"Toddler Negative Affect Regulation: Understanding the Role of Caregiver, Child, and Relationship Factors Across High, Moderate, and Low Distress Contexts"
Child and adult mental health challenges are believed to develop in part when individuals don't acquire the abilities to adequately cope with emotional, stressful or painful experiences in the first years of life. Young children primarily learn these abilities through repeated, high-quality interactions with caregivers. To best understand how young children learn to cope with distress and ultimately avoid mental health challenges, it is important to study the relative influences of caregiver, child and caregiver-child (dyadic) dynamics. While key child and dyadic relationship variables will be integrated in this research, the main focus will be to examine which caregiver characteristics result in the largest deficits in children’s emotional coping by studying dyads across high, moderate and low distress contexts. Pushing the boundaries of this innovative approach even further, emotional coping will be considered from behavioural and biological (heart rate changes) perspectives.