of mothers (N = 194; 86.60% White) at elevated risk for depression and their 3-month-old infants (46.40% female) living in a major metropolitan area in the United States. Overall, mothers contingently responded to infant distress, and mothers' responses to infant distress increased the likelihood of infant soothing in real time. However, there was no evidence for maternal contingent responding or facilitation of infant soothing in subsamples of mothers who were currently experiencing elevated depression symptoms or in mothers of highly negative infants. These findings suggest real-time behavioral mechanisms by which risks for maladaptive self-regulation may develop. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

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Shyness, social engagement, and conversational response times in children’s dyadic interactions with an unfamiliar peer

Authors: Wilson, M. L., Powell, A. R., Hernandez, L. S., Green, E., Labahn, C., & Henderson, H. (2024)


To be a desirable social partner and develop healthy relationships with peers, a child must be able to engage with peers across a variety of contexts. Understanding the factors supporting high levels of social engagement with peers is thereby essential, requiring the development of nuanced and ecologically valid indices of social engagement. Building on recent adult work, the current study explores conversational response time as a novel index of children’s social engagement with peers in a dyadic context. This study further explores relationship between conversational response time and children’s shyness. Fifty-six 9- to 11-year-old children interacted with an unfamiliar peer in an unstructured setting and completed a self-report measure of shyness. Children’s behaviour was coded for their conversational RTs and overall social engagement. Faster conversational RTs were significantly related to children’s own social engagement and marginally related to their partners’ engagement. Moreover, higher shyness in children’s partners predicted faster conversational RTs in children themselves. New directions for using conversational RT as an index of children’s social engagement and implications for accounts children’s social development are discussed.

Keywords: communication, conversational response time, shyness, social engagement

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Sharing and Receiving Eye-Contact Predicts Mate Choice After a 5-Minute Conversation: Evidence from a Speed-Dating Study 

Authors: Hoffmann, A., Schiestl, S., Sinske, P. et al. (2024)


In popular narratives, the first date with a potential mate often centers on their gaze as embodiment of interest and attraction. However, evidence is still lacking on the role of eye-contact as a potent signal in human social interaction in the context of dating. In addition, behavioral mechanisms of mate selection are not well understood. In the present study, we therefore examined mutual eye-contact and its influence on mate choice by applying dual mobile eye-tracking during naturalistic speed-dates. A total of 30 male and 30 female subjects attended four speed-dates each (N = 240). Subjects were more likely to choose those dating partners with whom they shared more eye-contact with. In addition, perceived attractiveness played an important role for mate choice. Interestingly, receiving but not giving eye-contact also predicted individual mate choice. Eye-contact thus acts as an important signal of romantic attraction when encountering a dating partner.

Keywords: Speed-dating, mutual eye-contact, dual mobile eye-tracking, human mate selection, face-to-face interaction

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Active Listening in Integrative Negotiation

Authors: Jäckel, E., Zerres, A., & Hüffmeier, J. (2024)


Active listening is a promising communication technique to positively affect interactions and communication outcomes. However, theoretical propositions regarding its direct effects on interactions have rarely been empirically investigated. In the present research, we studied the role of naturally occurring active listening in the context of videotaped and coded integrative negotiations. Lag sequential analyses of 48 negotiations with 17,120 thought units show that active listening follows offers that comprise two or more issues (i.e., multi-issue offers) above chance level. These multi-issue offer—active listening patterns in turn promoted integrative statements (e.g., further multi-issue offers) and inhibited distributive statements (e.g., single-issue offers). Moreover, multi-issue offer—active listening patterns (and neither multi-issue offers nor active listening alone) also positively related to the achieved joint economic outcomes in the negotiation. Contrary to common expectations, we did not find evidence that active listening promotes the understanding of the other party or rapport between negotiators.

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Attention control in preterm and term 5-month-old infants: Cross-task stability increases with gestational age 

Authors: Perra, O., Winstanley, A., Sperotto, R., & Gattis, M. (2024)


Cross-task stability refers to performance consistency across different settings and measures of the same construct. Cross-task stability can help us understand developmental  processes, including how risks such as preterm birth affect outcomes. We investigated cross-task stability of attention control in 32 preterm and 39 term infants. All infants had the same chronological age at time of testing (5 months) but varied in gestational age (GA) at birth (30–42 weeks). Infants completed an experimental attention following task with a researcher and a naturalistic play observation with their mothers. Both preterm and term infants demonstrated attention following in the experimental task. GA and flexibility of attention were related: the likelihood of no turn trials decreased with increasing GA. To evaluate cross-task stability, we compared attention performance in the experimental and naturalistic settings. Flexible attention shifts on the experimental task were positively related to attention to objects in the naturalistic observation. Furthermore, the association between flexible attention shifts on the experimental task and attention to objects in the naturalistic observation was moderated by GA. Our study provides initial evidence that the consolidation of attention control increases with GA. These findings highlight the value of comparing experimental and observational measures of attention.

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The breadth and specificity of 18-month-old’s infant-initiated interactions in naturalistic home settings

Authors: Karadağ D., Bazhydai M., Koşkulu-Sancar S., Şen H. H. (2024)


Infants actively initiate social interactions aiming to elicit different types of responses from other people. This study aimed to document a variety of communicative interactions initiated by 18-month-old Turkish infants from diverse SES (N = 43) with their caregivers in their natural home settings. The infant-initiated interactions such as use of deictic gestures (e.g., pointing, holdouts), action demonstrations, vocalizations, and non-specific play actions were coded from video recordings and classified into two categories as need-based and non-need-based. Need-based interactions were further classified as a) biological (e.g., feeding); b) socio-emotional (e.g., cuddling), and non-need-based interactions (i.e., communicative intentions) were coded as a) expressive, b) requestive; c) information/help-seeking; d) information-giving. Infant-initiated non-need-based (88%) interactions were more prevalent compared to need-based interactions (12%). Among the non-need-based interactions, 50% aimed at expressing or sharing attention or emotion, 26% aimed at requesting an object or an action, and 12% aimed at seeking information or help. Infant-initiated information-giving events were rare. We further investigated the effects of familial SES and infant sex, finding no effect of either on the number of infant-initiated interactions. These findings suggest that at 18 months, infants actively communicate with their social partners to fulfil their need-based and non-need-based motivations using a wide range of verbal and nonverbal behaviors, regardless of their sex and socio-economic background. This study thoroughly characterizes a wide and detailed range of infant-initiated spontaneous communicative bids in hard-to-access contexts (infants’ daily lives at home) and with a traditionally underrepresented non-WEIRD population.

Keywords: Infant-caregiver interactions; Communication; Infant-initiated interactions; Communicative intentions 

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Neural correlates involved in perspective-taking in early childhood

Authors: Meyer M., Brezack N., Woodward A.L. (2024)


Learning to consider another person’s perspective is pivotal in early social development. Still, little is known about the neural underpinnings involved in perspective-taking in early childhood. In this EEG study, we examined 4-year-old children’s brain activity during a live, social interaction that involved perspective-taking. Children were asked to pass one of two toys to another person. To decide which toy to pass, they had to consider either their partner’s perspective (perspective-taking) or visual features unrelated to their partner’s perspective (control). We analyzed power changes in midfrontal and temporal-parietal EEG channels. The results indicated that children showed higher power around 7 Hz at right temporal-parietal channels for perspective-taking compared to control trials. This power difference was positively correlated with children’s perspective-taking performance, specifically for trials in which they needed to pass the toy their partner could not see. A similar power difference at right temporal-parietal channels was seen when comparing perspective-taking trials where children’s visual access mismatched rather than matched that of their partner. No differences were detected for midfrontal channels. In sum, we identified distinct neural activity as 4-year-olds considered another person’s perspective in a live interaction; this activity converges with neural findings of adults’ social processing network.

Keywords: Perspective-taking; Young children; EEG; Theta power; Temporal-parietal brain activity

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Caregiver encouragement to act on objects is related with crawling infants' receptive language

Authors: Lopez, L. D., & Walle, E. A. (2024)


The progression from crawling to walking in infancy is associated with changes in infant language development. One possible explanation for such change is the infant's language environment. Prior research indicates that caregivers use more action directives with walking infants compared to crawling infants, but the relations of such parental speech with infant vocabulary is unknown. Here, we present findings from day‐long home audio recordings (Study 1) and laboratory observations (Study 2) of same‐aged crawling and walking infants to explore how caregiver language, specifically action directives, were associated with parent reported infant vocabulary size. Findings in both studies indicated that caregiver action directives were associated with crawling, but not walking infants' receptive vocabulary sizes. Specifically, action directives about objects occurring when the infant and caregiver were not jointly engaged were associated with higher receptive vocabulary scores for crawling infants, but no such pattern was found for walking infants. The replication of results in distinct samples with different research methodologies strengthens the findings. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that caregiver social engagement specific to infant motoric development is related with infant language learning.

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2‐Year‐olds’ free play during the COVID‐19 pandemic

Authors: Tisborn, K., & Seehagen, S. (2024)


Free play is a natural activity in toddlerhood, depending on environmental conditions like available objectsand the social environment. The COVID‐19 pandemicand its consequences for parents’ mental health held the potential to change toddlers’ play environment. This cross‐sectional study investigated 2‐year‐olds’(N = 97) free play with objects, and aspects of caregiver mental well‐being in three cohorts during the pandemic in Germany. Caregivers reported their positive mental health (PMH), threat perception, perception of current family situation from negative to positive, and workload. We categorized toddlers’ behavior in free play sessions in their homes with a fixed set of objects through behavioral coding. Play behavior did not differ between cohorts and did not correlate with caregivers’ positive mental health, threat perception, and perception of family situation. A MANOVA revealed a significant main effect of cohort on PMH, threat perception and perception of family situation, qualified by two discriminant functions. Fullsample analyses revealed that toddlers of caregiversperceiving a workload increase compared to the time before the pandemic showed less pretend play, and less functional and nonfunctional play. The results provide insights into 2‐year‐olds’ play behavior during a global pandemic and highlight the role of caregiver availability for children’s play.

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Proactive verbal behavior in team meetings: effects of supportive and critical responses on satisfaction and performance

Authors: Berg, AK., Kauffeld, S. (2024) 


Proactivity has rarely been considered as a subject of investigation in social settings, such as team meetings. In this study, we investigate proactive behavior during meetings and examine how reactions to proactive behavior impact work-related outcomes. Drawing on meeting science and the wise proactivity framework, we hypothesized that supportive and critical patterns would emerge in response to proactive behavior. We also tested whether these patterns influenced team meeting satisfaction and team performance. We video recorded team meetings involving 252 participants in 43 teams and conducted micro-interaction coding of verbal behavior. Lag sequential analyses revealed that proactive verbal behavior followed by supportive responses occurred above chance. Team-level regression analyses showed that these patterns predicted meeting satisfaction and team performance. Notably, proactive-support patterns indirectly predicted team performance through increased meeting satisfaction. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of proactive verbal behavior in teams and supportive reactions as antecedents to positive outcomes.

Keywords: Proactivity, social support, team performance, verbal meeting behavior, lag sequential analysis, meetings

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Social niche shapes social behavior and cortisol concentrations during adolescence in female guinea pigs

Authors: Rystrom T.L., Richter S.H., Sachser N., Kaiser S. (2024)


Individualized social niches arise in social groups, resulting in divergent social behavior profiles among group members. During sensitive life phases, the individualized social niche can profoundly impact the development of social behavior and associated phenotypes such as hormone (e.g. cortisol) concentrations. Focusing on adolescence, we investigated the relationship between the individualized social niche, social behavior, and cortisol concentrations (baseline and responsiveness) in female guinea pigs. Females were pair-housed in early adolescence (initial social pair formation), and a social niche transition was induced after six weeks by replacing the partner with either a larger or smaller female. Regarding social behavior, dominance status was associated with aggression in both the initial social pairs and after the social niche transition, and the results suggest that aggression was rapidly and completely reshaped after the social niche transition. Meanwhile, submissive behavior was rapidly reshaped after the social niche transition, but this was incomplete. The dominance status attained in the initial social pair affected the extent of submissive behavior after the social niche transition, and this effect was still detected three weeks after the social niche transition. Regarding cortisol concentrations, higher baseline cortisol concentrations were measured in dominant females in the initial social pairs. After the social niche transition, cortisol responsiveness significantly increased for the females paired with a larger, older female relative to those paired with a smaller, younger female. These findings demonstrate that the social niche during adolescence plays a significant role in shaping behavior and hormone concentrations in females.

Keywords: Social status; Individual variation; Cortisol reactivity; Phenotypic plasticity; Social environment; Individualized niche; Endocrine flexibility; Niche specialization; Stress response 

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Empowering Hong Kong Chinese families with autism: A preliminary study of the online Hanen More Than Words Program

Authors: Qi X., Zhao Q., To C. K. S. (2024)

Purpose Parent involvement is crucial for tailored early intervention programs. The Hanen More Than Words (HMTW) program is a parent-implemented language intervention for autistic children. The current study examined the effectiveness of the HMTW program delivered online among Chinese families.

Methods Using a randomized controlled trial design, 22 Chinese families of autistic children in Hong Kong completed the trial. Baseline and post-intervention assessments were conducted to measure changes in parent-child interaction, parents’ use of linguistic facilitation techniques (LFTs), and children's communication skills. Additionally, the influence of parental self-efficacy and parenting stress on treatment outcomes was explored.

Results The intervention group demonstrated significant improvements in parent-child attention synchrony. Although the treatment effect on children's spontaneous communication was not significant, the intervention group showed a larger effect size compared to the controls. The treatment outcomes were mainly influenced by the parents’ initial levels of self-efficacy but not by parenting stress.

Conclusion These findings provide preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of the online-delivered HMTW program for Chinese parents of autistic children. Further research involving a larger sample and focusing on long-term effects is needed.

Keywords: Hanen More Than Words, autism, parent-implemented intervention, telepractice, Chinese

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Attachment Reminders Trigger Widespread Synchrony across Multiple Brains

Authors: Shimon-Raz O., Yeshurun Y., Ulmer-Yaniv A., Levinkron A., Salomon R., Feldman R. (2023)

Infant stimuli elicit widespread neural and behavioral response in human adults, and such massive allocation of resources attests to the evolutionary significance of the primary attachment. Here, we examined whether attachment reminders also trigger cross-brain concordance and generate greater neural uniformity, as indicated by intersubject correlation. Human mothers were imaged twice in oxytocin/placebo administration design, and stimuli included four ecological videos of a standard unfamiliar mother and infant: two infant/mother alone (Alone) and two mother–infant dyadic contexts (Social). Theory-driven analysis measured cross-brain synchrony in preregistered nodes of the parental caregiving network (PCN), which integrates subcortical structures underpinning mammalian mothering with cortical areas implicated in simulation, mentalization, and emotion regulation, and data-driven analysis assessed brain-wide concordance using whole-brain parcellation. Results demonstrated widespread cross-brain synchrony in both the PCN and across the neuroaxis, from primary sensory/somatosensory areas, through insular-cingulate regions, to temporal and prefrontal cortices. The Social context yielded significantly more cross-brain concordance, with PCNs striatum, parahippocampal gyrus, superior temporal sulcus, ACC, and PFC displaying cross-brain synchrony only to mother–infant social cues. Moment-by-moment fluctuations in mother–infant social synchrony, ranging from episodes of low synchrony to tightly coordinated positive bouts, were tracked online by cross-brain concordance in the preregistered ACC. Findings indicate that social attachment stimuli, representing evolutionary-salient universal cues that require no verbal narrative, trigger substantial interbrain concordance and suggest that the mother–infant bond, an icon standing at the heart of human civilization, may function to glue brains into a unified experience and bind humans into social groups.
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Does prior knowledge affect interaction dynamics and learning achievement in digital problem-based learning? A pilot study

Authors: Möser M., Hermkes R., Filmann N., Rüttermann S., Gerhard-Szép S. (2023)

Objective: Previous research on problem-based learning (PBL) describes that videotaped observations develop meaningful insights into cognitive processes in tutorial groups. Analysis regarding the amount of prior knowledge on learning achievement has not been investigated in medical education so far, although both are key factors of PBL success. Thus, we intended to analyse videos of digital problem-based learning (dPBL) sessions, focusing on knowledge acquisition and interaction dynamics among groups with different levels of prior knowledge to reveal any distinctions.

Methods: This study employed a pilot design by dividing 60 dental students into twelve subgroups with less or more prior knowledge, determined by a pre-semester multiple choice test (MCQ). The groups engaged in videotaped dPBL cases, which were examined regarding group interactions and tutor effectiveness. The learning achievement was assessed through a post-semester MCQ, an oral and practical exam. 

Results: The video analysis showed that dPBL groups with less prior knowledge achieved significantly higher tutor effectiveness and group interaction utterances, but that the percentage of time in which utterances occurred was similar in both groups. Related to the MCQ results, the students with less prior knowledge learned four times more than those with profound previous abilities, but no significant difference was found in the results of the oral exam and practical exam.

Conclusions: The interaction dynamics in dPBL depend on the group’s amount of prior knowledge. Especially groups including participants with less prior knowledge seemed to benefit from dPBL in comparison to groups with more prior knowledge. The dPBL groups acquired knowledge in different ways during the courses but, finally, all students arrived at a similar level of knowledge.

Keywords: problem-based learning, PBL, video-study, digital, interaction, prior knowledge, learning achievement 

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Sing to me, baby: Infants show neural tracking and rhythmic movements to live and dynamic maternal singing

Authors: Nguyen T., Reisner S., Lüger A., Wass S.V., Höhl S. and Markova G. (2023)

Infant-directed singing has unique acoustic characteristics that may allow even very young infants to respond to the rhythms carried through the caregiver’s voice. The goal of this study was to examine neural and movement responses to live and dynamic maternal singing in 7-month-old infants and their relation to linguistic development. In total, 60 mother-infant dyads were observed during two singing conditions (playsong and lullaby). In Study 1 (n = 30), we measured infant EEG and used an encoding approach utilizing ridge regressions to measure neural tracking. In Study 2 (n =40), we coded infant rhythmic movements. In both studies, we assessed children’s vocabulary when they were 20 months old. In Study 1, we found above-threshold neural tracking of maternal singing, with superior tracking of lullabies than playsongs. We also found that the acoustic features of infant-directed singing modulated tracking. In Study 2, infants showed more rhythmic movement to playsongs than lullabies. Importantly, neural coordination (Study 1) and rhythmic movement (Study 2) to playsongs were positively related to infants’ expressive vocabulary at 20 months. These results highlight the importance of infants’ brain and movement coordination to their caregiver’s musical presentations, potentially as a function of musical variability.

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Interaction coding in leadership research: A critical review and best-practice recommendations to measure behavior

Authors: Güntner A.V., Meinecke A.L., and Lüders Z.E.K. (2023)

Leadership scholars increasingly acknowledge the shortcomings of using questionnaires. Consequently, there is a trend towards more behavior-based research, with interaction coding as one promising method. By precisely analyzing recordings of leader–follower interactions, interaction coding helps quantify verbal and non-verbal behavioral patterns that unfold between leaders and their followers, thereby providing access to the behavioral dynamics that are at the core of leadership. Yet, analyzing leader–follower interactions is much less straightforward than it might appear. Bold claims like “objective data” and “actual behavior” frequently used in such studies tend to paint a somewhat tainted picture of the opportunities and challenges associated with interaction coding. To synthesize the existing empirical knowledge concerning the use of interaction coding in leadership research, we present the findings from a critical review of the current research landscape. This review highlights that questions related to observer inference, standards for observer agreement, and the validity of interaction coding are often not sufficiently addressed in empirical work. Drawing on these findings, we identify questionable research practices and juxtapose these with best-practice recommendations. Finally, we provide a discussion and outlook on how behavior-based methods can move the leadership field forward by facilitating theoretical advancements and deriving actionable guidance for practitioners.

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Story-Telling, Well-Organized, or Solution-Focused Meeting? Investigation of Behavior-Based Group Profiles and Performance

Authors: Allen, J. & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2023)

Insights into the behavioral profile of groups during meetings help us understand why some groups outperform others on meeting and work tasks. The presented studies investigate behavior-based group profiles in meetings and their relation to group performance. A total of 101 problem-solving meetings took place in two studies in a laboratory setting; data were coded using the act4teams coding scheme and analyzed using INTERACT software. The findings indicate there are four distinct group profile clusters: story-telling, well-organized networking, solution-focused, and problem-focused profiles. These behavior-based group profiles were meaningfully and differentially linked to group performance in the context of a meeting task.

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Outdoor Space Elements in Urban Residential Areas in Shenzhen, China: Optimization Based on Health-Promoting Behaviours of Older People

Authors: Zhang, L.; Shao, K.; Tang, W.; Lau, S.S.Y.; Lai, H.; Tao, Y. (2023)

Given the ageing global population, it is important to promote “healthy ageing”. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by prolonging the health of older people. Both the physical and mental well-being of older people are closely related to their living environment. Providing daily outdoor activities and enhancing the quality of public spaces and amenities in residential areas can encourage the adoption of healthy behaviours among older people. This study selected eight typical residential areas in Shenzhen, China, and analysed 40 outdoor public spaces. Video content obtained from fixed-point behavioural observation was entered into the Mangold INTERACT behavioural analysis system to extract the health behaviour data of older people. Regression analysis was then performed on the health behaviour data and the index data of the sample space elements. The results showed that several factors affect the outdoor health behaviours of older people. These factors include the scale of the outdoor space, the size of the hard ground area, the quality of the grey space, the green-looking rate, the accessibility of the site, the number of fitness facilities, and the richness of site functions. This study focused on a host of health-related behaviours such as rest, leisure, communication, and exercise. It confirmed the corresponding spatial needs of the elderly when engaging in the aforesaid activities. In this way, the quantitative research has supplemented previous studies by studying and evaluating the behaviour and activities of the elderly in specific settings. Through the analyses, a configuration model of outdoor space in residential areas was constructed with the aim of health promotion. Based on this model, a flexible and multilevel configuration list revealing seven specific types under three priorities is being proposed. The findings provide a scientific and effective strategy for optimising the quality of outdoor environments in residential areas. More specifically, the deployment of the Mangold INTERACT system to extract and quantify behavioural data enabled this study to overcome the limitations of traditional approaches to behavioural observation and recording. This provides a prelude for other quantitative research on the environment and behaviour.


ageing society; health behaviour; health promotion; element configuration; older people

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Social-Motor Coordination Between Peers: Joint Action Developmental Trajectories in ASD and TD

Authors: Bar Yehuda, S., Bauminger-Zviely, N. (2022) 

Coordinating a physical movement in time and space with social and nonsocial partners to achieve a shared goal – “joint action” (JA) – characterizes many peer-engagement situations that pose challenges for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This cross-sectional study examined development of JA capabilities comparing ASD versus typically developing (TD) groups in early childhood, preadolescence, and adolescence while performing mirroring and complementing JA tasks with social (peer) and nonsocial (computer) partners. Results indicated better motor coordination abilities on computerized tasks than in peer dyads, with larger peer-dyad deficits shown by the ASD group. Developmental growth in JA abilities emerged, but the ASD group lagged behind same-age peers with TD. Socio-motor interventions may offer new channels to facilitate peer engagement in ASD.

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The terrible twos: How children cope with frustration and tantrums and the effect of maternal and paternal behaviors

Authors: Deichmann F., Ahnert L. (2021) 

Experimental Frustration Procedures with 158 children (15–39 months) of two-parent families were conducted, with each parent separately involved. We examined diverse characteristics of children's frustration and focused on specific behaviors of how children coped and parents supported them. In addition, external observers measured child attachment security (via Attachment Q Sort) toward the mother and the father during two home visits. Children with high attachment security became frustrated later and for a shorter time, and fathers, as compared to mothers, relieved these frustration patterns and reduced them. Although 22.2% children exhibited intense frustration responses up to tantrums, levels remained unaffected by child gender, but decreased with child age. Time-lag analyses revealed that children's self-comforting behaviors reduced frustration responses only by around 20%, but self-distracting (in younger children) and pretend-playing (in older children) by around 50% and 70%. Of the parent behaviors, demonstrating reduced children's frustration by up to 40% whereas distracting and reframing by around 60% (mothers) and 80% (fathers). In general, mothers tended to protect the child from distress, whereas fathers assisted the child in coping with frustration. However, if mothers soothed and fathers encouraged, children's frustration intensified.

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Coupling between Prefrontal Brain Activity and Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia in Infants and Adults

Authors: Nguyen T., Hoehl S., Bertenthal B. I., Abney D. H. (2022)

Self-regulation is an essential aspect of healthy child development. Even though infants depend on their caregivers for co-regulation during the first years, they begin to gain regulatory abilities through social interactions as well as their own developing agency and inhibitory control. These early regulatory abilities continue to increase with the development of both the prefrontal cortex and the vagal system. Importantly, theoretical accounts have suggested that the prefrontal cortex and the vagal system are linked through forward and backward feedback loops via the limbic system. Decreased coupling within this link is suggested to be associated with psychopathology.

The primary goal of this study was to examine whether intrapersonal coupling of prefrontal brain activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia is evident in infancy. Using the simultaneous assessment of functional near-infrared spectroscopy and electrocardiography, we used Cross-Recurrence Quantification Analysis to assess the coupling of prefrontal brain activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia in 69 4- to 6-month-old infants and their mothers during a passive viewing condition. However, we did not find significant coupling between the PFC and RSA in infants and adult caregivers. Future studies could examine social contexts associated with greater emotional reactivity to deepen our understanding of the pathways involved in self-regulation.

respiratory-sinus arrhythmia, fNIRS, prefrontal cortex, vagus nerve, self-regulation, brain-body connection

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Interpersonal synchrony is associated with infants’ reactions to subtle changes in caregiver-infant interactions

Authors: Markova, G., & Nguyen, T. (2022)

The present study examined the role of interpersonal synchrony between mothers and their 4-month-old infants (N = 40) in infant responses to a modified interaction where mothers continually looked and verbalised towards but did not engage with their children. During a natural interaction we observed behavioural synchrony and for a subsample of infants (n = 20) measured change in their salivary oxytocin from before to after the natural interaction. During the modified interaction we observed infant gaze, positive, and negative affect. We found that higher interpersonal synchrony was related to longer infants’ social gaze and shorter displays of negative affect during the modified interaction. Increase in infant oxytocin was also associated with longer gaze, but also longer negative and shorter positive affect during the modified interaction. Our results show that interpersonal synchrony allows infants to notice changes in interactions with others, but also helps them to regulate their emotions during such modified exchanges. These findings thus indicate the importance of synchrony experiences with caregivers for the development of early regulatory capacities.

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NegotiAct: Introducing a Comprehensive Coding Scheme to Capture Temporal Interaction Patterns in Negotiations

Authors: Jäckel, E., Zerres, A., Hemshorn de Sanchez, C. S., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Hüffmeier, J. (2022)

In the present research, we developed NegotiAct, a comprehensive coding scheme for negotiations, comprising 47 mutually exclusive behavioral codes. NegotiAct was derived by systematically integrating (i) 89 extant coding schemes for negotiations, (ii) pertinent findings from negotiation research, and (iii) specific interaction behaviors that were previously not considered in coding schemes for negotiations (e.g., active listening). To facilitate the application of NegotiAct, we designed a coding manual with precise instructions and with definitions and examples for every code. NegotiAct can be customized to address many research questions in experimental settings as well as field research by splitting codes into more specific behaviors. Thereby, differentiated codes can always be traced back to the original codes, preserving comparability across studies and facilitating cumulative research. In combination with interaction analytical methods, NegotiAct enables scholars to detect and investigate specific communication patterns across the negotiation process. As a first empirical validation of NegotiAct, we demonstrate a substantial interrater reliability for 18 videotaped negotiations (κ = .80) and conduct an exploratory validation analysis, studying the relation of multi-issue offers, active listening, and joint gains.

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Teacher feedback on procedural skills, conceptual understanding, and mathematical practices: A video study in lower secondary mathematics classrooms

Authors: Stovner R. B., Klette K. (2022)

Feedback is a prevalent teaching practice in mathematics classrooms, but few studies have documented how mathematics teachers enact feedback in classrooms. We investigated how 47 teachers provided feedback in 172 mathematics lessons in Norwegian lower secondary schools. We analyzed the quality of feedback, the quantity of feedback, and whether the feedback addressed students’ procedural skills, conceptual understanding, or engagement in mathematical practices. Teachers spent large amounts of time providing concrete and specific feedback, most of it addressing procedural skills while conceptual feedback was less common. The study highlights details of feedback relevant for both pre- and inservice mathematics teacher training.

Mathematics education; Feedback; Teaching practices; Classroom observation; Lower secondary school

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Personality and Emotions in Social Interactions 

Authors: Rentzsch, K., Giese, A.-K., Hebel, V., & Lösch, T. (in press)

In this paper, we introduce the PESI project for investigating the interpersonal dynamics of Personality and Emotions in Social Interactions. The final sample in this preregistered study consisted of 436 participants (218 dyads) who were on average 31.2 years old (SD = 14.0, Range: 16-75). The study consisted of three parts and used a multimethod assessment: In Part 1, participants filled out online self-reports of personality. In Part 2, participants interacted in dyads at zero acquaintance in the laboratory and filled out self- and partner-reports of various states. During the interactions, video and audio tracks were recorded simultaneously, allowing later video analyses of every participant. In Part 3, participants provided self-reports via a follow-up online questionnaire. Our aim is to encourage researchers to use the present ideas, open materials, and data to be inspired to conduct future research.

personality, emotion, social interaction, interpersonal dynamics,
 multimethod assessment 


Helping healthcare teams to debrief effectively: associations ofdebriefers’ actions and participants’reflections during team debriefings

Authors: Kolbe, M., Grande, B., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Seelandt. J.-C., (2022)


Debriefings help teams learn quickly and treat patients safely. However, many clinicians and educators report to struggle with leading debriefings. Little empirical knowledge on optimal debriefing processes is available. The aim of the study was to evaluate the potential of specific types of debriefer communication to trigger participants’ reflection in debriefings.

In this prospective observational, microanalytic interaction analysis study, we observed clinicians while they participated in healthcare team debriefings following three high-risk anaesthetic scenarios during simulation-based team training. Using the video-recorded debriefings and INTERACT coding software, we applied timed, event-based coding with DE-CODE, a coding scheme for assessing debriefing interactions. We used lag sequential analysis to explore the relationship between what debriefers and participants said. We hypothesised that combining advocacy (ie, stating an observation followed by an opinion) with an open-ended question would be associated with participants’ verbalisation of a mental model as a particular form of reflection.

The 50 debriefings with overall 114 participants had a mean duration of 49.35 min (SD=8.89 min) and included 18 486 behavioural transitions. We detected significant behavioural linkages from debriefers’ observation to debriefers’ opinion (z=9.85, p<0.001), from opinion to debriefers’ open-ended question (z=9.52, p<0.001) and from open-ended question to participants’ mental model (z=7.41, p<0.001), supporting our hypothesis. Furthermore, participants shared mental models after debriefers paraphrased their statements and asked specific questions but not after debriefers appreciated their actions without asking any follow-up questions. Participants also triggered reflection among themselves, particularly by sharing personal anecdotes.

When debriefers pair their observations and opinions with open-ended questions, paraphrase participants’ statements and ask specific questions, they help participants reflect during debriefings.

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A positive parenting program to enhance positive affect in children of previously depressed mothers

Authors: Cullum, K. A., Goodman, S. H., Garber, J., Korelitz, K., Sutherland, S., & Stewart, J. (2022)

Children of mothers with a history of depression are at heightened risk for developing depression and other maladaptive outcomes. Deficits in parenting are one putative mechanism underlying this transmission of risk from mother to child. The present study evaluated whether a brief intervention with mothers with a history of depression produced greater use of positive parenting behaviors and an increase in observed positive affect in their 8- to 10-year-old children. Mothers with a history of depression (n = 65) were randomly assigned to either a positive parenting intervention or an attention control intervention condition. In addition, a comparison group of 66 mothers with no history of depression was evaluated one time. Results revealed significant increases in positive parenting behaviors (e.g., active listening, praise) immediately postintervention in mothers randomized to the positive parenting intervention as compared to those in the attention control condition. Children of mothers in the positive parenting intervention showed increases in positive affect as compared to children of mothers in the attention control intervention. Increases in mothers' active listening and smiling/laughing significantly predicted increases in children's positive affect. The intervention did not increase the rate of children's moment-by-moment positive affect contingent on mothers' positive parenting behaviors. This study showed the short-term effectiveness of a brief parenting intervention for enhancing interactions between mothers with a history of depression and their children by directly targeting mothers' positive parenting and, indirectly, children's expressions of positive affect. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved). 

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Fairness takes time: Development of cooperative decision making in fairness context

Authors: Chajes R. J., Grossmann T., Vaish A. (2022)

The current study examined the development of fairness behavior and tested whether children’s fair choices are fast and intuitive or slow and deliberate. Reaction times were measured while 4- to 9-year-olds (N = 94, 49 girls, 84.6% White) completed a novel social decision-making task contrasting fair choices with selfish choices. Fairness behavior increased during childhood, shifting from predominantly selfish choices among young children to fair choices by 7 years of age. Moreover, young children’s fair choices were slow and deliberate, whereas reaction times did not predict older children’s choices. These findings contrast with adults’ intuitive cooperation and point to protracted development and learning of cooperative decision making in fairness contexts.

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Proximity and touch are associated with neural but not physiological synchrony in naturalistic mother-infant interactions

Authors: Nguyen T., Abney D. H., Salamander D., Bertenthal B. I., Hoehl S. (2021) 

- Mother-infant neural and physiological synchrony arise during mutual engagement.

- Behavioral correlates of neural and physiological synchrony diverge.
- Interpersonal neural synchrony is related to proximity and affective touch.

- Interpersonal physiological synchrony is related to infant negative affect.

Caregiver touch plays a vital role in infants’ growth and development, but its role as a communicative signal in human parent-infant interactions is surprisingly poorly understood. Here, we assessed whether touch and proximity in caregiver-infant dyads are related to neural and physiological synchrony. We simultaneously measured brain activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia of 4–6-month-old infants and their mothers (N=69 dyads) in distal and proximal joint watching conditions as well as in an interactive face-to-face condition. Neural synchrony was higher during the proximal than during the distal joint watching conditions, and even higher during the face-to-face interaction. Physiological synchrony was highest during the face-to-face interaction and lower in both joint watching conditions, irrespective of proximity. Maternal affectionate touch during the face-to-face interaction was positively related to neural but not physiological synchrony. This is the first evidence that touch mediates mutual attunement of brain activities, but not cardio-respiratory rhythms in caregiver-infant dyads during naturalistic interactions. Our results also suggest that neural synchrony serves as a biological pathway of how social touch plays into infant development and how this pathway could be utilized to support infant learning and social bonding.

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Do ask, do tell? Observations of Mothers’ Solicitation and Adolescents’ Disclosure

Authors: Mounts, N. S., Valentiner, D. P. (2021)

This investigation used sequential analysis to examine patterns of maternal solicitation and adolescent disclosure that occur in adolescents’ and mothers’ conversations about peer relationships. An ethnically diverse sample of 68 early adolescents (Mage = 12.39; 51% girls) and their mothers from the United States participated in the investigation. Participants completed questionnaires and participated in video-recorded discussions of hypothetical situations related to peer relationships. Sequences of maternal solicitation followed by adolescent disclosure and sequences of adolescent disclosure followed by maternal solicitation occurred at higher than chance levels. Higher levels of conflict about peer relationships in conjunction with a lower likelihood of adolescent disclosure following maternal solicitation were related to lower levels of adolescent-reported prosocial behavior, higher levels of adolescent-reported victimization, and higher levels of mother-reported aggression and victimization. Results suggest that similar interaction dynamics can have different effects depending on the relational context in which they take place. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

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First Impressions Matter: Warm-up play Impacts Toddlers' Cooperative Ability with a Same-aged peer

Authors: Breeland N., Henderson A. M. E., (2021) 


2-year-olds can coordinate their action with same-aged peers, although their ability is not as well-developed as older children (Brownell et al., 2006).

Markers of a cooperative interaction quality such as affiliative or antagonistic behaviour shapes the extent to which cooperative partners can and are willing to attain shared goals (e.g., Endedijk et al., 2015; Schuhmacher et al., 2015).

One possibility is that these social behaviours convey cooperative intentionality (Hunnius et al., 2009).

It remains unknown whether peers' first impression (i.e., the quality of an initial interaction) supports their initial interaction quality supports their future cooperative interaction quality and ability.

Exploring this question is key since many studies on toddlers' cooperative ability rely on an initial warm-up period prior to the cooperative interaction of key interest.

Consistent with spill-over hypotheses, we expected that warm-up affiliation and antagonism would enhance and hinder children's cooperative ability, respectively.

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


What are you Thinking? The role of Mentalization in Children’s Dyadic Interactions with Unfamiliar Peers

Authors: Green E., Labahn C., Henderson H., (2021)


Theory of mind (ToM) is the ability to accurately infer the beliefs, desires, intentions, and emotions of others (1,2)

Mentalization is the process of reasoning about the meaning behind others' emotional displays and actions ( Dziobek et al., 2006)

- Over mentalization: Over interpretation of available information, with over extended consideration of how situation affects emotion/thought processes
- Under mentalization: Inadequate interpretation of available information, with no consideration of how situation affects emotion/thought processes

Benefits of advanced ToM (Cutting & Dunn,2002):

- Greater sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of others

- Improved ability to get along with others, make friends, or explain individual perspective

Risks of advanced ToM:

- Children with more advanced ToM are more sensitive to teacher criticism (Cutting & Dunn, 2002)

- Adults with social anxiety tend towards over mentalization (Washburn et al., 2016)

In social settings:

- More experience in social settings is associated with better ToM ( Carpendale & Lewis, 2004)

- Children with more advanced ToM tend to show more withdrawn temperaments in social settings (Moore et al, 2011)


Prolonged Mutual Engagement in Mother-Toddler Play Interactions

Authors: von Suchodoletz, A., Strouf, K., Altaf, S., Kärtner, J., (2021)

Play is an integral part of child development as it "requires the integration of cognitive, social, emotional, and motivational abilities” (Valentino et al., 2006, p.  474; Cohen, 2006). During the early childhood years, parent-child interactions provide an important context for children’s play (Cohen, 2006; Tamis-LeMonda, Shannon, Cabrera, & Lamb, 2004; Valentino et al., 2011). Parents take a critical role in structuring and guiding play activities. Specifically, mothers are  considered to be stage managers behind the play interaction where they are constantly engaged with their toddlers (Pierce 2000).

The present study focuses on prolonged play interactions between mothers and toddlers. We define an interaction as a discrete sequential event during play. Within these dyadic interactions, the present study concentrates on periods of mutual engagement. Conceptualized as both verbal and nonverbal “active participation” (Vandermaas-Peeler et al., 2003), as well as the “active sharing of an object or event” (Nelson et al., 2008, p.2), mutual engagement is the result of one partner responding to the other’s behavior during play.

The purpose of this study was to investigate:

- the likelihood of response patterns leading to periods of prolonged mutual engagement and whether there are differences between responders (mother or 
  child) and play contexts.
- child temperament in relation to the likelihood of prolonged mutual engagement that follows a response pattern.

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Observed Social Competence in At-Risk Children: Associations with Informant Reports and Maternal Childhood Characteristics

Authors: Baptiste, A. D., Stack, D. M., Paré-Ruel, M.-P., Dickson, D. J., Serbin, L. A., (2021)

Approximately 566,000 Canadian children live in poverty (Statistics Canada, 2020).
- Poverty is associated with higher levels of internalizing and externalizing problems in children (Hosokawa & Katsura, 2017).
- Children may be better equipped to cope with it if they are socially competent (Hosokawa & 
Katsura, 2017).

Social competence is the ability to successfully interact with individuals 
through the use of a set of desirable social skills (Rose-Krasnor, 1997).
- The context in which these social behaviours take place influences the desirability of the
 behaviour (Warnes, Sheridan, Geske, & Warnes, 2005).

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Parenting Behavior Moderates the Association of Socioeconomic Risk and Infant Emotion

Authors: Parra, S., Huffhines, L., Coe, J., Seifer, R., Parade, S., (2021)

Over 16 million children in the United States are living in poverty (Children’s Defense Fund, 2012). Economic hardship is one of the most consistent predictors of adverse child outcomes (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2000), and children with greater socioeconomic risk are more vulnerable to behavioral and emotional problems. Although, much of this research has been conducted with older children, less is known about the impact of socioeconomic risk on infant emotional development, and the work in this domain has typically utilized questionnaire assessments of infant emotion. Furthermore, supportive caregiving relationships are thought to play a critical role in buffering children from socioeconomic risk, yet there is little research that explicitly tests this hypothesis. Therefore, we drew upon a longitudinal observational study of families living in poverty to test research questions aimed at understanding if 1) socioeconomic risk is associated with infant emotion dysregulation, and 2) if parenting behavior moderates this potential association.

295 mother-infant dyads participated in this study. Mothers were recruited from Women, Infants, and Children clinics in the prenatal period, and assessments occurred prenatally and at 6 and 12 months postpartum. Mothers were racially and ethnically diverse (40% Hispanic, 42% White, 19% Black, 7% biracial, 32% other races). Families were living in poverty. 60% had less than or equal to a high school diploma, 65% were unemployed in pregnancy, and 44% were single parents. Of infants, 53% were female.

To assess socioeconomic risk, we created a composite variable including maternal education, maternal unemployment status, and single parenthood derived from a demographic questionnaire. At 12 months postpartum, mother-infant dyads were observed during a 7-minute free play interaction and a 4-minute challenge task designed to elicit infant frustration (attractive toy in a locked box). Videotapes of the free play task were coded for maternal behavior using the Parent-Caregiver Involvement Scales (Farran et al., 1986) to assess the overall quality of observed parenting. Videotapes of the frustration task were coded for infant emotion dysregulation using procedures adapted from existing coding systems (Leerkes & Wong, 2012). Partial correlations controlling for infant age tested simple associations of socioeconomic risk and observed infant emotion dysregulation. Hierarchical multiple regression tested observed parenting behavior as a moderator of the association of socioeconomic risk and infant emotion dysregulation.

Socioeconomic risk was positively associated with infant emotion dysregulation (r = .28, p < .05). However, there was a significant interaction of socioeconomic risk and parenting behavior in the prediction of emotion dysregulation (B = -0.06, p < .05). As illustrated in Figure 1, socioeconomic risk was only associated with infant emotion dysregulation when the quality of observed parenting was low. When the quality of observed parenting was high, socioeconomic risk was not associated with observed parenting.

Results suggest that interventions to support parenting among families living in poverty have the potential to enhance infant emotional development. Our utilization of observational assessments of parenting and infant emotion dysregulation builds upon prior work that typically utilizes questionnaires. Additional applied and methodological implications will be discussed.

Poster presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Characterizing Mother-Infant Physiological Synchrony During Everyday Home Activities

Authors: Micheletti, M., Dominguez, A., Kaur, K., Andres, L., Johnson, M., de Barbaro, K., (2021)

The present study aims to fill a gap in the current literature by investigating the presence and predictors of mother-infant physiological synchrony during everyday home activities.

Mother-infant synchrony, characterized by adaptive and reciprocal behaviors that promote mutually rewarding interaction, is a well-established
 foundation for child cognitive, self-regulatory, and social-emotional development (Feldman, 2007). Despite a large body of work identifying mother-infant  physiological synchrony during structured face-to-face interactions, relatively fewer studies have been conducted in the home using state-of-the-art  physiological measures to evaluate mother-infant synchrony during daily activities (Leclère et al., 2014).

While physiological synchrony is a dynamic and emergent process (Delaherche et al., 2012; Sameroff, 2009), its presence may also vary 
systematically across different activities that afford different opportunities for engagement.

Poster Presentation at the SRCD Virtual Biennial Meeting 2021.


Continuity and Stability of Parenting of Infants by Women at Risk for Perinatal Depression

Authors: Goodman S. H., Bakeman R., Milgramm A. (2021)

The present study aimed to enhance understanding of continuity and stability of positive parenting of infants, across age and different settings in women with a history of depression who are at elevated risk for postpartum depression.

Mothers (N = 103) with a history of major depression and their infants were observed during 5-min play and feeding interactions when their infants were 3, 6, and 12 months of age. Summary scores representing mothers’ positive parenting were computed separately for each age and context based on ratings of five parenting behaviors. Mothers’ depressive symptom levels were assessed at each infant age.

Continuity (consistency of level) and stability (consistency of rank order) were assessed across age and context at both the group and individual level. Across-age analyses revealed continuity in the play context and discontinuity in the feeding context, albeit only at the group level, as well as weak to moderate stability. Across-context analyses revealed higher positive parenting scores in play than feeding at all time points as well as weak to moderate stability. Variations in positive parenting across age and context were independent of mothers’ postpartum depressive symptom levels.

Findings based on normative samples may not generalize to women with a history of depression, who may benefit from interventions aimed at enhancing their positive parenting over the course of infancy, regardless of postpartum depressive symptom level. Results also underscore the importance of assessing parenting at multiple age points and across varying contexts.

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Turning Change Resistance into Readiness: How Change Agents' Communication Shapes Recipient Reactions

Authors: Endrejat, P.C., Klonek, F., Müller-Frommeyer, L., & Kauffeld, S. (2020)

As employees’ support for an organizational change is critical for its success, change agents require guidelines on how to initiate change recipients’ endorsement. Accordingly, there is a need for an evidence-based understanding of which communication behaviors drive positive versus negative change reactions, as well as about the psychological mechanisms that explain effective communication. To advance our knowledge about successful change communication, we tested how autonomy-supportive communication, autonomy-restrictive communication, and reflective listening are associated with change recipients’ reactions. Building on Self-Determination Theory, we also tested the mediating mechanism of the satisfaction of recipients’ psychological needs between change agents’ actions and change recipients’ reactions. In three studies, we explored how change agents can use their communication to enhance recipients’ change readiness, as manifested in increased energy-saving intentions. In Study 1, we separately examined the effect of each communication behavior on change readiness. We coded dyadic change conversations for autonomy-supportive (vs. autonomy-restrictive) communication and reflective listening. Results showed that autonomy-restrictive communication negatively impacted recipients’ change readiness. Study 2 used an online experiment to distinguish between the effect of change agents’ autonomy-supportive and -restrictive communication. We found an indirect effect of change agents’ communication behaviors on recipients’ change readiness via psychological need fulfillment. In Study 3, we investigated how change agents “in the field” responded to recipients’ expressed resistance. Findings indicated that change agents use more autonomy-restrictive than -supportive communication, suggesting that their communication typically undermines rather than facilitates recipients’ change readiness.

Reactions to change; Resistance to change; Change readiness; Change management; Energy-saving; Self-determination theory; Motivational interviewing


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Follower behavior renders leader behavior endogenous: The simultaneity problem, estimation challenges, and solutions

Authors: Güntner, A.V., Klonek, F.E., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Kauffeld, S. (2020)

Traditionally, leadership research has focused on unidirectional questions in which leader attributes are considered to determine follower outcomes. However, many phenomena between leaders (x) and followers (y) involve a simultaneous influence process in which x affects y, and y also affects x (i.e., simultaneity). Unfortunately, this simultaneity bias creates endogeneity and is often not properly addressed in the extant leadership literature. In three studies, we demonstrate the challenges of simultaneity bias and present two methodological solutions that can help to correct problems of simultaneity bias. We focus on simultaneity that occurs between follower resistance and leader control. We mathematically demonstrate the simultaneity bias using a simulated dataset and show how this bias can be statistically solved using an instrumental variable estimation approach. Furthermore, we present how the simultaneity bias can be resolved using an experimental design. We discuss how our approach advances theory and methods for leadership research.

Followership, Simultaneity, Instrumental variable estimation, Follower resistance

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Effects of internal state on infant learning and memory

Authors: Seehagen, S., Szkotnicki, N., Sommer K., La Rocca, L., Schneider, S., Konrad, C. (2020)

Given the profound reliance on matching external cues, infant memorymight be highly susceptible to variations in internal state.

Poster Presentation at Virtual ICIS, 2020.


Neural responses to touch in naturalistic mother-infant interactions

Authors: Nguyen, T., Hoehl, S. (2020)

Can we identify neural responses to various forms of social touch in infants using naturalistic interactions? 

Poster Presentation at Virtual ICIS, 2020.


Neural and behavioral correlates of ostensive cues in naturalistic mother-infant interactions

Authors: Michel, C., Matthes, D., Hoehl, S. (2020)

To date, it remains unclear if the promoting effect of social cues also occurs during natural parent-child interactions, which specific aspects of an interaction account for it and what is its neural foundation.

Poster Presentation at Virtual ICIS, 2020.


Get the Crowd Going: Eliciting and Maintaining Change Readiness Through Solution-Focused Communication

Authors: Endrejat, P. C., Meinecke, A. L., & Kauffeld, S. (2019)

Involving organizational members in the planning and implementation of change processes is essential for creating the momentum for lasting change. Therefore, participatory group interventions are a fundamental pillar of organization development. Yet, we know little about the behavioural dynamics that characterize successful group interventions. To address this shortcoming, we analysed 787 minutes (N = 5507 coded statements) of real-time recordings between change agents and recipients. Using lag sequential analysis, we tested which verbal behaviours by change agents elicited recipients’ change readiness, operationalized as their verbatim responses. Furthermore, we explored emerging motivational contagion processes among recipients themselves. Data were collected from two independent samples. Participants took part in a workshop either aimed to reduce their tendency to procrastinate (Study 1) or to enhance their energy-saving behaviour (Study 2). The change agent’s solution-focused as opposed to problem-focused communication stimulated change readiness in both studies. Moreover, recipients’ change statements triggered subsequent change statements by other recipients, providing initial evidence for motivational contagion processes in groups. Finally, compared to a lecture-based intervention, only the energy-saving workshop led to a significant increase in the target behaviour one month after the intervention. Recipients’ change readiness at the end of the workshop was linked to this increase.

MAD statement

We offer empirically-based communication guidelines to change agents who wish to ignite and promote change readiness in groups. Relying on fine-grained interaction coding, we show how a solution-focused communication style triggers change-facilitating communication patterns. Next to a focus on the microdynamics unfolding between change agent and recipients, we introduce the concept of motivational contagion for change. That is, the expression of change readiness by one participant increases the likelihood that another participant also voices change readiness. From an intervention perspective, our findings show that participatory interventions tend to be more effective than lecture-based interventions to initiate lasting behaviour change.

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Coach's Expressed Positive Behaviour Linked to Client's Interest to Change: An Analysis of Distinct Coaching Phases

Authors: Will, T., Schulte, E.M. & Kauffeld, S. (2019)

As coaching research has demonstrated, coach behaviour could influence the client. Hence, knowledge about ‘how’ a coach can influence the client during a coaching session, and more specifically, during distinct phases of coaching, is lacking. We attempt to fill this research gap (1) by considering active coach ingredients: coaches’ expressed empathy and appreciative behaviour summarized as positive supportive behaviour, and (2) by taking single coaching phases (contact, exploration, operationalisation, conclusion phase) into account. Therefore, we analysed 52 videotaped coaching sessions by using the interactional tool act4consulting. First, to examine if a coach behaves differently in each phase, we analysed expressed positive supportive coach behaviour. Second, we analysed if the coach behaviour was significantly linked to client’s interest to change. Third, we assumed that coach’s expressed positive supportive behaviour is more positively linked to the client’s interest to change in the exploration and in the operationalisation phase. Results yielded that coach behaviour differs significantly across all phases, and that expressed positive supportive coach behaviour in the contact, operationalisation, and conclusion phases was linked to the client’s interest in change. A variance in the coach’s behaviour on client’s interest to change in the single phases could not be found.

Coaching phases; Supportive coach behaviour; Expressed empathy; Expressed appreciation; Interest to change


Synchrony, Co-Eating and Communication During Complementary Feeding in Early Infancy

Authors: Costantini C., Akehurst L., Reddy V. and Fasulo A. (2018)

The transition from milk to complementary food is a crucial but difficult process, requiring considerable adult sensitivity. We know little about the relationship between maternal feeding behaviors and infant willingness to eat at the onset of complementary feeding (CF), and we know even less about how these patterns might vary across cultures. Thirty-seven dyads (15 from the UK and 22 from Italy) took part in a longitudinal study, during which mealtimes were video-recorded 1 week after the onset of CF (Time 1) and at 7 months of infant age (Time 2). The first five minutes of mealtimes were coded for maternal feeding behaviors, for infant willingness to eat, and for synchrony in feeding. Maternal vocal communications (MVCs) and attention-directing acts (ADAs) during the whole mealtime were also coded. Infant willingness to eat was significantly related to synchrony and co-eating, suggesting the importance of sensitivity and empathy during feeding as in other parent–infant interactions. The frequency of maternal ADAs varied between nationalities and, contrary to current advice, did not relate negatively to infant willingness to eat. These patterns and variations suggest the need to consider CF as a contextually variable and sensitive foundation for feeding relationships.

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Teacher questions and student responses in case-based learning: outcomes of a video study in medical education

Authors: Gartmeier, M., Pfurtscheller, T., Hapfelmeier, A., Grünewald, M., Häusler, J., Seidel, T., Berberat, PO. (2019) 

Case-based learning (CBL) is a highly interactive instructional format widely used in medical education. One goal of CBL is to integrate basic biomedical knowledge and its application to concrete patient cases and their clinical management. In this context, we focus the role of teacher questions as triggers for reproductive vs. elaborative student responses. Specifically, our research questions concern the kinds of questions posed by clinical teachers, the kinds of responses given by students, the prediction of student responses based upon teacher questions, and the differences between the two medical disciplines in focus of our study, internal medicine and surgery.


We analyse 19 videotaped seminars (nine internal medicine, ten surgery) taught by clinicians and attended by advanced medical students. Multiple raters performed a low-inference rating process using a theorybased categorical scheme with satisfactory interrater-reliability.


We found that medical teachers mostly posed initial (instead of follow-up) questions and that their questions were more often closed (instead of open). Also, more reasoning (than reproductive) questions were posed. A high rate of student non-response was observed while elaborative and reproductive student responses had a similar prevalence. In the prediction context, follow-up reasoning questions were associated with low nonresponse and many elaborative answers. In contrast, the highest student non-response rate followed open reproduction questions and initial reasoning questions. Most reproductive statements by students were made following closed reproduction questions.


These results deepen our understanding of interactive, questions-driven medical teaching and provide an empirical basis for clinical teachers to use questions in didactically fruitful ways.


Case-based learning , Teacher questions , Teaching methods , Video study , Student elaboration


Outdoor Fitness Equipment Usage Behaviors in Natural Settings

Authors: Hsueh-wen Chow* and Dai-Rong Wu, Graduate Institute of Physical Education, Health & Leisure Studies, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan;

*Correspondence:; Tel.: +886-62757575 (ext. 81806)

Received: 8 November 2018; Accepted: 25 January 2019; Published: 30 January 2019

Abstract: Outdoor fitness equipment (OFE) areas have become a popular form of built environment infrastructure in public open spaces as a means to improve public health through increased physical activity. However, the benefits of using OFE are not consistent, and several OFE accidents have been reported. In this study, we videotaped how OFE users operate OFE in parks and selected four types of popular OFE (the waist twister, air walker, ski machine, and waist/back massager) for video content analysis. Furthermore, we established coding schemes and compared results with the instructions provided by OFE manufacturers. The results revealed various usage behaviors for the same OFE types. In addition, we observed that a significant portion of user behaviors did not follow manufacturers’ instructions, which might pose potential risks or actually cause injuries. Children are especially prone to act improperly. This study provides empirical evidence indicating the existence of potential safety risks due to inappropriate usage behaviors that might lead to accidents and injuries while using OFE. This study provides crucial information that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of OFE and to develop future park or open space initiatives.


Contact Is in the Eye of the Beholder: The Eye Contact Illusion

Authors: Shane L. Rogers*, Oliver Guidetti, Craig P. Speelman, Melissa Longmuir
Psychology Department, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Ruben Phillips
Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

*Corresponding Author: Shane L. Rogers, Psychology Department, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia. Email:

Received: April 01, 2018; Accepted: January 09, 2019; Article first published online: February 4, 2019

In a simple experiment, we demonstrate that you don’t need to mindfully look at the eyes of your audience to be perceived as making eye contact during face-to-face conversation. Simply gazing somewhere around the face/head area will suffice. Or to borrow a term from Mareschal and colleagues, direct gaze will suffice. For those readers who experience anxiety when gazing specifically at another person’s eyes, or when being gazed at, we expect this is welcome news.
>>> Read more <<<

Understanding Positivity Within Dynamic team Interactions: A Statistical Discourse Analysis

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Chiu, M. M., Lei, Z., & Kauffeld, S. (2017)

Positivity has been heralded for its individual benefits. However, how positivity dynamically unfolds within the temporal flow of team interactions remains unclear. This is an important oversight, as positivity can be key to team problem solving and performance. In this study, we examine how team micro-processes affect the likelihood of positivity occurring within dynamic team interactions. In doing so, we build on and expand previous work on individual positivity and integrate theory on temporal team processes, interaction rituals, and team problem solving. We analyze 43,139 utterances during the meetings of 43 problem-solving teams in two organizations. First, we find that the observed overall frequency of positivity behavior in a team is positively related to managerial ratings of team performance. Second, using statistical discourse analysis, we show that solution-focused behavior and previous positivity within the team interaction process increase the likelihood of subsequent positivity expressions, whereas positivity is less likely after problem-focused behavior. Dynamic speaker switches moderate these effects, such that interaction instances involving more speakers increase the facilitating effects of solutions and earlier positivity for subsequent positivity within team interactions. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of micro-level team positivity and its performance benefits.


Dynamic positivity; Team processes; Team interaction; Team problem solving; Dynamic multilevel modeling


Appraisal Participation and Perceived Voice in Annual Appraisal Interviews: Uncovering Contextual Factors

Authors: Meinecke, A. L., Klonek, F. E., & Kauffeld, S. (2017)

Appraisal interviews (AIs) are one of the most commonly used human resource practices in organizations. However, they are often criticized for comprising conflicting purposes. In this study, we focus on contextual factors of the appraisal process. Specifically, we propose that AIs follow a two-phase model of performance evaluation and development planning. These two phases trigger different levels of employee appraisal participation which, in turn, affects employees’ perception of voice. In a sample of 48 audiotaped AIs, we coded employees’ objective appraisal participation throughout the entire interview session and linked it to subsequent ratings of perceived voice. Results showed that interviews were highly leader-centered and mainly concentrated on performance evaluation. Employees’ appraisal participation was significantly lower during performance evaluation than during development planning. Appraisal participation during development planning, but not during performance evaluation, was related to subsequent ratings of perceived voice. In addition, this relationship was moderated by supervisor trust.

Leadership; Performance appraisal interview; Appraisal participation; Perceived voice; Social context

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What Happens During Annual Appraisal Interviews? How Leader-Follower Interactions Unfold and Impact Interview Outcomes

Authors: Meinecke, A. L., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Kauffeld, S. (2017)

Despite a wealth of research on antecedents and outcomes of annual appraisal interviews, the ingredients that make for a successful communication process within the interview itself remain unclear. This study takes a communication approach to highlight leader-follower dynamics in annual appraisal interviews. We integrate relational leadership theory and recent findings on leader-follower interactions to argue (a) how supervisors' task- and relation-oriented statements can elicit employee involvement during the interview process and (b) how these communication patterns affect both supervisors' and employees' perceptions of the interview. Moreover, we explore (c) how supervisor behavior is contingent upon employee contributions to the appraisal interview. We audiotaped 48 actual annual appraisal interviews between supervisors and their employees. Adopting a multimethod approach, we used quantitative interaction coding (N = 32,791 behavioral events) as well as qualitative open-axial coding to explore communication patterns among supervisors and their employees. Lag sequential analysis revealed that supervisors' relation-oriented statements triggered active employee contributions and vice versa. These relation-activation patterns were linked to higher interview success ratings by both supervisors and employees. Moreover, our qualitative findings highlight employee disagreement as a crucial form of active employee contributions during appraisal interviews. We distinguish what employees disagreed about, how the disagreement was enacted, and how supervisors responded to it. Overall employee disagreement was negatively related to ratings of supervisor support. We discuss theoretical implications for performance appraisal and leadership theory and derive practical recommendations for promoting employee involvement during appraisal interviews.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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Modeling Temporal Interaction Dynamics in Organizational Settings

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J.A. (2017)

Most workplace phenomena take place in dynamic social settings and emerge over time, and scholars have repeatedly called for more research into the temporal dynamics of organizational behavior. One reason for this persistent research gap could be that organizational scholars are not aware of the methodological advances that are available today for modeling temporal interactions and detecting behavioral patterns that emerge over time. To facilitate such awareness, this Methods Corner contribution provides a hands-on tutorial for capturing and quantifying temporal behavioral patterns and for leveraging rich interaction data in organizational settings. We provide an overview of different approaches and methodologies for examining temporal interaction patterns, along with detailed information about the type of data that needs to be gathered in order to apply each method as well as the analytical steps (and available software options) involved in each method. Specifically, we discuss and illustrate lag sequential analysis, pattern analysis, statistical discourse analysis, and visualization methods for identifying temporal patterns in interaction data. We also provide key takeaways for integrating these methods more firmly in the field of organizational research and for moving interaction analytical research forward.


A Dynamic Systems Approach to Emotion Co-Regulation in Father-Child Dyads
when Children have Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Yuqing Guo 1, Dana Rose Garfin 2, Agnes Ly 3, Wendy Goldberg 2 (2017)
1 University of California Irvine, Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing, 2 Department of Psychology and Social Behavior
3 University of Delaware, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Introduction: Emotion regulation abilities facilitate the development of emotional functioning and long-term adaptive skills (Gross, 1998, 2007). Emotional dysregulation, while not a core deficit of ASD, is frequently observed among children with ASD and contributes to problems in social interaction.

Objective: To compare micro-level positive and negative emotion coregulation processes in father-child dyads for children with ASD and neurotypical (NT) children.


Emotion Coregulation in Mother-Child Dyads: A Dynamic Systems Analysis of Children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Yuqing Guo, Dana Rose Garfin, Agnes Ly, Wendy A. Goldberg (2017)

Few studies have investigated patterns of emotion coregulation in families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or contrasted the ways in which their emotion coregulation patterns differ from families of typically developing (TD) children. To address this gap, we used a dynamic systems approach to compare flexible structure and emotional content of coregulation between mothers and children (3– 7 years) with ASD (n = 47) and TD children (n = 26).
Mother-child play interactions in the home were videotaped and emotion-engagement states were coded in micro-level 5-s intervals based on behavioral and affective expressions.
Analyses indicated that mother-child dyads in the ASD group spent more time than dyads in the TD group in mismatched emotion-engagement states (e.g., child negative/mother positive), and children with ASD spent more time than TD children engaged exclusively with objects. Mother-child dyads in the TD group stayed longer in mutual positive engagement states. Compared to dyads in the TD group, mother-child dyads in the ASD group exhibited greater flexibility (i.e., a wider range of emotional-engagement states, more frequent changes in states, and less time in each state). These findings suggest that mothers and their children with ASD do not sustain dyadic positive engagement patterns in a low-stress environment.
Findings confirmed the preference of children with ASD for objects over social partners, even when they are at home with their mothers, and elucidated a challenging mother-child interactional style. Results have implications for mother-child interventions aimed at regulating negative emotional states and sustaining positive ones in families raising children with ASD.

Download the complete study papers here...


Auditory Joint Engagement: Autism Affects How Toddlers Share Sounds During Parent-Child Interactions

Authors: Lauren B. Adamson, Roger Bakeman, Katharine Suma, & Diana L. Robins form Georgiy State University (2017)

This study provides an unprecedented view of how toddlers react to and share speech, music, and environmental sounds.


Extending Models of Sensitive Parenting of Infants to Women at Risk for Perinatal Depression

Authors: Sherryl H. Goodman, Roger Bakeman, Meaghan McCallum, Matthew H. Rouse & Stephanie F. Thompson (2017)

Recognizing that not all mothers at risk for depression engage in insensitive parenting, this study examined predictors of individual differences in sensitive parenting of infants by mothers with histories of depression, who are at elevated risk for depression during the perinatal period.


Group Interactions and time: Using Sequential Analysis to Study Group Dynamics in Project Meetings

Authors: Klonek, F. E., Quera, V., Burba, M. & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

Video-recorded observations of group interactions present a unique challenge for group researchers. This article presents methodological advice on how to perform sequential analysis when collecting observational timed-event data of group discussions. Sequential analyses is a statistical method that examines dynamic behavioral sequences in group interactions. To exemplify the method, the authors present data from 1 industry project team that was video-taped during 24 consecutive meetings. Meeting behaviors were coded into different categories (e.g., procedural and action-oriented communication). They compared sequential behavioral patterns in meetings from the first and second half of the project and provided guidelines on the topic of interrater reliability and reported a detailed psychometric analysis of the observational instrument. Overall, the authors showed that positive procedural communication can inhibit dysfunctional communication patterns in group meetings. Their results also show that communication patterns of negative action-orientation only appeared in the second half of the project. This study extends previous group research on microsequential patterns with respect to larger scale macrotemporal group dynamics. Overall, they provided practical suggestions for researchers who aim to run observational research and aim to look for sequential dynamics in video-recorded team interactions.
(PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

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Career Counseling Meets Motivational Interviewing: A Sequential Analysis of Dynamic Counselor–Client Interactions

Authors: Klonek, F. E., Wunderlich, E., Spurk, D. & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a client-centered communication style with the aim to resolve client ambivalence within a change-related counseling. Its potential benefit for career counseling has been discussed by several scholars but no empirical research has investigated MI in this context so far. The current study used process measures from MI to investigate dynamic interactions within a career counseling intervention. Overall, we analyzed two videotaped sessions of 14 unique counselor–client dyads. Verbal behavior of counselors and clients were coded with two observational coding schemes from MI (one for counselors and one for clients, respectively). Behavior profiles of counselors were compared with benchmarks of good MI. Furthermore, client verbal ambivalence was compared between sessions. Finally, we conducted lag sequential analyses to analyze temporal dynamics between counselor behavior and immediate client verbal responses across N = 6883 behavioral events. Our results showed, first, behavior profiles of career counselors did significantly differ from recommended counseling benchmarks of good MI practice. Second, as assumed on the basis of past studies, client ambivalence decreased across sessions. Third, MI consistent counselor behaviors showed a positive sequential association with client positive career talk, whereas MI inconsistent counselor behaviors showed the reverse pattern. Our results suggest that counseling behaviors recommended from MI are facilitating career interventions. We discuss how trainings in MI could amend career counseling interventions and provide ethical implications when integrating MI into career counseling programs.


Career counseling; Motivational interviewing; Observational methods; MITI; Sequential analysis

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You Think you are an Empathic Coach? Maybe you Should Think Again. The Difference Between Perceptions of Empathy vs. Empathic Behaviour After a Person-Centred Coaching Training

Authors: Will, T., Gessnitzer, S. & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

While empathy in effective coaching is widely accepted, it is yet under researched. Following the call for process research, we assessed 19 coaching dyads regarding their processes with a multi-method research design. We (1) assessed the perception of coaches’ expressed (cognitive) empathy by questionnaires, observed and analysed the communication (interaction analysis) of (2) coaches’ empathic statements (paraphrasing and addressing counterpart's feelings) and (3) the clients’ reaction to these kinds of empathic behaviour. Results show that coaches and clients perceptions of coaches’ expressed (cognitive) empathy differ. Hence, we focused on the client as recipient and analysed the influence of the coach's empathic statements on the client. Only coaches’ empathic paraphrasing led to a higher client rating of the coaches’ empathy. Sequential analysis showed the immediate positive reaction from the client on coaches’ empathic behaviour of paraphrasing and addressing counterpart's feelings. Findings regarding perceived empathy are discussed, and future lines of research are delineated.

Expressed empathy, Cognitive empathy, Coaching, Coach–client Interaction, Lag sequential analysis

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Using Observational Research Methods to Study Voice and Silence in Organizations

Authors: Meinecke, A. L., Klonek, F. E., & Kauffeld, S. (2016)

The current article offers a behaviour-based perspective on employee voice and silence in organizations. Specifically, we outline two observational approaches to study the dynamics of voice and silence in real time: coding of voice behaviour using a behavioural instrument, and behavioural rating scales. In an exemplary study, we sampled repeated measurements of voice and silence behaviour based on videotaped supervisor–subordinate interactions during annual appraisal interviews. Both approaches provided insights into temporal processes of silence and voice. At the conversational event level, behavioural coding revealed significant sequential patterns between supervisor behaviour and subordinate voice. Findings showed that supervisors’ listening behaviour played a central role in stimulating subordinate voice at the event level of conversational conduct, whereas discussing the subordinates’ past performing, sharing knowledge and procedural statements had the opposite effect and were significantly less likely 
to initiate subordinate voice. Finally, our results indicated better reliabilities for voice in contrast to silence when observer ratings were used. We discuss strengths and limitations of both approaches and outline how they complement traditional survey measures. Moreover, we provide recommendations for steering more effective appraisal interviews. 


Observational research methods; performance appraisal interviews; problem-solving; silence; voice

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Joint Engagement in Sibling Interactions Including a Child with ASD: Intensive Frame-by-Frame Analysis

Authors: Yonat Rum 1; Ditza A. Zachor 1, 2; Esther Dromi 1 1 Tel-Aviv University, 2 The Autism Center, Assaf Harofeh Medical Center

Sibling interactions provide an opportunity for children with ASD to participate in reciprocal play and communication activities and to practice initiating and maintaining their JE abilities. The current results offer implications for social intervention programs at home as well as in inclusive educational frameworks for children with ASD (Chan & Lock, 2016).


Interaction among siblings that one of them has ASD - parameters for examination

Authors:  Yonat Rum, Professor Esther Dromi Tel Aviv University (2016)

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as a communicative-social disorder (APA, 2013). In the past, children with ASD were described as deliberately avoiding social interaction and as lacking any social abilities (Kanner, 1943). Contemporary research has shown that these children do possess social abilities, and that these depend both on the social partner with whom they are interacting as well as the context of interaction. For example, Kimhi & Bauminger-Zviely (2012) found better social skills with a partner defined as ‘a friend’ rather than with a ‘non-friend’ partner. Better skills were also found when this friend was a child with typical development (TD) as compared to a friend who also had ASD (Bauminger-Zvieli, 2013). Children with ASD were found to have more reciprocal conversations when talking with other children as opposed to when talking with adults (Nadig et al., 2010). These findings accentuate the significant impact social partners have on the ability of a child with ASD to execute social skills.
Sibling relationships are often the longest and most significant relationships in a lifetime, with the potential to deeply influence personality, social and cognitive skills (Boer, Dunn, & Dunn, 2013; Gass, Jenkins, & Dunn, 2007; Noller, 2005). Research on the development of TD young children's social skills highlights the significant role of sibling interaction as one of the most enhancing contexts for acquiring communicative and social skills (Brody, 2004; Dunn, 1992). Considering the fact that communicative-social impairments are fundamental in ASD, the paucity of research on these children's interaction with their siblings is striking.
Very few studies have looked at sibling interaction where one child has ASD and compared it to interaction between siblings who were both TD, or where one had a disability other than ASD (Kaminsky & Dewey, 2001; Knott, Lewis, & Williams, 1995; 2007). In such studies researchers concluded that dyads containing a participant with ASD were inferior to both other groups in terms of the intensity, complexity, and reciprocity of their social interaction, and also contained less rivalry between siblings (Knott et al., 1995, 2007). Relationships between siblings in the experimental group were characterized by less intimacy and fewer prosocial behaviors than in the relationships of two TD siblings or sibling dyads containing a child with Down syndrome (Kaminsky & Dewey, 2001). However, it is difficult to learn about the unique contribution of the sibling relationship to the social skills of a child with ASD when using such comparison groups. Such methodology highlights the deficits in the siblings’ dyadic interaction–attributed to the disabilities of the child with ASD–instead of highlighting abilities. In our study we utilize a different methodological approach. Rather than compare groups on the basis of averaged data, our aim was to examine in detail the characteristics of sibling interactions, while identifying variables that require direct attention and measuring those variables in great detail.
This poster presents the parameters we used in order to examine sibling interactions in an inter-subject design. The set of parameters we present, as well as the description of the procedures we used while analyzing data with INTERACT software, aims to narrow the gap in the literature regarding sibling interactions in a family with a child with ASD.

Read and see more on the poster, presented on the 52nd Conference of the Israeli Speech, Hearing and Language Association (ISHLA).


Coding Interactions in Motivational Interviewing with Computer-Software: What are the Advantages for Process Researchers? 

Authors: Klonek, F. E., Quera, V. & Kauffeld, S. (2015)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based behavior change intervention. The interactional change processes that make MI effective have been increasingly studied using observational coding schemes. We introduce an implementation of a software-supported MI coding scheme-the Motivational Interviewing Treatment Integrity code (MITI)-and discuss advantages for process researchers. Furthermore, we compared reliability of the software version with prior results of the paper version. A sample of 14 double-coded dyadic interactions showed good to excellent interrater reliabilities. We selected a second sample of 22 sessions to obtain convergent validity results of the software version: substantial correlations were obtained between the software instrument and the Rating Scales for the Assessment of Empathic Communication. Finally, we demonstrate how the software version can be used to test whether single code frequencies obtained by using intervals shorter than 20 min (i.e., 5 or 10 min) are accurate estimates of the respective code frequencies for the entire session (i.e., behavior slicing). Our results revealed that coding only a 10-min interval provides accurate estimates of the entire session. Our study demonstrates that the software implementation of the MITI is a reliable and valid instrument. We discuss advantages of the software version for process research in MI.

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How Transformational Leadership Works During team Interactions

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Meinecke, A. L., Rowold, J. & Kauffeld, S. (2015)

Transformational leadership is generally considered helpful for team functioning. However, the social dynamics underlying the benefits of transformational leadership remain elusive to date. To understand how and why transformational leadership can foster team functioning, this study focuses on leader–follower communication dynamics during team interactions. From the perspective of leadership as social problem solving, we argue that transformational leadership is linked to functional team problem-solving processes because transformational leaders use solution-focused communication (mediator model). In a sample of 30 videotaped problem-solving team meetings from two organizations, we coded transformational leadership style and the verbal behavioral interactions of leaders and team members over the course of their entire meetings (30,128 behavioral units in total). Multilevel results showed that transformational leadership was positively linked to functional problem-solving communication by team members. This positive relationship was mediated by leaders' solution-focused communication. Moreover, at the micro-level of conversational dynamics within the meeting process, lag sequential analysis revealed that leaders' ideas and solutions triggered subsequent solution statements by team members and inhibited counterproductive communication by team members, such as running off topic, criticizing, or complaining. We discuss theoretical and methodological implications for conceptualizing dynamic leader–follower processes as well as managerial implications for leading effective meetings in organizations.

Transformational leadership
; Leader–follower communication; Team interaction processes; Meetings; Lag sequential analysis

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Providing engineers with OARS and EARS:Effects of a skills-based vocational training in Motivational Interviewing for engineers in higher education

Authors: Florian E. Klonek, Simone Kauffeld (2015)

The curriculum of technical professions and engineering education often is heavily focussed on technical knowledge (Darling and Dannels, 2003). More recently, scholars have argued that oral communication skills are increasingly important for engineers (Ford and Teare, 2006; Seat et al., 2001). The rational for this argument is that communication skills are important for personal and professional development (Morreale and Pearson, 2008; Morreale et al., 2000), are rated among the most requested skills by employers (The Cline, 2005; McEwen, 1997), and can facilitate career success (Morreale and Pearson, 2008). As engineers spend about 50 percent of their day communicating with others (Vest et al., 1996) it is even more important for them to communicate effectively. However, it appears to be challenging to teach communication skills effectively to engineers (Dannels et al., 2003; Ford and Teare, 2006). Given the importance of communication skills in the area of engineering (Darling and Dannels, 2003) and higher education (Morreale and Pearson, 2008), the evaluation of communication training in this domain is worth studying.
The present study sets out to evaluate how professional development in Motivational Interviewing (MI) – a person-centered and directive communication method – has measurable impact on engineers’ communication skills. Overall, this study contributes the following. First, we will outline the basic features of MI. We will give definitions and examples of central verbal skills in MI and show how these can be assessed by using an observation-based scientific approach. Second, we will show how skills covered in MI are valuable within the work environments of engineers. Finally, we will illustrate how to use an observational instrument as a quality assurance measure in higher education. For this, we present results from a training study that we carried out in a university of technology.


Using Motivational Interviewing to reduce threats in conversations about environmental behavior

Authors: Florian E. Klonek, Amelie v. Güntner, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Simone Kauffeld (2015)

Human behavior contributes to a waste of environmental resources and our society is looking for ways to reduce this problem. However, humans may perceive feedback about their environmental behavior as threatening. According to self-determination theory(SDT), threats decrease intrinsic motivation for behavior change. According to self-affirmation theory (SAT), threats can harm individuals’ self-integrity. Therefore, individuals should show self-defensive biases, e.g., in terms of presenting counter - arguments when presented withe nvironmental behavior change. The current study examines how change recipients respond to threats from change agents in interactions about environmental behavior change. Moreover, we investigate how Motivational Interviewing (MI) — an intervention aimed at increasing intrinsic motivation — can reduce threats at both the social and cognitive level. We videotaped 68 dyadic interactions with change agents who either did or did not use MI (controlgroup). We coded agents verbal threats and recipients’ verbal expressions of motivation. Recipients also rated agents’ level of confrontation and empathy (i.e., cognitivereactions). As hypothesized, threats were significantly lower when change agents used MI. Perceived confrontations converged with observable social behavior of change agents in both groups. Moreover, behavioral threats showed a negative association with change recipients’ expressed motivation (i.e., reasonstochange). Contrary to our expectations, we found no relation between change agents’ verbal threats and change recipients’ verbally expressed self-defenses (i.e., sustain talk). Our results imply that MI reduces the adverse impact of threats in conversations about environmental behavior change on both the social and cognitive level. We discuss theoretical implications of our study in the context of SAT and SDT and suggest practical implications for environmental change agents in organizations.


How young children view mathematical representations: a study using eye-tracking technology

Authors: Bolden, D., Barmby, P., Raine, S., Gardner, M. (2015)

It has been shown that mathematical representations can aid children’s understanding of mathematical concepts but that children can sometimes have difficulty in interpreting them correctly. New advances in eye-tracking technology can help in this respect because it allows data to be gathered concerning children’s focus of attention and so indicate on what aspects of the representations they are focussing. However, recent eye-tracking technology has not been used to any great degree in investigating the way children view and interpret mathematical representations.   Purpose: This research explored the use of new advances in eye-tracking technology in investigating how young children view and interpret mathematical representations of multiplication.   Sample: Nine Year 5 children (four boys, five girls, aged 9–10 years of age) from a local primary (elementary) school in the North-East of England were asked to complete the test during school time. The children represented a range of attainment levels across the mathematical domain (three higher-, three middle- and three lowerattaining children) and were selected accordingly by their class teacher. We recognise that this study was only based on a small sample of children, however, this number still allowed us to make meaningful comparisons in particular between the different types of representations presented.  

Design and methods
The study consisted of each child looking at 18 static slides, one after the other, with each slide presenting a symbolic and a picture representation of multiplication problems. The data that was captured by the eye tracker and recorded was then analysed quantitatively (e.g. time on each slide, time on each area of interest specified within the software) and qualitatively (video recordings of each child’s gaze trajectory during each representation was carried out, thereby allowing a categorisation of the different approaches adopted) using MangoldVision software.  

The study showed that (a) the particular form of the number line representation used in this study was less successful than the other picture representations used (equal groups, array) in promoting multiplicative thinking in children, and (b) the success of children to think multiplicatively with the ‘groups’ and the array representation was related to their general mathematics attainment levels.  

These findings have implications for teacher practice in that teachers need to be clear about the possible drawbacks of particular representations. Even in using more successful representations, for lower-attaining children, the progression in their understanding of the representation needs to be taken into account by the teacher. The study also highlighted that the eye-tracking technology does have some limitations but is useful in investigating young children’s focus of attention whilst undertaking a mathematics assessment task.

A Dynamic Systems Approach to Mother-Child Emotion Co-Regulation in Relation to Adaptive Functioning in Children with ASD

Authors: Yuqing Guo, Monica Garcia, Silvia Gutierrez, Sun Kim, Shannon Merrell, Christina Garibay, Paola Martinez, Soraya Davia, Valentina Valentovich, Wendy Goldberg (2015)

Parents play an important role in the development of emotion regulation capabilities, but little is known about emotion regulation between parents and young children with ASD.


Coaches and Clients in Action: A Sequential Analysis of Interpersonal Coach and Client Behavior

Authors: Ianiro, P.M., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. & Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Despite calls for studying interaction processes in coaching, little is known about the link between coach-client interactions and coaching success. In particular, interpersonal behavior in coaching remains unexplored, although it is considered highly relevant to social relationships and interaction outcomes. This study takes first steps to adress this gap. The study examines the dynamics of coaches' and clients' interpersonal behavior based on the two basic dimensions affiliation and dominance. Furthermore, the link between emergent interpersonal behavior patterns and coaching outcomes is investigated. To this end, a total of 11,095 behavioral acts nested in 30 coach-client dyads were videotaped and analyzed. Sequential analysis showed that reciprocal friendliness patterns were positively linked to working alliance. Coaches' dominant-friendly interaction behavior particularly activated clients, in terms of showing dominance during the coaching interaction process. Clients' dominance was linked to their overall goal attainment. The results highlight the importance of interpersonal behavior for coaching success. Specifically, the findings suggest that dominance interaction patterns are context- and relation-specific, offering an explanation for contradicting empirical studies on interpersonal dominance. For coaches, the study implies that high awareness for interpersonal signals can help establish a positive atmosphere and activate clients' dominance. This empirical study uses behavior observation and interaction analysis to understand the interpersonal dynamics during coaching sessions.

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How fun are your meetings? Investigating the relationship between humor patterns in team interactions and team performance

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J.A. (2014)

Research on humor in organizations has rarely considered the social context in which humor occurs. One such social setting that most of us experience on a daily basis concerns the team context. Building on recent theorizing about the humor–performance link in teams, this study seeks to increase our understanding of the function and effects of humor in team interaction settings. We examined behavioral patterns of humor and laughter in real teams by videotaping and coding humor and laughter during 54 regular organizational team meetings. Performance ratings were obtained immediately following the team meetings as well as at a later time point from the teams’ supervisors. At the behavioral unit level within the team interaction process, lag sequential analysis identified humor and laughter patterns occurring above chance (e.g., a joke followed by laughter, followed by another joke). Moreover, humor patterns triggered positive socioemotional communication, procedural structure, and new solutions. At the team level, humor patterns (but not humor or laughter alone) positively related to team performance, both immediately and 2 years later. Team-level job insecurity climate was identified as a boundary condition: In low job insecurity climate conditions, humor patterns were positively related to performance, whereas in high job insecurity climate conditions, humor patterns did not relate to team performance. The role of job insecurity as a boundary condition persisted at both time points. These findings underscore the importance of studying team interactions for understanding the role of humor in organizations and considering team-level boundary conditions over time.

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Assessing Motivational Interviewing 2.0: An illustration of software-supported coding schemes

Authors: Klonek, F., Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Scholars in Motivational Interviewing (MI) have developed several coding schemes to assess treatment adherence, client language, and sequential dynamics. Traditionally, these coding schemes have been administered with paper and pencil. The presentation introduces implementations of software-supported MI coding schemes and discusses how software-implementation facilitates coding work, while still capturing the sequential timed-event data of the dyadic interaction. Furthermore, it is presented how coding instruments can be economized by means of a thin behavior slicing procedure. Data originated from a study with MI trained interviewers who discussed sustainable use of environmental resources as a target behavior with their respective clients. First, it is presented how branchedchain coding can be used to familiarize inexperienced observers with the MI Skill Code. Second, it is calculated two observer agreement measures of fourteen double-coded sessions for the MI Treatment Integrity Code (MITI): Time-unit kappa and Intraclass correlation. Third, the researchers extracted thin behavior slices (ten minutes) and compared their MITI code statistics with the entire session. Results show that Kappa indices are more conservative reliability estimates than Intraclass correlations. Furthermore, thin behavior slicing revealed that only 10-minutes can provide accurate estimates for MITI verbal behavior codes. The researchers discuss costs and benefits of software-supported coding schemes.   Presentation at the ICMI International Conference on Motivational Interviewing, Amsterdam, June 16-18, 2014.



The Dynamics of Resistance to Change: A Sequential Analysis of Change Agents in Action

Authors: Klonek, F., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Kauffeld, S. (2014)

Despite consensus that successful change management depends on how change is communicated to employees, the dynamic communication process between change agents and recipients remains largely unexplored. We discuss how change language can capture recipients’ resistance to and readiness for change, in terms of change versus sustain talk, and adopt a coding instrument from clinical psychology (Motivational Interviewing Skill Code, MISC). We explore whether autonomy-restrictive change agent behaviors may contribute to resistance to change. In a preliminary study, we demonstrate the applicability of the MISC for studying ambivalence in change-related interactions. Next, in a quantitative study of 28 dyadic interactions from a student sample, we examine how change agent behaviors elicit recipients’ resistance during the interaction flow, using lag sequential analysis. Our findings show that autonomy-restrictive agent behaviors evoke sustain talk. Recipients’ sustain talk in turn evokes autonomy-restrictive agent behavior. We discuss implications for conceptualizing resistance to change as a dynamically emerging conversational construct and point out practical implications for change agents.

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Watching how they are talking - Analyzing verbal behavior in two non-residential building projects to save energy by means of user participation

Authors: Klonek, F., Kauffeld, S., Plesser, S. & Görtgens, A. (2014)

When organizations implement energy saving measures, building users are not always ready for the organisational change process (By, 2007). While user motivation is crucial for facilitating the change process, resistance to change inhibits well-intended measures. Many organizations use participatory interventions in order to increase participation and motivation of building users (Kauran, 2013; Griesel, 2004). We propose a behavioral approach to measure motivation and resistance to change in terms of the observable verbal behavior: While “change talk” expresses the willingness to adopt behavioral changes, “sustain talk” expresses resistance and signals that any efforts to promote behavior change are worthless. Our approach focuses on the dynamic interactions between change agents and building users. Therefore, we apply interaction analysis – a scientific procedure that allows investigating communication exchange on an utterance-by-utterance level (Mangold, 2010). We show that this method is particularly useful to understand how to increase users’ participation and user motivation within energy saving projects.   

Poster presented at the BEHAVE Conference, Oxford, September 2014


Manual Distractions of Ambulance Drivers: Light-and-siren vs. Non-light-and-siren Travel

Authors: Grundgeiger, T., Scharf, M., Grundgeiger, J., Scheuchenpflug, R. (2014)

Emergency medical services personnel are involved in more transportation accidents and have higher fatality rates than do other professions, and traveling with light-and-siren is particularly risky. One factor that might contribute to transportation accidents is driver distraction. We investigated what kind of manual secondary tasks – distractions that require the driver to take at least one hand off the steering wheel – ambulance drivers face and compared the relative frequency and proportion of time spent in manual operations not related to driving for light-and-siren travel vs. non-light-and-siren travel. The results indicate that ambulance drivers face more manual distractions when traveling with light-and-siren than non-light-and-siren. In particular, operating the light-and-siren system is causing most of the manual distractions. We discuss the results and potential implication for practice.

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Toothbrushing and flossing behaviour in young adults - a video observation

Authors: Winterfeld, T., Schlueter, N., Harnacke, D., Illig, J., Margraf-Stiksrud, J., Deinzer, R., Ganss, C. (2014)

Objectives: Video observation studies of habitual oral hygiene from the 1970s revealed a striking neglect of brushing oral surfaces and unsystematic brushing patterns with frequent movements between areas. These findings were not systematically followed up; furthermore, nothing is known about whether subjects are able to floss sufficiently. Therefore, the aim of this video study was to analyse the performance of habitual toothbrushing and flossing. Methods: A random sample of 101 18-year-olds was included. Toothbrush and floss were provided; habitual brushing/flossing was videotaped in a standardised setting and analysed with the video coding software INTERACT. Parameters of interest were toothbrushing duration, type of brushing strokes, brushing patterns, flossed interproximal spaces and flossing technique. Results: The mean brushing duration was 156.0 ± 71.1 s; duration differed only slightly between the upper and lower jaw as well as between the right, left and anterior areas. However, oral surfaces were brushed distinctly shorter than vestibular surfaces (27.1 ± 27.8 s versus 72.1 ± 31.8 s; p ≤ 0.001). Participants brushed different areas of the mouth with different types of strokes, predominantly with horizontal and circular strokes. Brushing movements frequently alternated between areas (45.1 ± 22.4) not randomly but accumulated within a jaw with a tendency to move from the right to the left. Half of the participants flossed, but only one performed sufficiently. Conclusions: There was a significant neglect of brushing oral surfaces and insufficient use of floss. Brushing patterns were similar to those observed in the 1970s. Clinical relevance: Understanding habitual oral hygiene behaviour is essential for improving oral hygiene instruction strategies.

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Positioning of term infants during delivery room routine handling - analysis of videos

Authors: Konstantelos, D., Gurth, H., Bergert, R., Ifflaender, S. & Rüdiger, M. (2014)

Delivery room management (DR) of the newly born infant should be performed according to international guidelines, but no recommendations are available for an infant’s position immediately after birth. The present study was performed to answer the following questions: 1. How often is DR-management performed in term infants in side position? 2. Is routine DR-management possible in side position? 3. Is there any benefit of side position with respect to agitation or vital parameters?


Cross-sectional study of video-recorded DR-management in term newborns delivered by C-section in 2012. Videos were analysed for infant’s position, administered interventions, vital parameters and agitation.


187 videos were analysed. The Main Position (defined as position spent more than 70% of the time) was “supine” in 91, “side” in 63 and “not determinable” in 33 infants. “Supine” infants received significantly (p < 0.001) more often stimulation (12.5% of the total time) than “side” infants (3.9% of time). There were no differences between both groups with regard to suctioning; CPAP was exclusively (98%) administered in supine position. Newborns on side were less agitated than those on supine. There was a trend towards a better oxygenation in “side” positioned infants (p = 0.055) and significantly (p = 0.04) higher saturation values in “left-sided” infants than “right-sided” infants at 8th minute. “Side” positioned infants reached oxygen saturation values >90% earlier than “supine” positioned infants (p = 0.16).

DR-management is feasible in the side position in term infants. Side position seems to be associated with reduced agitation and improved oxygenation. However, it remains unclear whether this represents a causal relationship or an association. The study supports the need for a randomized controlled trial.

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Suctioning habits in the delivery room and the influence on postnatal adaptation - a video analysis

Authors: Konstantelos, D., Ifflaender, S., Dinger, J., Rüdiger, M. (2014)

The aim was to determine how often infants are suctioned during delivery and how often it affects the neonate.  

Methods Single-center analysis of video-recorded delivery room management after c-section from January 2012 until April 2013. Time point, duration, and frequency of suctioning in term and preterm newborns were analyzed along with vital parameters (heart rate HR and saturation values).  

Results Three hundred forty-six videos were analyzed with the software Mangold INTERACT. Twenty-three percent of term and 66% of preterm newborns were suctioned. Newborns were suctioned up to 14 times; total duration spent for suctioning was between 2 and 154 s. Suctioning before face mask application occurred in 31% of the suctioned newborns requiring respiratory support. No severe bradycardia (<60 bpm) was noticed. Suctioning did not have an effect on HR and saturation in preterm infants but was associated with significantly higher HR in term infants requiring respiratory support. Term infants who did not require respiratory support showed significantly higher saturation values at 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 min if they were not suctioned.  

Conclusions Suctioning of newborns in the delivery room does not adhere to recommendations of international guidelines. However, previously described side effects of suctioning could not be confirmed.

Journal of Perinatal Medicine. ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: 10.1515/jpm-2014-0188. October 2014

Learning from their own actions: the unique effect of producing actions on infants' action understanding

Authors: Gerson, S., Woodward, A. (2014)

Prior research suggests that infants' action production affects their action understanding, but little is known about the aspects of motor experience that render these effects. In Study 1, the relative contributions of self-produced (n = 30) and observational (n = 30) action experience on 3-month-old infants' action understanding was assessed using a visual habituation paradigm. In Study 2, generalization of training to a new context was examined (n = 30). Results revealed a unique effect of active over observational experience. Furthermore, findings suggest that benefits of trained actions do not generalize broadly, at least following brief training.

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Comparison of Emotion Co-Regulation between Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Families of Typically Developing Children

Authors: Goldberg, W., Guo, Y., Gutierrez, S., Merrell, S., House, S., Fraher, T., Tsai, S., Kim, S., Garcia, M., Garibay, C., Martinez, P. Davia, S. (2014)

Poster presented at UROP, University of California, Irvine, May 2014


Do maternal interactive behaviors correlate with developmental outcomes and mastery motivation in toddlers with and without motor delay?

Authors: Wang, P., Morgan, G.A., Hwang, A., Chen, L., Liao, H. (2014)


Background: Maternal interactive behaviors theoretically affect developmental outcomes and mastery motivation in young children. However, these associations are inconsistent in the literature.

Objective: The purposes of this study were: (1) to examine the differences in maternal behaviors between toddlers with motor delay (MD) and those with typical development (TD), (2) to investigate the correlation of maternal behaviors and developmental quotients (DQs) in toddlers with MD and TD, and (3) to examine the correlation of maternal behaviors and mastery motivation in toddlers with MD and TD.

Design: This was a sex- and mental age–matched case-control study.

Methods: Twenty-two mother-child dyads of toddlers with MD (ages 23–47 months) and 22 dyads of sex- and mental age–matched toddlers with TD (ages 15–29 months) were recruited. Maternal scores from the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale, 2 indicators of motivation (persistence and mastery pleasure) from individualized mastery tasks and the Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire, and DQs from the Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Children were assessed.

Results: Mothers of children in the MD group showed significantly lower cognitive growth fostering scores than mothers of children in the TD group. Maternal total scores were significantly correlated with whole DQs in both groups. In the MD group, maternal total scores correlated significantly with DMQ mastery pleasure but not with mastery task motivation.

Limitations: The study design makes it impossible to know the causal relationships between maternal behaviors and children's DQs and motivation.

Conclusions: Mothers of toddlers with MD exhibited less adequate interactive behaviors than mothers of toddlers with TD. Because higher-quality maternal behaviors correlated with higher DQs in the MD group, clinicians should encourage parents to participate in early intervention programs and model high-quality parenting behavior to enhance parents' and children's outcomes.

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The joint role of trained, untrained, and observed actions at the origins of goal recognition

Authors: Gerson, S.A., Woodward, A.L. (2014)

Recent findings across a variety of domains reveal the benefits of self-produced experience on object exploration, object knowledge, attention, and action perception. The influence of active experience may be particularly important in infancy, when motor development is undergoing great changes. Despite the importance of self-produced experience, we know that infants and young children are eventually able to gain knowledge through purely observational experience. In the current work, three-month-old infants were given experience with object-directed actions in one of three forms and their recognition of the goal of grasping actions was then assessed in a habituation paradigm. All infants were given the chance to manually interact with the toys without assistance (a difficult task for most three-month-olds). Two of the three groups were then given additional experience with object-directed actions, either through active training (in which Velcro mittens helped infants act more efficiently) or observational training. Findings support the conclusion that self-produced experience is uniquely informative for action perception and suggest that individual differences in spontaneous motor activity may interact with observational experience to inform action perception early in life.

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From Interactions to Conversations: The Development of Joint Engagement During Early Childhood

Authors: Adamson, L.B., Bakeman, R., Deckner, D.F., Nelson, P.B. (2014)

This research traces the development of symbol-infused joint engagement during mother–child interactions into the preschool years. Forty-nine children, who had been previously observed as toddlers (L. B. Adamson, R. Bakeman, & D. F. Deckner, ), were systematically observed during interactions with their mothers at ages 3½, 4½, and 5½ during activities related to the past and future, internal states, and graphic systems. Although the amount of symbol-infused joint engagement reached a ceiling by 3½, its focus continued to become more complex and its form more balanced. Individual differences in children's symbol-infused joint engagement were stable across 4 years. These findings highlight both how joint engagement is transformed as conversational skills develop and how it remains rooted in earlier interactions and supported by caregiver's actions.

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A Sequential Analysis of Procedural Communication in Organizational Meetings: How Teams Facilitate their Meetings

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Allen, J. A. & Kauffeld, S. (2013)

How do teams facilitate their own meetings? Unmanaged (or free) social interaction often leads to poor decision-making, unnecessary conformity, social loafing, and ineffective communication processes, practices, and products. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential benefits of procedural communication in team meetings. The role of procedural communication, defined as verbal behaviors that structure group discussion to facilitate goal accomplishment, was examined in 59 team meetings from 19 organizations. Meeting behaviors were videotaped and coded. Lag sequential analysis revealed that procedural meeting behaviors are sustained by supporting statements within the team interaction process. They promote proactive communication (e.g., who will do what and when) and significantly inhibit dysfunctional meeting behaviors (e.g., losing the train of thought, criticizing others, and complaining). These patterns were found both at lag1 and lag2. Furthermore, the more evenly distributed procedural meeting behaviors were across team members, the more team members were satisfied with their discussion processes and outcomes. For practice, these findings suggest that managers should encourage procedural communication to enhance meeting effectiveness, and team members should share the responsibility of procedurally facilitating their meetings.


Interaction Analysis; Lag Sequential Analysis; Meeting Effectiveness; Facilitation

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Age, Forgiveness, and Meeting Behavior: A Multilevel Study

Authors: Schulte, E. M., Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Kauffeld, S. (2013)

This paper aims to examine the effects of age on counteractive team meeting behaviors (e.g. complaining). Forgiveness is included as a potential buffer against these behaviors. A multilevel model is developed to test individual and team level age effects.

A total of 313 employees nested in 54 teams completed a forgiveness questionnaire and were videotaped during regular team meetings.

Multilevel modeling revealed that both individual age and average team age predicted counteractive team meeting behavior. Team level age diversity was linked to decreased counteractive behavior. Forgiveness moderated the negative link between individual age (but not team average age) and counteractive behavior.

Research limitations/implications
This is the first study examining age effects in the context of counteractive meeting behavior. Although the authors' findings need to be substantiated in further research, they show that older team members engage in significantly more counteractive communication – forgiveness can help alleviate this effect.

Practical implications
Teams with older team members should be sensitized to avoid counteractive behavior. Moreover, team composition should target high age diversity. Managerial interventions should also aim to facilitate forgiveness in the work environment, especially among older team members.

Research on dysfunctional team meeting behavior is sparse, and the role of age effects has not been examined in this context. The authors identify a significant link between age and counteractive meeting behavior. This multilevel model shows differential effects of individual age, team average age, and age diversity on counteractive communication. Furthermore, a buffer against these dysfunctional behaviors is identified: forgiveness.

Age, Diversity, Teams, Forgiveness, Meetings, Multilevel modeling

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Meetings as Networks: Applying Social Network Analysis to Team Interaction

Authors: Nils Christian Sauer & Simone Kauffeld (2013)

In recent decades, social network researchers have focused on analyzing networks of formal relationships (e.g., friendships). However, this work has yet to be applied to distributions of participation in small groups. This article provides an application of social network analysis to small group interaction and illustrates the approach through the analysis of 54 team meetings in two medium-sized German companies from the electrical and automotive supply industries (N = 332). Within a group interaction process, individual actions affect subsequent behavior, and their interactions shape a network when group members respond to previous actions. Their responses can be understood as network ties. We describe how to calculate centralization for all forms of small group interactions, and contribute to network research by providing insights into the interaction structure of team meetings. Multilevel analyses show that a group-level measure of centralization has a significant negative effect on team performance, whereas individual participation has no such effect. Implications for future research on interaction data via social network analysis are discussed.

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Driving and Hindering Forces in Group Discussions: Analyzing Change and Sustain Talk in a Software Engineering Project

Authors: Paulsen, H., Klonek, F.E., Meinecke, A., Schneider, K., Liskin, O. & Kauffeld, S.

Poster presented at the INTER.COM Symposium, Braunschweig, 2013.


Act4leadership: Introducing a new coding scheme for analyzing leader-follower-interactions

Authors: Meinecke, A.L., Wachsmuth, D. & Kauffeld, S.

Poster presented at the INTER.COM Symposium, Braunschweig, 2013.


Methodological Considerations for Investigating the Microdynamics of Social Interaction Development

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Forster, D., Johnson, C.M. & Deak, G.O. (2013)

Infants are biologically prepared to learn complex behaviors by interacting in dynamic, responsive social environments. Although the importance of interactive social experiences has long been recognized, current methods for studying complex multimodal interactions are lagging. This paper outlines a systems approach for characterizing fine-grained temporal dynamics of developing social interaction. We provide best practices for capturing, coding, and analyzing interaction activity on multiple-temporal scales, from fractions of seconds (e.g. gaze shifts), to minutes (e.g. coordinated play episodes), to weeks or months (e.g. developmental change). IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 5(3), 258-270

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Dynamic synchronous gestures assist word learning in low functioning ASD Children

Authors: Rader, N., Zukow-Goldring, P., Miller, S. (2013)

Using eye-tracking technology, we looked at the effect of a speaker's gestures on word learning in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children 5-8 years old and typically developing children (TD) 2-6 years old. When the speaker statically held an object as it was named, the ASD children performed similarly to two-year-old children. However, with a dynamic gesture, the ASD children performed as well as children 4-6 years old. These results suggest that ASD children can benefit from the stimulus-driven attention provided by the dynamic gesture.
The test children (ASD and TD) viewed a video showing a speaker introducing two novel objects using either a static or dynamic show gesture. After the speaker introduced the two objects using nonce words, word learning was assessed. A Mangold Eye Tracking System was used to collect eye gaze data. The measurement used was a ratio consisting of correct looks over total looks during a test of word learning. Therefore, a higher ratio represents attention to the correct object then the word is spoken.
With a dynamic show gesture, the ASD children's word learning was as good as that of the oldest typically developing children, while it was similar to the youngest age group for the static gesture condition. These results suggest that word learning for ASD children could be aided by use of show gestures in a way that is true for much younger children. It may be the case that the motion in the show gesture produces stimulus-driven attention that assists the ASD children in attending at the critical time when they view the object and hear its word.
Poster download (presented at SRCD 2013)


Development of a Culturally Sensitive Research Methodology in Early Communication and Language Development

Authors: Frank, B., Polzin, C., Semkiwa, J. & Lüdtke, U.

Poster presented at the 5th East African Conference on Communication Disability, Mombasa, Kenya, September 2013


Prenatal programming of emotion regulation: Neonatal reactivity as a differential susceptibility factor moderating the outcome of prenatal cortisol levels

Authors: Bolten, M., Nast, I., Skrundz, M., Stadler, C., Hellhammer, D., Meinlschmidt, G. (2013)

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation during pregnancy is linked to dysfunctional behavioral outcomes in the offspring. According to Belsky's differential susceptibility hypothesis, individuals vary regarding their developmental plasticity. Translating the differential susceptibility hypothesis to the field of fetal programming, we hypothesize that infants' temperament, as the constitutionally based reactivity to stimulation, moderates prenatal environmental effects on postnatal emotion regulation.

Maternal HPA axis activity and stress-reactivity during pregnancy was estimated, by measuring cortisol concentrations in saliva, collected at 0, 30, 45 and 60 min after awakening and in blood, collected during a laboratory stress test (Trier Social Stress Test), respectively. Newborns reactivity to stimulation was evaluated between postnatal day 10 and 14 using the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale. Infant's self-quieting-activities, as an indicator of emotion regulation, were evaluated at the age of six months during the still face paradigm.

Maternal cortisol reactivity to stress during pregnancy was associated with infant's emotion regulation at the age of six months. Whereas cortisol levels after awakening in mid and late pregnancy were not associated with emotion regulation. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that in interaction with neonatal reactivity, both, prenatal maternal HPA activity as well as prenatal maternal HPA reactivity to stress predicted emotion regulation. The findings indicate that newborns' reactivity to stimulation is moderating the association between prenatal exposure to maternal glucocorticoids and emotion regulation in infancy. Data suggests that temperamental characteristics of the newborn are a relevant differential susceptibility factor with regard to prenatal effects on emotion regulation.

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From Action to Interaction: Infant Object Exploration and Mothers' Contigent Responsiveness

Authors: Tamis-LeMonda, C.S., Kuchirko, Y., Tafuro, L. (2013)

We examined maternal contingent responsiveness to infant object exploration in 190 mother-infant pairs from diverse cultural communities. Dyads were video-recorded during book-sharing and play when infants were 14 mo. Researchers coded the temporal onsets and offsets of infant and mother object exploration and mothers' referential (e.g., “That's a bead”) and regulatory (e.g., “Stop it”) language. The times when infant or mother were neither exploring objects nor communicating were classified as “off task.” Sequential analysis was used to examine whether certain maternal behaviors were more (or less) likely to follow infant object exploration relative to chance, to one another, and to times when infants were off task. Mothers were more likely to explore objects and use referential language in response to infant object exploration than to use regulatory language or be off task, and maternal behaviors were reduced in the context of infants being off task. Additionally, mothers coordinated their object exploration with referential language specifically; thus, mothers' responses to infants were didactic and multimodal. Infant object exploration elicits reciprocal object exploration and informative verbal input from mothers, illustrating the active role infants play in their social experiences.

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Physiological regulation in infants of women with a mood disorder: examining associations with maternal symptoms and stress

Authors: Johnson, K.C., Brennan, P.A., Stowe, Z.N., Leibenluft, E. & Newport, D.J. (2013)

The offspring of mothers with mood disorders may evidence increased behavioral problems as early as preschool; however, no study to date has examined psychophysiological characteristics during infancy, particularly among offspring of mothers diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Elucidating psychobiological mechanisms of risk early in development is critical to inform prevention and early intervention efforts.

This study compared physiological and behavioral responsivity in 6-month-old infants (N = 329) of mothers with lifetime histories of bipolar disorder (BD, n = 44), major depressive disorder (MDD, n = 244), or no history of Axis I disorders (CTL, n = 41). Infant respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was measured in a laboratory stressor paradigm. Measures of infant affect and behavior during mother–infant interaction, current maternal depressive symptoms, and exposure to stressful life events were examined with respect to diagnostic group and RSA.

Groups did not differ in baseline RSA or infant affect measures. However, during the stressor task, infants of mothers with BD evidenced increases in RSA, while infants of MDD and CTL mothers evidenced decreases in RSA. Though levels of postnatal stress and current levels of maternal depressive symptoms differed among groups, neither of these factors predicted infant psychophysiological responses.

At 6 months of age, infants of mothers with BD show differences in psychophysiological regulation. These differences cannot be accounted for by perinatal outcome, current maternal depressive symptoms, or exposure to stressful life events, and thus may reflect endophenotypic markers of psychopathological risk.

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Individualized Behavioral Assessments and Maternal Ratings of Mastery Motivation in Mental Age-Matched Toddlers with and without Motor Delay

Authors: Wang, Pei-Jung, Morgan, George A., Hwang, Ai-Wen und Liao, Hua-Fang (2013)

Mastery motivation is a precursor of future developmental outcomes. Evidence about whether toddlers with motor delay have lower mastery motivation is inconclusive.

The purpose of his study was to examine differences between mental age-matched toddlers with and without motor delay on various mastery motivation indicators. A mental age- and sex-matched case-control study was performed. Twenty-two children with motor delay, aged 23 to 47 months, and 22 childen who were developing typically, aged 15 to 29 months, were recruited. Persistence and mastery pleasure were measured with behavioral tasks that were moderately challenging for each child and with maternal ratings using the Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire (DMQ). The DMQ was rated by each child's mother based on her perception of her child's motivation. Two types of structured tasks (a puzzle and a cause-effect toy selected to be moderately challenging for each child) were administered in a laboratory setting and recorded on videos. Paired t tests or Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to examine group differences in persistence and mastery pleasure.

Children with motor delay were rated lower on DMQ persistence than the typically developing group, but they did not show significantly lower persistence on the structured tasks. There were no significant differences in mastery pleasure between the two groups on either measure. Toddlers with motor delay did not show longer persistence and pleasure when given tasks that were moderately challenging; however, their mothers tended to view them as having lower motivation. Clinicans and parents should provide appropriately challenging tasks to increase children's success and motivation.

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Twelve-month "social revolution" emerges from mother-infant sensory-motor coordination: A longitudinal investigation

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Johnson, C., Deak, G.O. (2013)

Previous accounts of the development of triadic attention identify a ‘‘curious’’ shift around nine to twelve months. We introduce a novel approach inspired by distributed and embodied cognition frameworks. In a longitudinal study of five mother-infant dyads, videos of home play interactions were recorded over the infants’ first year. We scrutinized the real-time organization of mother-infant sensorimotor activity, including the targets of hands, gaze, and mouth, as the dyad members attended to one another and
to toys. We identified a pervasive developmental pattern: At four months, infants converged all sensory modalities on objects introduced by the mother. From six to twelve months, infants showed increasing decoupling of hands and eyes and increasingly elaborate sequences in multi -object play. Concurrently, dyads engaged in increasingly elaborate social exchanges (e.g., turn-taking) as mothers adapted to infants’ sensorimotor skills. We therefore theorize that triadic attention emerges not as a novel form of social cognition but as a continuous product of sensorimotor development, scaffolded by parents’ expanding social actions.


Meetings Matter: Effects of work Group Communication on Organizational Success

Authors: Kauffeld, S., & Lehmann-Willenbrock, N. (2012)

This study follows the idea that the key to understanding team meeting effectiveness lies in uncovering the microlevel interaction processes throughout the meeting. Ninety-two regular team meetings were videotaped. Interaction data were coded and evaluated with the act4teams coding scheme and INTERACT software. Team and organizational success variables were gathered via questionnaires and telephone interviews. The results support the central function of interaction processes as posited in the traditional input-process-output model. Teams that showed more functional interaction, such as problem-solving interaction and action planning, were significantly more satisfied with their meetings. Better meetings were associated with higher team productivity. Moreover, constructive meeting interaction processes were related to organizational success 2.5 years after the meeting. Dysfunctional communication, such as criticizing others or complaining, showed significant negative relationships with these outcomes. These negative effects were even more pronounced than the positive effects of functional team meeting interaction. The results suggest that team meeting processes shape both team and organizational outcomes. The critical meeting behaviors identified here provide hints for group researchers and practitioners alike who aim to improve meeting success. 

Work groups; Meetings; Interaction analysis; Group processes; Team success

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Sustainability Goes Change Talk: Can Motivational Interviewing Be Used to Increase Pro-Environmental behavior? 

Authors: Klonek, F. & Kauffeld, S. (2012)

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an interviewing style that has been used extensively in the field of addiction as a treatment intervention for clients that are either resistant to or ambivalent about change [11]. Since its origins in the field of addiction treatment, the use of MI has also been extended to health psychology, clinical psychology [6] and to a minor extent also coaching psychology [13]. This study explores the feasibility and efficacy of motivational interviewing in the field of ecological psychology. Specifically, we compared the effects of an MI with those of a Non-MI control interview on client change and sustain talk language about pro-environmental behavior. Interviewers in the intervention condition were trained in MI to talk with participants about their ecological behavior and to increase pro-environmental behavior. Seventy-one interviews were videotaped, and data was analyzed using a combination of two behavioral coding schemes: the German version of the motivational interviewing treatment integrity [5] and the motivational skill code for client language [10]. Results on client change talk show that clients in the MI condition uttered significantly more reasons for change and ability to change. It is suggested that MI may offer a method to increase pro-environmental behavior by means of increasing client change language.

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Early Dialogs between Mother and Infant. A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Process of Early Education

Authors: Horsch, Ursula

From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their infant. They introduce as well other people as the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogical way. Proceeding hand in hand they pass on basic dialogical competences which are responsible for the development of Early Education.

The research project Dialogic Development of Infants (Horsch et al. since 2004) addresses the broad dialogic development of parents and infants within the first 18 months of life. Our objective is to describe these preverbal dialogs and their relevance for processes of education. The following presented research project is realized in Germany, but we just start at SEKOMU with this study. So we are able to take the pictures out of the SEKOMU project.

Particular emphasis will be placed on these dialogic elements: vocalisation of the infants, dialogic echo and greeting behaviour of the parents and motherese/fatherese. The empirical date is derived from a longitudinal study within the first 18 months of the infant´s life. The data is collected monthly by video recording in a natural setting. Computerized analyses (interact) are used for the evaluation of the data to study the correlations among the dialogic elements.

The significant correlations of infants with normal hearing are compared with the data of the deaf or hard of hearing infants and are discussed in relation to aspects of Bildung.


Do I need, am I able to... and do I even want to change? Which potential does Motivational Interviewing offer for organizations

Authors: Klonek, F.E., Kauffeld, S. (2012)

Organizational, team or individual change projects are highly dependent upon the motivation of the affected employees. Motivational Interviewing (MI) offers a promising method to initiate and accompany change management projects. Evidence from clinical psychology shows that MI stimulates change by evoking change talk and reducing sustain talk - two psycholinguistic constructs. In this paper, we want to discuss - based on the existing research and an expert workshop - benefits and possible applications of MI for organizations. By means of three examples from interaction analysis, we can show how coaches, facilitators and executives can implement principles of MI. Finally, we introduce two German versions of MI observation methods that help to objectively assess motivational interaction processes. Preliminary data shows that there is still a lack of motivational techniques within the observed interaction processes.   

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When is the "chemistry" right in Coaching? Publication with Coach - Client Relationship

Authors: Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld, Dipl. Psych. Patrizia Ianiro, Dipl. Psych. Carsten Schermuly (2012)

There is growing evidence that coaching is effective. However, little is known about the process variables critical for coaching success. Friendliness, openness and empathy are important. However, they do not necessarily lead to a sustainable and trusting relationship between coach and client.

A recent publication by Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld, Patrizia Ianiro and Carsten Schermuly examines the contribution of the behavioral dimensions “affiliation” and “dominance” for a positive coaching relationship and coaching success. Affiliation includes the friendliness. Dominance is the sovereign, self-confident attitude that the client expects of the coach. The client wants to be led by the coaching process, which is also required by the coach. But how dominant should the coach be?

For the study, coaching sessions were evaluated by video analysis with the Mangold INTERACT Software. The analysis shows that coach and client do not differ much from each other concerning affiliation dimensions – both show a similar kind.

There were major differences in dominance behavior. The study concludes that coaching will be particularly successful when coach and client show a similar dominance behavior. Although the client wants to be led, he is also aware of his own essential contribution in the success of the coaching. He would like to be acknowledged at “eye-level” with the coach. This contributes to the fact that the relationship is perceived by the client as being particularly constructive and successful.

Link to article in the Journal "Coaching"

Study with Mangold INTERACT: User-Related Energy Saving Potential

Authors: Dipl. Psych. Florian Klonek, Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld

Reduce Energy Demand - without extensive investments 
Large investments are not always necessary in saving energy, especially in large service companies (e.g. Hospitals and Universities). Up to 20% of the energy can be saved during daily work through energy-saving behavior as well as through technical and organizational operations. "Re-Co - Smart Energy Saving" is an EU-funded pilot project involving partners in 8 countries that examines these savings.   

The Human Factor 
The motivation of potential users in the implementation of energy saving is a key factor. One part of the Re-Co project is the development of a communication concept which involves users to work together on behavioral change measures. The goal is to create awareness of an "energy efficient" working day - through long-term changes in behavior. The desired side effect: to increase the understanding of energy saving measures and apply this knowledge to their everyday lives.   

Communication and Motivation 
Prof. Dr. Simone Kauffeld and Dipl. Psych. Florian Klonek from the Institute of Psychology at the Technical University of Braunschweig show in a recent study how users can reach goals and be motivated with energy-saving. With the help from the Mangold INTERACT Software the communication patterns between Re-Co consultants and users are presented and interpreted. Based on different scenarios, the study shows how strongly the projects depend on the micro-verbal communication level. The study also provides valuable information, such as valuable information for energy consultants and how to productively communicate with customers and users.   

Link to article "Listen and repeat - but listen carefully!"

Multiple research articles on comparative differential and personality psychology

Authors: Jana Uher

Multiple research articles on comparative differential and personality psychology. Research into primate personality and social relationships.

Link to "Primate Personality Net"

Speaking Up Is Related to Better Team Performance in Simulated Anesthesia Inductions: An Observational Study

Authors: Michaela Kolbe, Michael J. Burtscher, Johannes Wacker, Bastian Grande, Renata Nohynkova, Tanja Manser, Donat R. Spahn, Gudela Grote (2012)

Thegoal in this study was to test the relationship between speaking up—i.e., questioning, correcting, or clarifying a current procedure—and technical team performance in anesthesia. 
Hypothesis 1: team members’ higher levels of speaking up are related to higher levels of technical team performance. 
Hypothesis 2: team members will react to speaking up by either clarifying their procedure or initiating a procedural change. 
Hypothesis 3: higher levels of speaking up during an earlier phase of teamwork will be related to higher levels of speaking up during a later phase. 
This report was previously presented, in part, at the fourth International Workshop: Behavioural Science Applied to Surgery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; sixth Annual SIOP Conference, Chicago, IL; and 10th International Conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, Orlando, FL. Parts of the raw data were also used for an analysis of interactions of team mental models and monitoring behaviors.

Link to "Anesthesia & Analgesia" journal

Gaze Patterns to a Speaker's Face in Typically Developing and ASD Children

Authors: Elician Celine Wartman, Nancy Riccardi, Nancy Rader (2012)

To study attention to a speaker in typically developing (TD) children and children with autism (ASD), we tested TD children in three age groups and one group of ASD children. The younger TD children and the ASD children spent less time looking at the speaker than the older TD children. ASD children also spent less time looking at the eyes than the mouth compared to age-similar TD children. These results reveal differences between age-similar TD children and in children with ASD in selective attention to a speaker’s face. The ASD looking pattern was most like that of TD toddlers. Poster Presentation at EPA, Pittsburg, USA, 2012


Fetal Exposure to Synthetic Oxytocin and Relationship with Prefeeding (PF) Cues Within One Hour Postbirth

Authors: Aleeca Bell, Kristin Rankin, Rosemary White-Traut (2012)

We introduce a new coding schema of prefeeding (PF) cues to explore whether fetal exposure to synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) during labor is associated with the infant’s level of prefeeding organization shortly after birth.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


"Follow my lead": What follows after one child's initiative in preschooler triads in a cooperative task?

Authors: Paula Döge, Heidi Keller (2012)

Peer interactions play an important role in children‘s everyday life in institutional daycare. Sustaining social interactions requires skills as attending to the interaction partner(s), mastering turn-taking and prosocial behavior (Fabes, Martin & Hanish, 2011). If cooperation is needed to master a task, these skills become even more important.
Peer triads represent a complex setting of interactional possibilities of all three children (Ishikawa & Hay, 2006). Initiatives constitute starting points to analyze how social interaction is negotiated in a cooperative task. By suggesting how to proceed one child offers opportunities for social practices. The other children’s reactions to the initiative are indicative for the involvement and social structure.
We therefore ask:
(1) To what extent and how are initiatives responded to by the other group members?
(2) Are there differences between boy and girl groups?
(3) What behavioral interaction sequence follows each initiative?

Poster Presentation at ISSBD Biennial Meeting, Edmonton, Canada, 2012


Rationality or Resonance? Eight-month-olds Copy Outcomes Rather Than Actions

Authors: Rebecca G. Sperotto, Elma Hilbrink, Elena Sakkalou, Kate Ellis-Davies, Merideth Gattis (2012)

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Infants' Attention Patterns to People and Objects: Longitudinal Relations to Cortisol and a-Amylase

Authors: Corrine J. Zavala, Kaya de Barbaro, Andrea Chiba, Srikrishna Khandrika, Gedeon O. Deák (2012)

The current study aims to relate past animal and adult research on physiologically mediated vigilance to patters of infant attention. Infants at 6, 7 and 12 month performed a gaze- and point-cue following task in a controlled laboratory environment.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


The Context of Early Helping Behavior

Authors: Audun Dahl, Rachel K. Schuck, C. Jennifer Hung, Alison Hsieh, Joseph J. Campos (2012)

Past research tell us little about young children't experiences with helping. The current studies represent two investigations of the context of helping behavior in everyday life during the second year.

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Domain Differences in Early Prohibitive Interactions

Authors: Audun Dahl, Joseph J. Campos, Elliot Turiel (2012)

Are domain differences in social interactions present already in the beginning of the second year, after the onset of walking? Are domain differences limited to verbal justifications provided in response to transgressions, or are such differences also evident in other aspects of prohibitive interactions?

Poster Presentation at ICIS, Minneapolis, USA, 2012


Successful Potsdam early intensive home-training for parents of autistic children - Comparison of training and control waiting group

Authors: Helmut Ott, Claire Molnar, Renate Frost, Juliane Höpfner, Asimwe Paehl

Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) benefit from a behavior therapeutical early support in combination with an intensive parental home-training (20h/week for 12 month).


Verbal Interaction Sequences and Group Mood: Exploring the Role of Team Planning Communication

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Meyers, R. A., Kauffeld, S., Neininger, A., & Henschel, A. (2011)

Employing the framework of emotional contagion, this study investigated the link between group interaction sequences (specifically complaining and interest-in-change messages) and group mood. Fifty-two work group discussions from two German industrial enterprises were coded with the act4teams category system (e.g., Lehmann-Willenbrock & Kauffeld). Lag sequential analysis revealed complaining as well as interest-in-change cycles in the discussion flow. A two-dimension (arousal and pleasure) rating instrument was developed to assess group mood. Results showed that complaining cycles were linked to a passive group mood, and interest-in-change cycles were correlated with an active group mood. Neither complaining nor interest-in-change cycles were correlated with the pleasure dimension. We discuss theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of our findings as well as prospects for future research on interaction cycles and group mood.

Group mood, complaining, interest-in-change, planning communication, lag sequential analysis

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Task and Relationship Conflict at work: Development and Construct Validation of a German Version of Jehn’s Intragroup Conflict scale

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., Grohmann, A., & Kauffeld, S. (2011)

The distinction between task and relationship conflict is well established. Based on Jehn’s (1995) intragroup conflict scale, we developed an economic six-item questionnaire for assessing relationship and task conflict in work groups. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on data from a convenience sample (N = 247), and confirmed the original two-factor solution. The stability of the obtained two-factor solution was supported by confirmatory factor analysis in a longitudinal design with a second sample (N = 431) from the industrial sector. In line with previous research, the two types of conflict were intercorrelated. Moreover, the two subscales showed differential longitudinal effects on team outcomes. Task conflict was beneficial for performance in nonroutine tasks (but not in routine tasks). Relationship conflict had a negative impact on team viability and coworker trust. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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Micro-analysis of infant looking in a naturalistic social setting: Insights from biologically based models of attention

Authors: de Barbaro, K., Chiba, A., Deak, G.O. (2011)

A current theory of attention posits that several micro-indices of attentional vigilance are dependent on activation of the locus coeruleus, a brainstem nucleus that regulates cortical norepinephrine activity (Aston-Jones et al., 1999). This theory may account for many findings in the infant literature, while highlighting important new areas for research and theory on infant attention. We examined the visual behaviors of n = 16 infants (6–7 months) while they attended to multiple spatially distributed
targets in a naturalistic environment. We coded four measures of attentional vigilance, adapted from studies of norepinergic modulation of animal attention: rate of fixations, duration of fixations, latency to reorientation, and target ‘hits’. These measures showed a high degree of coherence in individual infants, in parallel with findings from animal studies. Results also suggest that less vigilant infants showed greater habituation to the trial structure and more attentiveness to less salient stimuli during periods of high attentional competition. This pattern of results is predicted by the Aston-Jones model of attention, but could not be explained by the standard information processing model.


Looking Away from the Speaker's Mouth: A Developmental Shift from Infancy to Preschool

Authors: Nancy Rader, Patricial Zukow-Goldring, Elizabeth Stuprich, Michelle Rhoades (2011)

Our research examined where infants and children focus their attention when viewing a speaker. We hypothesized that infants would spend more time looking at the speaker’s mouth than the eyes, while preschool children would spend more time looking at the speaker’s eyes than the mouth. Using eye tracking technology, we measured gaze duration to the eyes and mouth of the speaker. The results supported our hypothesis.

Poster Presentation at SRCD, Montreal, Canada, 2011


The Stability of Infant Preferences for Socially Based Attention: Observational, Experimental and Longitudinal Analysis

Authors: Kate Ellis-Davies, Elena Sakkalou, Nia Fowler, Elma Hilbrink, Merideth Gattis (2011)

The current study aims to explre the stability of social preferences across time and context using mother-infant interactions, experimental tasks and parental reports.
39 mothers were recruited during the last trimester of pregnancy for the First Steps Longitudinal Study. All participants were singletons and born at term.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Children's coping strategies and stress regulation during the transition from home to child care

Authors: Tina Eckstein, Lieselotte Ahnert, Gregor Kappler (2011)

For some years, students of behavioral development have acknowledged early childhood as a period during which the main coping strategies in life develop in order to regulate negative emotions. Whilst experimental research in laboratories shows whether and how, young children cope with evoked frustrations or irritations, much less is known about how children deal with significant situations that occur naturally in their daily lives. The present study therefore aims to investigate how children cope when they are taken into child care, wondering whether specific behavioral patterns could be identified that aid children in their struggle to cope with the new environment and how these coping strategies influence the physiological stress regulation as reflected in diurnal cortisol patterns.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Assessing Joint Engagement in Toddlers: Observations and Ratings Compared

Authors: Roger Bakeman, Lauren B. Adamson, P. Brooke Nelson, Nevena Dimitrova (2011)

Systematic Observation Takes Time:
Observation of children's social behavior - asking trained and reliable observers to assign behavioral codes to event or time intervals - is a common measurement strategy among behavioral scientists.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011


Educational moments in the early parent-child-dialog - Early Childhood Educational-research on the basis of INTERACT analysis

Authors: Ursula Horsch (2011)

Our goal is to conduct comparative educational-research with children with and without disabilities. The research projects Babywatching – infant research (1999-2003), dialogical development in infants (Horsch et al. 2004-2008) as well as the research project early childhood Bildung in hearing impaired children that began in 2008 (Horsch et al. 2008-2011) pursue the questions of early childhood education for the first time within a framework of extensive international studies. They study the connection between the development of relationship and dialog within early parent-child-interactions and the therein possible early educational processes in the age range of zero to two years. We have used the listening age as a basis for children with hearing loss. Therefore the age limit is elevated by up to two years (Horsch, Scheele, Roth, Schulze, Fürst 2009).


Learning from mother's face

Authors: Margarete I. Bolten, Silvia Schneider (2011)

An experimental examination of the transgenerational transmission of anxiety.


The Downside of Communication: Complaining Circles in Group Discussions

Authors: Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., & Kauffeld, S. (2010)

In book S. Schuman (Ed.), The handbook for working with difficult groups: How they are difficult, why they are difficult, what you can do (pp. 33-54).
San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

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Relations between Early Regulatory Disorders and Maternal Play Strategies

Authors: Helene Gudi (2010)

Self-regulation, a complex construct, has been defined as the infants' growing capacities to calm on their own, tolerate frustrations, adapt to transitions, initate and cease activities according to situational demands, modulate their state of arousal, and regulate their emotions and behaviors.


An Augmented Toy and Social Interaction in Children with Autism

Authors: Steve Hinske, William Farr and Nicola Yuill (2010)

An Augmented Knights Castle (AKC) play set was adapted so that children with autism can configure programmable elements. This is compared with a non-configurable AKC and when the AKC set is switched-off. When the system is configurable, and when it is switched on, less solitary play and more cooperative play occur. Digital toys, and their configurability are key factors in design for children with autism allowing greater individual control and more socially oriented behaviour. We suggest that tangibles provide a safety net for encouraging social interaction as they allow for a broad range of interaction styles.


Sympathy Through Affective Perspective Taking and Its Relation to Prosocial Behavior in Toddlers

Authors: Amrisha Vaish, Malinda Carpenter, Michael Tomasello (2009)

In most research on the early ontogeny of sympathy, young children are presented with an overtly distressed person and their responses are observed. In the current study, the authors asked whether young children could also sympathize with a person to whom something negative had happened but who was expressing no emotion at all. They showed 18- and 25-month-olds an adult either harming another adult by destroying or taking away her possessions (harm condition) or else doing something similar that did not harm her (neutral condition). The “victim” expressed no emotions in either condition. Nevertheless, in the harm as compared with the neutral condition, children showed more concern and subsequent prosocial behavior toward the victim. Moreover, children’s concerned looks during the harmful event were positively correlated with their subsequent prosocial behavior. Very young children can sympathize with a victim even in the absence of overt emotional signals, possibly by some form of affective perspective taking.

Link to Publication at APA - American Psychological Association

A micro-analytic evaluation of parents watching a nondiagnostic ultrasound-based video of their fetus at mid-gestation

Authors: Stadlmayr W., Boukydis C., Bichsel S. (2009)

How pregnant women in difficult psycho-social circumstances experience foetal ultra-sound exams has been used for counselling1. Few studies have addressed the parental interaction, i.e. the couples’ behaviour while watching their fetus during US examinations.


A Study on Designer’s Mental Process of Information Categorization in the Early Stages of Design

Authors: Jieun Kim, Carole Bouchard, Jean-Francois Omhover, Ameziane Aoussat, Laurence Moscardini, Aline Chevalier, Charles Tijus, Francois Buron (2009)

Paper at ISADR (International Association of Societies of Design Research) 2009, Seoul, Korea
This research explores how designers mentally categorize design information during early sketching in the early stages of design. With the purpose of identifying various types of mental information and related cognitive operations, the empirical study has been conducted with 8 experienced product designers through the concurrent verbalization. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the results is also presented.


Dialogue and Education in the Preverbal Period - A Study on the Situation of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants in the Early Educational Process

Authors: Ursula Horsch (2008)

From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their child. They introduce as well other people as the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogical way. Proceeding hand in hand they pass on basic dialogical competences. The research project Dialogic Development of Infants (Horsch et al. 2004 – 2007) addresses the broad dialogic development of parents and infants within the first 18 months of life. Our objective is to describe these preverbal dialogs.

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Partners in Dialogue - A Single Case Study Referring to the Development of Spoken and Sign Language of a Child with CHARGE Syndrome

Authors: Ursula Horsch, Andrea Scheele (2008)

The increasing possibilities of medical care effects rare syndromes as reasons for severe disabilities. One of these rare syndromes is CHARGE Syndrome with aprevalence of 1:12 000. In Germany there is no research referring this syndrome.In the following, selected results of a twelve months long single casestudy referring dialogical development between a father and his 2.5 years old son with CHARGE Syndrome are presented. The focus is especially on the development of spoken and sign language within the dialogue between the two partners.

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Do as I do: 7-month-old infants selectively reproduce others' goal

Authors: J. Kiley Hamlin, Elizabeth V. Hallinan, Amanda L. Woodward (2008)

In this study, they tested whether 7-month-old infants would selectively imitate the goal-relevant aspects of an observed action. Infants saw an experimenter perform an action on one of two small toys and then were given the opportunity to act on the toys. Infants viewed actions that were either goal-directed or goal-ambiguous, and that represented either completed or uncompleted goals. Infants reproduced the goal of the experimenter only in those cases where the action was goal-directed, in both the complete and incomplete goal conditions. These results provide the first evidence that infants as young as 7 months of age selectively imitate actions based on their goal-directedness, and that they are able to analyze the goals of even uncompleted actions. Even during the first year of life, infants' sensitivity to goal-directed action is expressed not only in their responses in visual habituation procedures, but also in their overt actions.


Dialogic Development of Infants Turns as basic patterns of the dialogue in the parent-infant-dyad

Authors: Research Project Horsch et al. (2007)

Abstract: From the very first day of life parents are in close contact with their child and introduce both - other people and the world to their newborn in a mutually dialogic way.


Maternal bond and mother-child interaction in severe postpartum psychiatric disorders: Is there a link?

Authors: P. Trautmann-Villalba, Ch. Hornstein, E. Hohm, E. Rave, S. Wortmann-Fleischer, M. Schwarz (2006)

Mothers in the puerperium are vulnerable to a wide spectrum of postpartum psychiatric disorders. One of the central psychological processes of the puerperium is the development of an emotional relationship with the baby. The bond on the infant as well as the interaction with the baby are two aspects of the mother-infant relationship that can be disturbed by mothers with postpartum psychiatric disorders.


Father-infant interaction patterns as precursors of children's later externalizing behavior problems

Authors: P. Trautmann-Villalba, M. Gschwendt, M. H. Schmidt, M. Laucht (2006)

This study examined the extend to which fathers' and infants' interaction behavior were related to children's externalizing behavior problems at age 8 and 11 years.


Short Communication - Adult gaze influences infant attention and object processing: implications for cognitive neuroscience

Authors:  Vincent M. Reid, Tricia Striano (2005)

Infants follow others’ gaze toward external objects from early in ontogeny, but whether they use others’ gaze in processing information about objects remains unknown. In Experiment 1, 4-month-old infants viewed a video presentation of an adult gazing toward one of two objects. When presented with the same objects alone a second time, infants looked reliably less at the object to which the adult had directly gazed (cued object). This suggests that the uncued object was perceived as more novel than the object previously cued by the adult’s gaze. In Experiment 2, adult gaze was not directed towards any object. In this control experiment, infants looked at both objects equally in the test phase. These findings show that adult eye gaze biases infant visual attention and information processing. Implications of the paradigm for cognitive neuroscience are presented and the results are discussed in terms of neural structures and change over ontogeny.

Link to Publication at Infancy Research Website

Unwilling Versus Unable - Infants’ Understanding of Intentional Action

Authors: Tanya Behne, Malinda Carpenter, Josep Call and Michael Tomasello (2005)

Infants experienced a female adult handing them toys. Sometimes, however, the transaction failed, either because the adult was in various ways unwilling to give the toy (e.g., she teased the child with it or played with it herself) or else because she was unable to give it (e.g., she accidentally dropped it). Infants at 9, 12, and 18 months of age reacted with more impatience (e.g., reaching, looking away) when the adult was unwilling to give them the toy than when she was simply unable to give it. Six-month-olds, in contrast, showed no evidence of this differentiation. Because infants’ behavioral responses were appropriately adapted to different kinds of intentional actions, and because the adult’s actions sometimes produced results that did not match her goal (when having accidents or failed attempts), these findings provide especially rich evidence that infants first begin to understand goal-directed action at around 9 months of age.


Context dependent gender role self-concept activation

Authors: Ursula Athenstaedt (2004)

Abstract: The research investigated changes of gender role self-concept (GRS) in dependence of situational aspects and, additionally, its relevance for communication behavior. GRS is defined as the amount of self-ascribed attributes and behaviors that are assumed to be more typical for men or women...


ADHD Symptoms, Inhibitory Control and Parenting among Mothers of Children with and without ADHD 

Authors: Iris Shilo and Anat Zaidman-Zait

Parenting is one of the complex tasks of adulthood which requires cognitive, emotional, and behavioral endeavor. Belsky’s process model identifies three domains of determinants of parental functioning: parents’ personal psychological resources, contextual sources of stress and support, and child’s characteristics.

Recently there has been an increased research on parental cognitive and affective functioning as determinants of parenting behaviors. Parental ADHD symptoms are related to a broad range of parenting difficulties. In the context of high hereditary of ADHD, it is probable that among parents with elevated symptoms of ADHD, parenting challenges stem from the presence of ADHD symptoms in their children.

Inhibitory control is critical to parents’ controlled response to their child’s misbehaviors, to hold back from intervening or hovering, and suppress interference in order to maintain child focus. Inhibitory control is one of the ADHD-related core deficits. Hence, it might be an important capacity in linking parental ADHD and parenting impairments.

In addition, the difficulties in inhibitory control that might make it difficult for parents to remain calm and consistent in their approaches to child behavior, would be even more pronounce in the context of parenting a child with ADHD.


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