Yo Jackson, associate director of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and professor of psychology at Penn State, recently provided testimony on strengthening prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect to the U.S. House on Civil Rights and Human Services.
Early intervention and prevention efforts can decrease many of the long-term consequences of sexual abuse.
The Penn State Child Maltreatment Solutions Network is seeking proposals for presentations at its 2019 conference, which will be held Sept 23-24 at the Nittany Lion Inn at University Park. The title of this year’s conference is “The Future of Foster Care: New Science on Old Problems.”
In families where child maltreatment is present, biological responses to conflict may be altered in both parents and children.
How adversity early in life can lead to susceptibility to disease will be studied through a project initially funded through Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s "Bridges to Translation" pilot grant program.
The transition to kindergarten can be a challenge for children who have trouble paying attention, and can result in behavioral problems and poor academic achievement. A team led by researchers at Penn State is analyzing task persistence and how parents can influence it in early childhood.
The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Child Maltreatment: Parasympathetic Substrates of Interactive Repair in Maltreating and Nonmaltreating Mother–Child Dyads Abstract Children’s repair of conflict with parents may be particularly challenging in maltreating families, and early, stressful parent–child interactions may contribute to children’s altered neurobiological regulatory systems. To explore neurobiological signatures of repair processes, we examined whether mother and child individual and dyadic respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) covaried with interactive repair differently in maltreating versus nonmaltreating mother–preschooler dyads (N = 101), accounting for whether repair was mother or child initiated. Mother-initiated repair was equally frequent and protective across groups, associated with no change in mother or child RSA at higher levels of repair. But lower levels of mother repair were associated with child RSA withdrawal in nonmaltreating dyads versus child RSA augmentation in maltreating dyads. In maltreating dyads only, higher child-initiated repair was associated with higher mean mother RSA, whereas lower child repair was associated with mother RSA withdrawal. Findings suggest that interactive repair may have a buffering effect on neurobiological regulation but also that maltreating mothers and children show atypical neurobiological response to interpersonal challenges including differences related to children conducting the work of interactive repair that maltreating parents are less able to provide. We conclude by considering the role of maladaptive parent–child relationship processes in the biological embedding of early adversity. To read the full paper, go to the Sage Journals website.
Christine Heim, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network co-funded faculty member and professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State, was one of the authors of a paper listed among the 10 Most Highly Cited Papers Published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, according to Scopus(as of August 6, 2018).