Effortful control and parenting: Associations with HPA axis reactivity in early childhood
Katie R. Kryski, Lea R. Dougherty, Margaret W. Dyson, Thomas M. Olino, Rebecca S. Laptook, Daniel N. Klein and Elizabeth P. Hayden
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12050
While activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is an adaptive response to stress, excessive HPA axis reactivity may be an important marker of childhood vulnerability to psychopathology. Parenting, including parent affect during parent–child interactions, may play an important role in shaping the developing HPA system; however, the association of parent affect may be moderated by child factors, especially children's emerging self-regulatory skills. We therefore tested the relationship between parent affectivity and 160 preschoolers’ cortisol reactivity during a laboratory visit, examining children's effortful control (EC) as a moderator.