View Full Version : The role of the mom/dad/caregiver in emotional regulation developing in the infant


icarusinflames
08-11-15, 06:25 PM
I'm just amazed at this information I keep finding about how the parent or other caregiver who is consistently around at the first year or 2 of a child's life will either help or hinder the child from developing the ability to regulate their own moods! It is how you punish the child, and whether you console afterwards. And also, if you soothe the child when they are upset in general. I believe.

I know that one thing I was painfully aware of was that I could not go to my mom for comfort. She just did not provide that, and so I would just go alone and space out in the house somewhere, or in the garage, when I was the most threatened and scared when I was a kid.

Summary
A baby is dependent on its primary caregiver (hereafter referred to as ‘mother’) for its emotional regulation. The development of emotional self-regulation is dependent on the growth and myelinisation of connections between cortical (control) and limbic (emotion) structures in the infant brain. The subcortical sympathetic limbic system is dominant from birth, and it is only at 14–18 months of age that the parasympathetic cortical inhibitory part develops. The maturation of specifically the right orbitofrontal cortex, which dominates both the sympathetic and parasympathetic limbic systems, is essential for the regulation of emotion for the rest of an individual’s life. Behavioral hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention are considered normal for children in the early practising phase (10–14 months). This stage is characterised by sympathetic dominance stimulated by the ventral tegmental limbic circuit. We hypothesise that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder remain stuck in this phase, and accordingly do not enter the next stage of emotional development, i.e., the late practising period, in which the lateral tegmental limbic circuit, which stimulates the parasympathetic system develops. Parental reactions, which may contribute to this block in emotional development, include: largely ignoring their child, until the child does something the parent disapproves of, then scolding the child, without consoling the child again afterwards. This leads susceptible children to develop defensive hyperactivity and inattention in order to avoid a shame state they are unable to cope with. Implications for therapy are that caregivers should be taught firstly to give lots of positive attention to their child, and if necessary to scold, to console the child immediately afterwards. If this can be achieved consistently, the child will have the chance to develop their parasympathetic lateral limbic circuit, and eventually right orbitofrontal dominance over both limbic circuits, which translates into the ability to self-regulate their emotional states.

This article is calling ADHD a possible developmental disorder because the infant gets stuck in the "early practising stage", which is interesting. I do believe I can see myself in there, avoiding the shame by isolating myself. How odd that a child who learns this will continue it into adulthood. I isolate to avoid the shame of facing people who are uncertain of providing a positive or negative response both in me and also, what I observe them doing towards me. IT sounds familiar.

I'm not acting out. I'm spacing out! lol

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770400564X

Lunacie
08-12-15, 07:24 PM
My childhood wasn't perfect, my parents weren't perfect. Too bad they weren't
more helpful in showing me how to handle my "personality traits", ADHD wasn't
really known in the 50's or 60's.

There were quite a few things I chose to do differently with my own child, and
yet I know I made a lot of mistakes as well.

sarahsweets
08-13-15, 03:24 AM
I've always believed that environment plays a huge role in mental illness and adhd. I believe a lot of genetics play into it but environment and our family's dynamics really shape us. I loved my mom and dad but my dad was too busy getting drunk and high to stop abusing me and my mother had to scrape herself off the pavement and work to save us that she was at times emotionally unavailable. As I referenced before, peripheral loves this subject and is quite knowledgeable about it. He talks a lot about attachment and attunement when it comes to young kids. Hopefully he can weigh in.

Pilgrim
08-13-15, 04:30 AM
I'd like to agree but I think it's largely genetic, but I'm open to suggestions

daveddd
08-13-15, 05:56 AM
I'd like to agree but I think it's largely genetic, but I'm open to suggestions

i think the general consensus is its generally both

the common term is diathesis stress

some think if the genetic predisposition is stronger , the environmental impact would need to be less, and vice versa

the thing is nothing for either has been proven

no one gene has shown to cause any mental illness (although some have very large cases of it) and no one environmental factor has been found to be a singular cause (although abuse is a common theme)

Gene x environment interactions for ADHD: synergistic effect of 5HTTLPR genotype and youth appraisals of inter-parental conflict.
Nikolas M1, Friderici K, Waldman I, Jernigan K, Nigg JT.
Author information
Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Serotonin genes have been hypothesized to play a role in the etiology of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); prior work suggests that serotonin may interact with psychosocial stressors in ADHD, perhaps via mechanisms involved in emotional dysregulation. Because the development of behavioral and emotional regulation depends heavily both on the child's experience within the family context and the child's construals of that experience, children's appraisals of inter-parental conflict are a compelling candidate potentiator of the effects of variation within the serotonin transporter gene promoter polymorphism (5HTTLPR) on liability for ADHD.
METHOD:
304 youth from the local community underwent a multi-informant diagnostic assessment procedure to identify ADHD cases and non-ADHD controls. Youth also completed the Children's Perception of Inter-Parental Conflict (CPIC) scale to assess appraisals of self-blame in relation to their parents' marital disputes. The trialleic configuration of 5HTTLPR (long/short polymorphism with A> G substitution) was genotyped and participants were assigned as having high (La/La N = 78), intermediate (La/Lg, La/short, N = 137), or low (Lg/Lg, Lg/short, short/short, N = 89) serotonin transporter activity genotypes. Teacher reported behavior problems were examined as the target outcome to avoid informant overlap for moderator and outcome measures.
RESULTS:
Hierarchical linear regression analyses indicated significant 5HTTLPR x self-blame interactions for ADHD symptoms. Examination of the interactions indicated positive relations between reports of self-blame and ADHD symptoms for those with the high and low serotonin activity genotypes. There was no relation between self-blame and ADHD for those with intermediate activity 5HTTLPR genotypes.
CONCLUSION:
Both high and low serotonergic activity may exert risk for ADHD when coupled with psychosocial distress such as children's self-blame in relation to inter-parental conflict. Results are discussed in relation to the role of serotonin in the etiology of the ADHD and related externalizing behaviors.
PMID: 20398347 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC2865439 Free PMC Article
J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2011 Jan;39(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s10802-010-9439-5.


full study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20398347

The dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4) moderates family environmental effects on ADHD.
Martel MM1, Nikolas M, Jernigan K, Friderici K, Waldman I, Nigg JT.
Author information
Abstract
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a prime candidate for exploration of gene-by-environment interaction (i.e., G x E), particularly in relation to dopamine system genes, due to strong evidence that dopamine systems are dysregulated in the disorder. Using a G x E design, we examined whether the DRD4 promoter 120-bp tandem repeat polymorphism, previously associated with ADHD, moderated the effects of inconsistent parenting and marital conflict on ADHD or Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (ODD). Participants were 548 children with ADHD and non-ADHD comparison children and their parents. Homozygosity for the DRD4 promoter 120-bp tandem repeat insertion allele increased vulnerability for ADHD and ODD only in the presence of inconsistent parenting and appeared to increase susceptibility to the influence of increased child self-blame for marital conflict on ADHD inattention. DRD4 genotypes may interact with these proximal family environmental risk factors by increasing the individual's responsivity to environmental contingencies.
PMID: 20644990 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID: PMC4306231 Free PMC Article




full study available http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20644990

daveddd
08-13-15, 06:06 AM
I'm just amazed at this information I keep finding about how the parent or other caregiver who is consistently around at the first year or 2 of a child's life will either help or hinder the child from developing the ability to regulate their own moods! It is how you punish the child, and whether you console afterwards. And also, if you soothe the child when they are upset in general. I believe.

I know that one thing I was painfully aware of was that I could not go to my mom for comfort. She just did not provide that, and so I would just go alone and space out in the house somewhere, or in the garage, when I was the most threatened and scared when I was a kid.



This article is calling ADHD a possible developmental disorder because the infant gets stuck in the "early practising stage", which is interesting. I do believe I can see myself in there, avoiding the shame by isolating myself. How odd that a child who learns this will continue it into adulthood. I isolate to avoid the shame of facing people who are uncertain of providing a positive or negative response both in me and also, what I observe them doing towards me. IT sounds familiar.

I'm not acting out. I'm spacing out! lol

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030698770400564X

if you like this stuff, allan schore is considered tops in the field


here he talks about early and late practicing stages and being stuck in shame

though he considers early practicing borderline PD and late narcissism, cluster B PDs are very similar to what now is recognized as adult ADHD


https://books.google.com/books?id=aYPuduCyw48C&pg=PA17&dq=allan+schore+early+practicing+stage&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAGoVChMI17Df1OalxwIVhM-ACh0fIwVU#v=onepage&q=allan%20schore%20early%20practicing%20stage&f=false

Lunacie
08-13-15, 10:58 AM
I don't think there is any general concensus.

In my opinion, and that of many researchers, genetics determines who has
ADHD and who doesn't.

Parents can teach the child to cope better or make matters harder to deal with.

Because it's genetic, often at least one of the parents will also have ADHD and
may never have learned coping skills themselves so cannot pass them along
to their child.

daveddd
08-13-15, 12:30 PM
I don't think there is any general concensus.

In my opinion, and that of many researchers, genetics determines who has
ADHD and who doesn't.

Parents can teach the child to cope better or make matters harder to deal with.

Because it's genetic, often at least one of the parents will also have ADHD and
may never have learned coping skills themselves so cannot pass them along
to their child.

Nothing is proven

So i have to go with nigg. He is a highly redpected and cited adhd researcher

Pilgrim
08-13-15, 02:36 PM
I can only from experience, I use to blame my mother for everything because of her behaviour. And I was definitely 'stuck'.
There was a few unhappy memories from when she lost it. So we would avoid her as much as we could.

A friends mother who was just a master with young people guided, supported and nurtured me from about 16, cause my mother was just crazy and violent. She regrets it now but sometimes I look at her and see how hard it is for her mentally.
The things you lose when growing up in this situation are the good happy things,
Your genetic imprint is always the same.
I can see largely where my ADD starts and ends, I guess if I had more happy fuzzy memories it would be easier, at least I got the chance of a good life.

Lunacie
08-14-15, 04:41 PM
I'm just starting to read "The Reason I Jump" written by a kid in Japan who has
Autism. Many years ago, mothers were blamed for poor parenting skills being
the cause of autism. That reminded me of this thread.

The idea that mothers who don't connect emotionally with their kids has been
disproved to cause Autism. It's a neurological issue, not an emotional one.

Although recent studies have indicated that maternal warmth, praise, and quality of relationship are associated with reductions of behavior problems in autistic adolescents and adults, and that maternal criticisms are associated with maladaptive behaviors and symptoms, these ideas are distinct from the refrigerator mother hypothesis.
from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_mother_theory

In summary, bad parent/child relationships can exacerbate behaviorial
problems and inappropriate reactions ... but ... parents are not responsible
for making their children autistic ... or adhd.

daveddd
08-14-15, 06:20 PM
I'm just starting to read "The Reason I Jump" written by a kid in Japan who has
Autism. Many years ago, mothers were blamed for poor parenting skills being
the cause of autism. That reminded me of this thread.

The idea that mothers who don't connect emotionally with their kids has been
disproved to cause Autism. It's a neurological issue, not an emotional one.


from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigerator_mother_theory

In summary, bad parent/child relationships can exacerbate behaviorial
problems and inappropriate reactions ... but ... parents are not responsible
for making their children autistic ... or adhd.

the problem is there is evidence that certain factors can be protective of the competent of ADHD

it also has not been proven and is usually proven not to be strictly genetic

it is misunderstood what genetic means, smoking can activate genetic lung cancer, that doesn't mean you were born with incurable lung cancer

this isn't really important though , because any well thought out researched information on why an ADHD may be a genetic predisposition activated by external stressors is always met with the argument "bad parenting doesn't cause ADHD" even though that was never stated

its an emotional argument to placate personal validation, and a very understandable one, but one that just isn't rational

not according to research

Lunacie
08-14-15, 06:32 PM
the problem is there is evidence that certain factors can be protective of the competent of ADHD

it also has not been proven and is usually proven not to be strictly genetic

it is misunderstood what genetic means, smoking can activate genetic lung cancer, that doesn't mean you were born with incurable lung cancer

this isn't really important though , because any well thought out researched information on why an ADHD may be a genetic predisposition activated by external stressors is always met with the argument "bad parenting doesn't cause ADHD" even though that was never stated

its an emotional argument to placate personal validation, and a very understandable one, but one that just isn't rational

not according to research

The research summary in the OP's link does state that bad parenting causes adhd.

Perhaps you mean that the research in that link isn't well-thought out, as you
put it?

Pilgrim
08-14-15, 06:36 PM
ADHD is a complex neurological disorder. You can't just blame poor parenting for its onset.
What about all your other experiences; because this is where it begins in perception.

daveddd
08-14-15, 06:49 PM
The research summary in the OP's link does state that bad parenting causes adhd.

Perhaps you mean that the research in that link isn't well-thought out, as you
put it?

it states susceptible children , and this is one reason not a cause

i listed another, there are others, most are considered to involve a dyadic relationship, nobodies fault, or anxious , depressed or ADHD parents with poor emotional regulation skills themselves (nobodies fault)

or hypersensitivity getting to the child in other ways

the mother simply not understanding the extreme emotional state of the child

i surprised with so many with ADHD who have been abused, that part would be out of the realm of possibility

i don't really know of all the exact causes that could lead to this group of symptoms

i do know ADHD is not a singular disease, so stating any specific cause is a subjective opinion

i know gene studies have pretty much ruled out ADHD being a monogenic syndrome

barkley states irritable temperament seems to be a predisposition to ADHD, but only 50 % of children with it develop ADHD, "something happens" is all he says

thats barkley, so who's theory states that ADHD is something that is out of control after your born and predetermined


i think if a treatment can possibly arise from this type of research, ruling it out without any evidence because of personal beliefs is unfair

daveddd
08-14-15, 06:52 PM
ADHD is a complex neurological disorder. You can't just blame poor parenting for its onset.
What about all your other experiences; because this is where it begins in perception.

great point

keeping in mind adult ADHD wasn't recognized until recently , i have to sometimes refer to other disorders of emotional regulation in the past to maybe get some clues

millůn has biological plus social models that lead through being a teenager , i don't think emotional regulation stops developing so young

aeon
08-14-15, 11:03 PM
My sense is that genetics, environment, early relationships and trauma, epigenetics, and so on, all have potentials to result with what is now diagnosed and called ADHD.

Of course, all of that exists in the context of cultural expectations and social dynamics too.

That said, as it concerns the initial post, Iíll offer this: I have the trauma history and Iíve read Allan Schore, and as I consider my life narrative, it becomes very interesting (to me). :eyebrow:


cheers,
Ian

Lunacie
08-15-15, 12:37 PM
My daughter and I both have family members and in-laws who tell us that
bad parenting causes adhd and autism ... which my grandkids have. So yeah,
I'm a little defensive about this issue.

To them it's just bad parenting. No genetics, no environmental hazards.
Nothing but bad parenting. Gah. And there are a lot of people who think
like they do.

willow129
08-15-15, 03:22 PM
**hugs Lunacie** I would feel sensitive about this subject in your shoes too. If it helps at all, I do find you to be a user with excellent advice about family/child dynamics in relation to ADHD and autism.

I do believe there is a significant genetic role in the development of ADHD, but everything can be made worse by not ideal emotional circumstances as a child, right? I find it really hard to sift through the techno-babble in the quotes from these studies, though I wish I could understand it better, but could it be boiled down to: a genetic predisposition is definitely going to be made worse by a difficult childhood?

I also have a couple of friends with parents who were loving, doing their best from what I see, and my friends quite thoroughly still have ADHD.

But it's a spectrum, right? So maybe bad parenting can make it worse. It can decrease your emotional and intelligent ability to deal with ADHD issues, when you are under stress as a child. Stress at home decreases children's ability to learn PERIOD, I have seen this first hand. They don't have the mental capacity left to take in new information.

ADHD and the correlation with bad parenting: I believe the bad parenting I experienced was actually due to the ADHD in my mom. Hm. Bad parenting causing my ADHD, or genetics because my mom has it too? Again, I think both.

Also, yes, a lot of people regularly on here have histories of abuse, or at the very least emotional stress, as a child, but my IRL friends with ADHD with seemingly (to me) loving, fairly functioning families, are not seeking regular internet support for their problems. Maybe they can get support from their loved ones, so maybe this place isn't a great sample?

I do think I experienced psychosocial stress as a child.

I do not think I ever blamed myself for my parents poor relationship, however. So I do not relate with that study.

But my problems regulating emotions are starting to dawn on me this past year or so.
"Parental reactions, which may contribute to this block in emotional development, include: largely ignoring their child, until the child does something the parent disapproves of, then scolding the child, without consoling the child again afterwards." This I relate strongly to, and have recently started to think some of my emotional disregulation boils down to the way I learned to get things as a child. I realized this because I teach and see it in my kids. The children who are well cared for do not break down so easily when they don't get something they desire. Children who regularly don't get what they need, really don't know how to deal with not getting a turn to be "it" in a game. I realized I could relate, in a subtle way, with their going into what I think of as "crisis mode". Pouting, shouting, extreme reactions that have gotten them what they wanted or even NEEDED in the past. The scary part is the "NEEDED". That some kids don't get what is actually truly necessary for them, until they threw a fit. So, they never learn to distinguish between what they NEED and what they WANT, only that that profound emotional reaction is the trick either way. So...poor emotional regulation, HELLO here we come!

I'm also wondering if there are some...I don't know...personal opinions about parenting coming into that first quote from icarus. "Implications for therapy are that caregivers should be taught firstly to give lots of positive attention to their child, and if necessary to scold, to console the child immediately afterwards." Maybe this is stupid but what do they mean by console? I mean call me cold-hearted but I feel like that would put me in quite an emotional roller coaster, to be scolded and then given positive attention immediately? Isn't it really ideal for children to be able to be "scolded" and then also have their own independent emotional strength to recover and learn from this? Not always needing the parent to come back and say oh honey it's ok. I don't know, I mean, your boss isn't likely to do that so I don't know if it's great to set up the emotional expectation for that to happen.

Or is it more about - it is not OK that you punched your brother just now, and I am scolding you/providing the appropriate punishment, but also with the clear message that it is your ACTION that I am punishing, and I still love YOU as a person. Is that what they mean?

Lunacie
08-15-15, 04:39 PM
Thank you Willow. :) Good questions.

It might be helpful to read the whole study instead of just the summary.