The effect of a maternal history of childhood abuse on adrenocortical attunement in mothers and their toddlers

Fuchs, Anna; Moehler, Eva; Resch, Franz; Kaess, Michael (2017). The effect of a maternal history of childhood abuse on adrenocortical attunement in mothers and their toddlers. Developmental psychobiology, 59(5), pp. 639-652. Wiley 10.1002/dev.21531

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We investigated circadian mother-child adrenocortical attunement in the context of a maternal history of childhood abuse (HoA). Mothers were screened after birth using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Women reporting moderate or severe abuse formed the HoA group (n = 37; HoAG) and were compared with a non-maltreated comparison group (n = 45; CG). Three years later, cortisol awakening response (CAR) and diurnal slope (DSL) were assessed. Mother-child interaction was coded using the Emotional Availability Scales at 12 months of age. For the CAR, we found adrenocortical attunement only in the HoAG (2-way interaction: p = .004), particularly if mothers scored low on structuring (3-way interaction: p = .042) and children scored low on responsiveness (3-way interaction: p = .044). DSL-attunement was dependent on maternal sensitivity (3-way interaction: p = .012) and child involvement (3-way interaction: p = .012). In the context of a maternal HoA, it seems possible for mother-child-dyads to show less optimal interactional quality but be stronger attuned to each other biologically.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Research Division

UniBE Contributor:

Kaess, Michael

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1098-2302

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Livia Hug

Date Deposited:

14 Mar 2018 16:15

Last Modified:

24 Oct 2019 14:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/dev.21531

PubMed ID:

28574579

Uncontrolled Keywords:

HPA-axis, adrenocortical attunement, child maltreatment, history of abuse, mother-child interaction

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.109686

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/109686

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