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ABSTRACT: This report examines how the relative attractor strengths of children's display of three emotion states, anger, sadness/fear, and neutral-engaged, are associated with exposure to maternal negative affect and care giving disruptions, and to child antisocial behavior and depression. Exposure to negative maternal affect was associated with a weaker attractor state for sadness or fear displays relative to those for anger and neutral-engaged displays. Exposure to care giving disruptions was associated with stronger attractor strength for anger and sadness/fear relative to that for neutral-engaged. Overt and covert antisocial behaviors were associated with weaker attractor states for sadness/fear displays relative that for the neutral-engaged displays. Overt antisocial behavior was associated with a stronger attractor state for anger displays relative to that for neutral-engaged displays, and covert antisocial behavior with a weaker attractor state for fear/sadness displays relative to that for neutral-engaged displays. Child depressive symptoms were marginally associated with a stronger attractor state for fear/sadness displays relative to neutral-engaged. The data suggest the attractor strengths for emotion display states are affected by social experience and that between-individual risk for various forms of psychopathology is related to the relative intra-individual attractor strength of various emotion displays in a multi-state emotion display system.
Nonlinear Dynamics Psychology and Life Sciences 07/2012; 16(3):313-30. · 0.96 Impact Factor