Dissertation > Philosophy, religion > Psychology > Developmental psychology ( human psychology ) > Child Psychology

The relationship between 4-6 years old children's cardiac vagal tone and emotional reactivity and emotion regulation ability

Author QinRongCai
Tutor WangZhenHong
School Shaanxi Normal University
Course Developmental and Educational Psychology
Keywords cardiac vagal tone emotion reactivity emotion regulation problematic behaviors
CLC B844.1
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Children’s competence of emotion regulation is a critical ability related to many aspects of social functions. Emotion regulation is also an important and challenging subject. In the field of neural component of emotion regulation, more and more investigators attached importance to antonomic nervous system (ANS). Neural components of emotion regulation, including ANS, compose of the basis of the production and regulation of emotion, and they interact with other neural circuts. Polyvagal Theory proposed by Porges emphasizes that the vagus nerve of ANS plays an important role in emotion and social behaviors. And many studies have found that cardiac vagal tone is related to children’s emotions and behaviors.Preschoolers’social competence is challenged and gets developed in this term. In order to investigate the feagure of cadiac vagal tone and its development in preschool time, by neurophysiological measurement and method of parent reporting, this study investigated the baseline cardiac vagal tone (indexed by baseline RSA) and vagal suppression during stress task (indexed by△RSA, or the decrease in RSA from basal to task) in relation to parent reported emotion reactivity, emotion regulation and problematic behaviors in126children of4,5, and6years old.The results indicated that baseline vagal tone was negatively related to emotion reactivity, positively related to emotion regulation; Vagal suppression was negatively related to impulsiveness-hyperactivity. Regressive analysis showed that baseline vagal tone was associated with emotion reactivity and emotion regulation respectively as well as vagal suppression with impulsiveness-hyperactivity. Although this study didn’t evidence the effect of age on baseline vagal tone or the hypothetical relationship between vagal suppression and emotion regulation, they were consistent with hypothesis proposed by polyvagal theory that both cardiac vagal tone and its regulation are physiological basis of emotion and behavior.

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