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The role of skin conductance level reactivity in the impact of children’s exposure to interparental conflict on their attention performance


Zemp, Martina; Bodenmann, Guy; Cummings, E Mark (2014). The role of skin conductance level reactivity in the impact of children’s exposure to interparental conflict on their attention performance. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 118:1-12.

Abstract

Previous research suggests that undermining of attention performance might be one decisive underlying mechanism in the link between marital conflict and children's academic maladjustment, but little is known about specific risk patterns in this regard. This study examines, in an experimental approach, the role of children's history of interparental discord and skin conductance level reactivity (SCLR) as moderators in the link between analogue marital conflict exposure and children's attention. The attention performance of 57 children, aged 11 to 13 years, was assessed prior to and immediately after a 1-min video exposure to either (a) a couple conflict or (b) a neutral condition. SCLR was measured continuously throughout the stimulus presentation. Results indicated that children's family background of interparental conflict and their physiological reactivity moderated the influence of the experimental stimulus on children's short-term attention performance. Lower SCLR served as a protective factor in children from high-conflict homes exposed to the couple conflict. The current study advances the body of knowledge in this field by identifying risk patterns for the development of attention problems in children in relation to marital conflict exposure.

Previous research suggests that undermining of attention performance might be one decisive underlying mechanism in the link between marital conflict and children's academic maladjustment, but little is known about specific risk patterns in this regard. This study examines, in an experimental approach, the role of children's history of interparental discord and skin conductance level reactivity (SCLR) as moderators in the link between analogue marital conflict exposure and children's attention. The attention performance of 57 children, aged 11 to 13 years, was assessed prior to and immediately after a 1-min video exposure to either (a) a couple conflict or (b) a neutral condition. SCLR was measured continuously throughout the stimulus presentation. Results indicated that children's family background of interparental conflict and their physiological reactivity moderated the influence of the experimental stimulus on children's short-term attention performance. Lower SCLR served as a protective factor in children from high-conflict homes exposed to the couple conflict. The current study advances the body of knowledge in this field by identifying risk patterns for the development of attention problems in children in relation to marital conflict exposure.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPSYCH Erstautor Psychotherapeutisches Zentrum des Psychologischen Instituts UZH
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:05 Dec 2013 07:44
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:13
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-0965
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2013.09.007
PubMed ID:24184777
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-85968

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