Special Issue "Parent-Child Interactions: Paths of Intergenerational Transmission of Psychopathological Risk"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Luca Cerniglia
Website
Guest Editor
International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, Rome, Italy
Interests: developmental psychopathology; trauma; epigenetics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Silvia Cimino
Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Sapienza – University of Rome, Italy
Interests: developmental psychopathology; eating disorders; parent–infant interactions
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It has been widely recognized that the quality of parent–infant verbal and nonverbal interaction has a profound influence on offspring psychological welfare and on the possible onset of psychopathologies in children. Several studies have shown that the child possesses an innate capacity for subject–subject engagement in bidirectional communication, and displays this early competence in interactional exchanges with their primary caregivers in different contexts (e.g., verbal interactions, feeding, and play). If the dyad is incapable of mutually attuning and sharing sensitive interactions, the child might not be able to learn the self-regulation of affects and could display maladaptive emotional and behavioral symptoms over time. The impaired quality of these interactions can be predicted by the complex interplay between individual (e.g., genetic/neurobiological/temperamental), environmental, and relational factors. Among the main aspects influencing the quality of dyadic interactions are parental psychopathological risk and traumatic experiences in addition to children’s irritability, negative moods, and irregular behavioral and biological patterns.

This Special Issue seeks research papers on the above topics, with particular attention to studies employing a biopsychosocial standpoint and to new methodological proposals for the assessment of the interaction quality (e.g., new or improved observational methods; laboratory procedures; diagnostic measures). In particular, we encourage the submission of interdisciplinary work and multicountry collaborative research. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we invite authors to submit papers addressing the possible effects of COVID-19 on parent–children interactions, children’s emotional/behavioral functioning and possible outcomes in nurses and medical personnel. We welcome original research papers using different study designs as well as systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Although longitudinal studies allow drawing causal links between variables and are most encouraged, we will also accept cross-sectional studies with a robust methodology.

Dr. Luca Cerniglia
Dr. Silvia Cimino
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • parent–child interactions;
  • psychopathology;
  • neurobiology;
  • epigenetics;
  • assessment measures;
  • COVID-19 effects on caregiving

Published Papers (10 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle
Parents’ Perceptions Regarding the Implementation of a Physical Therapy Stimulation Program for Children with Disabilities in Bolivia: A Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6409; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176409 - 03 Sep 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how parents of children with neuromotor disorders in the department of Chuquisaca (Bolivia) perceive attendance to a physical therapy stimulation program and the expectations they place on the therapy and professional care provided to their [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to explore how parents of children with neuromotor disorders in the department of Chuquisaca (Bolivia) perceive attendance to a physical therapy stimulation program and the expectations they place on the therapy and professional care provided to their children. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the parents, related to their role in supporting the recommended exercise program for the child, generating topics such as benefits of the therapy for the child, impact on the family, and role of the project in terms of therapy and the physical therapists providing treatment, including both positive and negative aspects of the overall process. This study revealed the importance of understanding the feelings of families receiving intervention under a pioneering program in Bolivia for the detection and treatment of children with neuromotor disorders. Being able to access these types of services provides them with extensive personal, social, and economic support. Knowing their concerns, desires, and demands will allow us to continue to improve and offer the best care for children and families. The professionals involved should also be encouraged to develop effective teaching techniques to promote the inclusion of parents in the stimulation program. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Modeling Reading Ability Gain in Kindergarten Children during COVID-19 School Closures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6371; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176371 - 01 Sep 2020
Abstract
By 15 April 2020, more than 1.5 billion students worldwide experienced school closures in an effort to slow the spread of a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), during the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These interruptions in formal [...] Read more.
By 15 April 2020, more than 1.5 billion students worldwide experienced school closures in an effort to slow the spread of a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), during the worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These interruptions in formal in-person educational experiences caused adverse consequences on school-age children’s academic outcomes. Using a pre-existing database, we calculated changes in children’s reading ability without formal education (i.e., the summer months). The resultant models predicted that the rate of reading ability gain in kindergarten children during COVID-19 school closures without formal in-person education will decrease 66% (2.46 vs. 7.17 points/100 days), compared to the business-as-usual scenario, resulting in a 31% less reading ability gain from 1 January 2020 to 1 September 2020. Additionally, the model predicted that kindergarten children who have books read to them daily would have 2.3 points less loss (42%) compared to those who do not, who are predicted to have a 5.6-point loss during the same time period. Even though reading books to children will not substitute the critical role of formal education in teaching children how to read, families, educators, and policy makers can promote this simple strategy to facilitate and maintain reading ability gain during school closures, which may be a common occurrence as nations see the public health benefits of physical distancing for the current and future pandemic outbreaks. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Apple of Daddy’s Eye: Parental Overvaluation Links the Narcissistic Traits of Father and Child
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5515; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155515 - 30 Jul 2020
Abstract
This study contributes to the literature on the parental correlates of children’s narcissism. It addresses whether parental overvaluation may drive the putative link between parents’ narcissism and children’s narcissism and self-esteem. The cross-sectional design involved a community sample of 519 school-age children (age [...] Read more.
This study contributes to the literature on the parental correlates of children’s narcissism. It addresses whether parental overvaluation may drive the putative link between parents’ narcissism and children’s narcissism and self-esteem. The cross-sectional design involved a community sample of 519 school-age children (age ranging from 9 to 11 years old) and their parents from an Italian urban context. Child-reported measures included narcissistic traits and self-esteem, while parent-reported measures included narcissistic traits and overvaluation, as well as parenting styles. A series of structural equation models, run separately for mothers and fathers, showed that both parents’ narcissism was directly and positively related to overvaluation and the children’s narcissistic traits; overvaluation partially mediated the indirect link between the fathers’ and children’s narcissistic traits. None of the parenting-style dimensions were related to the children’s outcomes, with the exception of the mothers’ positive parenting being directly and positively related to children’s self-esteem. These findings shed new light upon the parental correlates of child narcissism by suggesting that mothers and fathers convey their narcissism to their offspring through differential pathways. Our findings may be understood from universal as well as cultural specifics regarding the parenting roles of mothers and fathers. Clinical implications for the treatment of youth narcissism suggest the potential of targeting not only children but also their parents. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Emotional-Behavioral Functioning, Maternal Psychopathologic Risk and Quality of Mother–Child Feeding Interactions in Children with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3811; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113811 - 27 May 2020
Abstract
The literature on food intake disorder (ARFID) in early childhood has evidenced psychopathologic difficulties in both children and their mothers and a poor quality of feeding interactions. Only a few studies have focused on three different ARFID subtypes: irritable/impulsive (I/I), sensory food aversions [...] Read more.
The literature on food intake disorder (ARFID) in early childhood has evidenced psychopathologic difficulties in both children and their mothers and a poor quality of feeding interactions. Only a few studies have focused on three different ARFID subtypes: irritable/impulsive (I/I), sensory food aversions (SFA) and post traumatic feeding disorder (PTFD). The aim of this study was to explore possible differences between the three groups in children’s emotional-behavioral functioning, maternal psychopathologic risk and the quality of mother–child feeding interactions, comparing these clinical groups with a control group. The sample consisted of 100 child–mother dyads, of which 23 children with I/I, 25 children with SFA, 27 children with PTFD and 27 children with no diagnosis. The mothers primarily filled out questionnaires assessing their psychopathologic symptoms and children’s emotional-behavioral functioning. Then, all dyads were videotaped during a main meal. Results revealed significant differences between the study groups in relation to children’s emotional–adaptive functioning, mothers’ psychological profile and mother–child interactions during feeding. These findings are relevant for the development of target intervention programs to treat specific ARFID disorders. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Aspects of Parent–Child Interaction from Infancy to Late Adolescence are Associated with Severity of Childhood Maltreatment through Age 18
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3749; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113749 - 26 May 2020
Abstract
Childhood maltreatment (CM) is a pervasive public health problem worldwide, with negative health consequences across the lifespan. Despite these adverse outcomes, identifying children who are being maltreated remains a challenge. Thus, there is a need to identify reliably observable features of parent–child interaction [...] Read more.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) is a pervasive public health problem worldwide, with negative health consequences across the lifespan. Despite these adverse outcomes, identifying children who are being maltreated remains a challenge. Thus, there is a need to identify reliably observable features of parent–child interaction that indicate risk for CM and that can instigate strategically targeted family supports. The aim of this longitudinal study was to assess multiple aspects of observed mother–child interaction from infancy to late adolescence as risk indicators of the overall severity of CM by age 18. Mother–child dyads were assessed in infancy (N = 56), at age 7 years (N = 56), and at age 19 years (N = 56/110). Severity of CM through age 18 was indexed by combined prospective and retrospective assessments. Interactions associated with severity of CM by age 18 included maternal hostility in infancy, maternal withdrawal in infancy and middle childhood, child disorganized attachment behavior in middle childhood and late adolescence, as well as hostile and role-confused interactions in late adolescence. This study identifies new indices of maternal and child behavior as important risk indicators for the severity of CM. These indices could be used to improve early identification and tailor preventive interventions for families at risk for CM. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
P-CRS: A Clinical Scale to Assess the Parent-Child Relationship in Infancy and Early Childhood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3458; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103458 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the ability of a new clinician-report tool, the Parent-Child Relationship Scale (P-CRS), to assess the individual contributions that parents and their children make within the parent-child relationship, as well as interactions between parents and children in terms of [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the ability of a new clinician-report tool, the Parent-Child Relationship Scale (P-CRS), to assess the individual contributions that parents and their children make within the parent-child relationship, as well as interactions between parents and children in terms of developmental psychopathology. As clinical diagnoses in early childhood is both important and difficult, it is necessary to identify tools that can effectively contribute to evaluating parent-child relationships during the diagnostic process. A sample of 268 mother-child dyads, taken from both public and private clinical settings, was assessed. Clinicians were asked to assess these dyads using the P-CRS after four to five sessions of clinical evaluation. The results indicated that the three areas assessed by the P-CRS—“Interaction”, “Child” and “Parent”—could have different impacts on the various aspects of the parent-child relationship within distinct diagnostic groups. Thus, our findings support the use of the P-CRS to assist with clinical diagnosis during early childhood. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Neural Responses to Infant Emotions and Emotional Self-Awareness in Mothers and Fathers during Pregnancy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093314 - 09 May 2020
Abstract
Neuroscientific research has largely investigated the neurobiological correlates of maternal and (to a much lesser extent) paternal responsiveness in the post-partum period. In contrast, much less is known about the neural processing of infant emotions during pregnancy. Twenty mothers and 19 fathers were [...] Read more.
Neuroscientific research has largely investigated the neurobiological correlates of maternal and (to a much lesser extent) paternal responsiveness in the post-partum period. In contrast, much less is known about the neural processing of infant emotions during pregnancy. Twenty mothers and 19 fathers were recruited independently during the third trimester of pregnancy. High-density electroencephalography (hdEEG) was recorded while expectant parents passively viewed images representing distressed, ambiguous, happy, and neutral faces of unknown infants. Correlational analyses were performed to detect a link between neural responses to infant facial expressions and emotional self-awareness. In response to infant emotions, mothers and fathers showed similar cerebral activity in regions involved in high-order socio-affective processes. Mothers and fathers also showed different brain activity in premotor regions implicated in high-order motor control, in occipital regions involved in visuo-spatial information processing and visual mental imagery, as well as in inferior parietal regions involved in attention allocation. Low emotional self-awareness negatively correlated with activity in parietal regions subserving empathy in mothers, while it positively correlated with activity in temporal and occipital areas implicated in mentalizing and visual mental imagery in fathers. This study may enlarge knowledge on the neural response to infant emotions during pregnancy. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Family Financial Stress and Primary Caregivers’ Levels of Acculturation on Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Problems among Humanitarian Refugees in Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2716; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082716 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The present study evaluated the application of the basic and extended (incorporated primary caregivers’ levels of acculturation) Family Stress Model (FSM) to understand the effect of family financial stress and primary caregivers’ levels of acculturation on children’s emotional and behavioral problems among refugees [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the application of the basic and extended (incorporated primary caregivers’ levels of acculturation) Family Stress Model (FSM) to understand the effect of family financial stress and primary caregivers’ levels of acculturation on children’s emotional and behavioral problems among refugees in Australia. A total of 658 refugee children aged 5–17 and their primary caregivers (n = 410) from the third wave of a nationwide longitudinal project were included in this study. We used multilevel structural equation models with bootstrapping to test the indirect effects of family financial stress and caregivers’ levels of acculturation (including English proficiency, self-sufficiency, social interaction, and self-identity) on children’s emotional and behavioral problems through caregivers’ psychological distress and parenting styles. The results showed that the extended FSM improved the model fit statistics, explaining 45.8% variation in children’s emotional and behavioral problems. Family financial stress, caregivers’ English proficiency, and self-identity had indirect effects on children’s emotional and behavioral problems through caregivers’ psychological distress and hostile parenting. The findings showed that interventions aimed at reducing caregivers’ psychological distress and negative parenting could be effective in alleviating the adverse effects of family financial stress and caregivers’ low levels of acculturation on refugee children’s mental health. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview
Scoping Review: Intergenerational Resource Transfer and Possible Enabling Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7868; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217868 - 27 Oct 2020
Abstract
We explore the intergenerational pattern of resource transfer and possible associated factors. A scoping review was conducted of quantitative, peer-reviewed, English-language studies related to intergenerational transfer or interaction. We searched AgeLine, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, and Sociological Abstracts for articles published between Jane [...] Read more.
We explore the intergenerational pattern of resource transfer and possible associated factors. A scoping review was conducted of quantitative, peer-reviewed, English-language studies related to intergenerational transfer or interaction. We searched AgeLine, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, and Sociological Abstracts for articles published between Jane 2008 and December 2018. Seventy-five studies from 25 countries met the inclusion criteria. The scoping review categorised resource transfers into three types: financial, instrumental, and emotional support. Using an intergenerational solidarity framework, factors associated with intergenerational transfer were placed in four categories: (1) demographic factors (e.g., age, gender, marital status, education, and ethno-cultural background); (2) needs and opportunities factors, including health, financial resources, and employment status; (3) family structures, namely, family composition, family relationship, and earlier family events; and 4) cultural-contextual structures, including state policies and social norms. Those factors were connected to the direction of resource transfer between generations. Downward transfers from senior to junior generations occur more frequently than upward transfers in many developed countries. Women dominate instrumental transfers, perhaps influenced by traditional gender roles. Overall, the pattern of resource transfer between generations is shown, and the impact of social norms and social policy on intergenerational transfers is highlighted. Policymakers should recognise the complicated interplay of each factor with different cultural contexts. The findings could inform policies that strengthen intergenerational solidarity and support. Full article

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessCase Report
The Primary Care-Video Intervention Therapy for Growth-Vulnerable Infants. A Case Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1796; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051796 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
Perinatal growth vulnerability (e.g., Small for Gestational Age, SGA) poses the goal to not overlook subtle developmental susceptibilities and their impact on the parent–infant relationship. In this case study, we examined the application of a video-feedback intervention program to support parenting, the Primary [...] Read more.
Perinatal growth vulnerability (e.g., Small for Gestational Age, SGA) poses the goal to not overlook subtle developmental susceptibilities and their impact on the parent–infant relationship. In this case study, we examined the application of a video-feedback intervention program to support parenting, the Primary Care-Video Intervention Therapy (PC-VIT), specifically developed to fit pediatric care characteristics. The case presentation details the principal steps of the intervention with the family of an SGA infant from birth up to toddlerhood. Findings for this family highlighted initial worries about the infant’s growth. Along sessions, PC-VIT held maternal anxiety and sustained parents’ abilities to recognize and talk about the infant’s developmental skills and regulatory abilities. The PC-VIT shows the powerful opportunity to limit the impact of infant growth vulnerability on the parent–child relationship and socio-emotional development. Pediatricians can prevent vulnerable developmental milestones from clinical outcomes by implementing timely and effective strategies embracing mental health and parenting-related issues. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop