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Comfort provided by parents versus strangers after eliciting stress in children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities: does it make a difference?

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

The relationships between children with severe or profound intellectual disabilities (ID) and their parents may fulfil attachment functions, such as regulating emotional responses to stress. This study examined the extent to which children with severe or profound ID differentiate between their parents and a stranger as a resource for stress-regulation. A home-based experimental paradigm was conducted and video-recorded in 38 families. Children (1–8 years) were exposed to four naturalistic stressors followed by comfort, randomly provided by the parents or the stranger. Emotional behaviour (arousal and valence) and the skin conductance level were simultaneously recorded. With regard to both emotional behaviour and skin conductance, children significantly differentiated between their parents as attachment figures and the stranger during stress and comfort, despite their impairments on various developmental domains. Behavioural observation and physiology show complementary manifestations of parent-child attachment in this population.
Tijdschrift: Attachment and Human Development
ISSN: 1461-6734
Issue: 4
Volume: 22
Pagina's: 425 - 447
Jaar van publicatie:2020