Children who experience high levels of fear and/or low levels of engagement in LOW THREAT tasks are dysregulated.
This dysregulated behavior at age 2 predicts risk for anxiety
Is dysregulated fear behavior associated with anxious symptoms concurrently
Is dysregulated fear behavior associated with anxious symptoms and behavior and longitudinally (ages 3, 4, and 5)?
Examining the trajectories of fearful temperament from 3-5.
Does dysregulated fear behavior at age 2 moderate growth curves?
Do maternal characteristics moderate growth curves?
Q1. Fear Groups and Concurrent Anxious Symptoms F (1, 40) = 7.86, p < .01 F (1, 33) = 1.41, n.s. High fear in the high threat, Spider, episode is not associated with anxiety, BUT high fear in the low threat, Clown, episode is associated with anxiety.
Q2. Fear Groups and 3 & 4 year Anxious Symptoms
After controlling for 24-month anxiety, dysregulated fear was associated with maternal report of anxiety symptoms at both 3 and 4 years of age.
F (1, 29) = 5.66, p < .01 F (1, 27) = 4.16, p < .05
Q2. Predicting Anxious Behavior in Kindergarten for Dysregulated Fear Toddlers (n = 50) Proportion of fear behavior in Clown predicted Social Withdrawal. r = .27, p < .05
Q2. Preliminary Kindergarten Outcomes (n = 50) Average fear behavior was moderately stable from the 24-month visit to the first kindergarten visit r = .36, p < .05 No evidence for greater stability at the extremes.
Q2. Are dysregulated fear children reticient with peers?
We found peer behavior differences for the low vs. high dysregulated fear groups consistent with social reticence/anxious solitude but not with solitary-constructive behavior or group play (Rubin et al., 2002; Coplan et al., 1994)
Q3. Growth curves for maternal-reported temperament Negative Affect decreases from age 3 to age 6 while Surgency increases. There were no moderating influences of gender.
Q3. Dysregulated Fear Moderates the Surgency Trajectory Surgency does not increase for toddlers showing high fear in the Clown episode.
Q4. Mother Approach Personality Moderates the Negative Affect Trajectory Negative Affect does not decrease for children whose mothers are low in Positive Affect and Approach personality.
High Fear in Low Threat situations characterized a dysregulated fear group.
These children had higher maternal-reported anxiety symptoms concurrently, and 1, 2, and 3 years later (at the transition to kindergarten).
Preliminary results for kindergarten adjustment support the stability of this behavioral profile to laboratory challenge tasks and social reticent behavior in an unfamiliar peer group setting.
Children characterized by dysregulated fear at age 2 did not show the expected increase in surgency from 3 to 5. Mothers high in approach personality had children with greater decreases in negative affect from 3-5.