Erika S Lunkenheimer

Erika S Lunkenheimer
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · Department of Psychology

PhD, Univ. of Michigan

About

68
Publications
44,741
Reads
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1,844
Citations
Citations since 2016
40 Research Items
1310 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - present
Pennsylvania State University
Position
  • Professor
August 2008 - present
Colorado State University
August 2006 - July 2008
University of Oregon

Publications

Publications (68)
Article
Full-text available
We investigated what a dyadic framework added to Eisenberg, Cumberland, and Spinrad’s (1998) parental emotion socialization model based on the argument that the dynamic organization of emotion in the dyad is more than the sum of its parts and thus makes a unique contribution to emotion socialization. Preschoolers (N = 235) completed challenging pro...
Article
Parents and preschoolers show respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) synchrony, but it is unclear how child self‐regulation and the dyadic affective climate shape RSA synchrony and how synchrony differs for mothers and fathers. We examined child average RSA, externalizing problems, and dyadic positive affect as moderators of the synchrony of dynamic, w...
Article
Full-text available
The intergenerational transmission of psychopathology is one of the strongest known risk factors for childhood disorder and may be a malleable target for prevention and intervention. Anxious parents have distinct parenting profiles that impact socioemotional development, and these parenting effects may result in broad alterations to the biological...
Article
Parents' executive functions (EFs), or cognitive skills facilitating thought and behavior management, are meaningful correlates of parenting behavior. EFs are theorized to support parents in inhibiting reactive responses, managing information during parent–child interactions, and adapting to novel developmental demands. Less effective EFs associate...
Article
Child temperament appears to evoke specific parenting behaviors that contribute to child development. However, questions remain about whether individual differences in children's temperamental self-regulation, namely, effortful control (EC), shape moment-to-moment parent-child interaction dynamics. Accordingly, we examined whether differences in ch...
Article
To better understand the development of externalizing behavior, the current study examines how multiple levels of influence (child temperament, negative parenting, and dyadic interactions) work together to increase externalizing behaviors over time. Negative parenting (NP) and observed dynamic dyadic behavioral variability (DBV) in parent-child int...
Article
Full-text available
Regulatory processes underlie mother-infant interactions and may be disrupted in adverse caregiving environments. Child maltreatment and sleep variability may reflect high-risk caregiving, but it is unknown whether they confer vulnerability for poorer mother–infant parasympathetic coordination. The aim of this study was to examine mother–infant cor...
Article
The development of strategies that support autonomous self-regulation of emotion is key for early childhood emotion regulation. Children are thought to transition from predominant reliance on more automatic or interpersonal strategies to reliance on more effortful, autonomous strategies as they develop cognitive skills that can be recruited for sel...
Article
We examined whether dynamic parent–child RSA synchrony varied by individual differences in child average RSA and parental history of childhood maltreatment (CM), which has been linked to parental behavioral and physiological dysregulation. We also examined whether RSA synchrony was curvilinear, reflecting homeostatic regulation. Synchrony was defin...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the moderating effects of parental meta‐emotion philosophy on the relation between family stress and youth internalizing symptoms. A two‐study approach was applied to explore these relations in socioeconomically diverse samples with respect to a self‐reported parental emotion coaching (EC) and parental emotion dismissing...
Article
Parent-child synchrony of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) varies by risk, but novel approaches are needed to capture individual contributions to synchrony. Multilevel state-trait modeling was applied to examine how parental psychological distress and parent and child average RSA during challenge (reflecting individual regulatory capacities) shap...
Article
Parental depressive symptoms are associated with greater variability and inconsistency in parenting behavior as well as children’s emotional and behavioral dysregulation. The present study whether such relations extended to dyadic processes, examining whether maternal and paternal depressive symptoms at child age 3 ½ interacted with concurrent high...
Article
Objective The goal of this study was to provide the first empirical investigation of associations among interparental conflict, adolescents' attention to emotion in interpersonal interactions, and adolescents' anxiety. Background Previous research suggests that both interparental conflict and attention biases have implications for youth anxiety....
Article
Parental scaffolding, or parenting behaviors that support children’s independence and competence, can foster children’s self-regulation development. Children facing higher cumulative risk may experience less scaffolding and more directives from parents, but it is unclear how cumulative risk affects the dynamics of parent–child interactions in real...
Article
Respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a biomarker of mental health, but RSA-symptom relations in parents of young children are understudied. We examined how anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, resting RSA, and RSA reactivity during challenging parent-child interactions clustered in a community sample of mothers (N=126) and fathers (N=87) of 3-ye...
Article
Full-text available
Parent-child coregulation, thought to support children's burgeoning regulatory capacities, is the process by which parents and their children regulate one another through their goal-oriented behavior and expressed affect. Two particular coregulation patterns-dyadic contingency and dyadic flexibility-appear beneficial in early childhood, but their r...
Poster
Full-text available
Latent profile analysis was used to group mothers and fathers of preschool-aged children into distinct classes based on their regulation of RSA and mental health symptoms. Distinct anxious vs. depressive profiles emerged for mothers only, where high anxiety symptoms were paired with excessive RSA withdrawal to stress, and high depressive symptoms w...
Article
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Objectives Major components of mindfulness, such as the development of empathy and compassion and the sharing of experience between people, necessitate a consideration of interpersonal relationships. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on interpersonal mindfulness to-date and present a new way to conceptualize and measure mindfuln...
Article
Parents with intellectual disability (ID) comprise a vulnerable population commonly in need of parenting support. Many parents with ID may struggle to engage in sensitive and responsive parent-child interactions due to cognitive, social, and economic challenges. Despite a large body of literature discussing parenting by people with ID, there is a c...
Article
Full-text available
Children’s repair of conflict with parents may be particularly challenging in maltreating families, and early, stressful parent–child interactions may contribute to children’s altered neurobiological regulatory systems. To explore neurobiological signatures of repair processes, we examined whether mother and child individual and dyadic respiratory...
Article
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Task persistence is related to attentional regulation and is needed for the successful transition to school. Understanding preschoolers’ task persistence with caregivers could better inform the development and prevention of attention problems across this transition. Preschoolers’ real-time task persistence profiles during problem-solving tasks with...
Article
Background Parenting behaviours influence many domains of child development, and recent work has demonstrated the specific effects of parenting on the development of executive function (EF) abilities. The relationship between parent–child interaction patterns and EF has been examined in typically developing (TD) children but has not yet been examin...
Chapter
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Article
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The parasympathetic nervous system supports social interaction and varies in relation to psychopathology. However, we know little about parasympathetic processes from a dyadic framework, nor in early childhood when parent-child social interactions become more complex and child psychopathology first emerges. We hypothesized that higher risk for psyc...
Article
Full-text available
Parasympathetic processes appear to underlie maladaptive parent–child interactions in maltreating families, but it is unknown whether parent–child coregulation of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) differs by child maltreatment severity and subtype. RSA coregulation in maltreating and nonmaltreating mother–child dyads (N = 146; age 3–5 years) durin...
Article
Full-text available
Parent-child coregulation is thought to be an important precursor for children's developing self-regulation, but we know little about how individual parent factors shape parent-child physiological coregulation. We examined whether maternal baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), teaching, and disengagement were associated with stronger or weak...
Article
Full-text available
Mastery motivation is closely related to children's regulatory processes and is socialized by parents. However, we know little about how individual child and dyadic parent-child regulatory processes work together to foster the early development of mastery motivation in preschool. The present study examined dyadic persistence in parent-child interac...
Poster
Parent-child coregulation, specifically dyadic flexibility, has significant implications for children’s developing emotion regulation in early childhood. However, the adaptiveness of coregulation with parents may depend on parental factors, such as psychopathology. Analyzing data from a short-term longitudinal study (N=100), we examined if mother-c...
Article
Full-text available
We examined self-reported maternal and paternal harsh parenting (HP) and its effect on the moment-to-moment dynamic coupling of maternal autonomy support and children’s positive, autonomous behavior. This positive behavior coupling was measured via hidden Markov models as the likelihood of transitions into specific positive dyadic states in real ti...
Article
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The repair of difficult parent–child interactions is a marker of healthy functioning in infancy, but less is known about repair processes during early childhood. We used dynamic systems methods to investigate dyadic repair in mothers and their 3-year-old children (N = 96) and its prediction of children’s emotion regulation and behavior problems at...
Article
Full-text available
SYNOPSIS Objective. Parent–child coercive cycles have been associated with both rigidity and inconsistency in parenting behavior. To explain these mixed findings, we examined real-time variability in maternal responses to children’s off-task behavior to determine whether this common trigger of the coercive cycle (responding to child misbehavior) is...
Article
The goal of this study was to advance understanding of how adolescent conflict appraisals contribute uniquely, and in combination with interparental conflict behavior, to individual differences in adolescent physiological reactivity. Saliva samples were collected from 153 adolescents (52% female; ages 10-17 years) before and after the Trier Social...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers have argued for more dynamic and contextually relevant measures of regulatory processes in interpersonal interactions. In response, we introduce and examine the effectiveness of a new task, the Parent-Child Challenge Task, designed to assess the self-regulation and coregulation of affect, goal-directed behavior, and physiology in parent...
Article
Full-text available
The coordination of physiological processes between parents and infants is thought to support behaviors critical for infant adaptation, but we know little about parent-child physiological coregulation during the preschool years. The present study examined whether time-varying changes in parent and child respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) exhibited...
Article
Full-text available
Natural mentors have been shown to help improve psychological and educational outcomes of youth, and may serve an important role for youth experiencing risk in the home. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we investigated the associations between natural mentors during youth and income during...
Article
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The goal of the current study was to examine conflict appraisals and diurnal cortisol production as mediators of the robust association between marital conflict and adolescent adjustment problems. Parents reported their marital conflict and were observed engaging in a marital conflict discussion; they also reported adolescent internalizing and exte...
Article
Full-text available
The study of parent-child relations is an active area of inquiry given that it plays a role in both child and adult (parent) development and has implications for the broader family system and society as a whole (Bornstein, 2005; Collins, Maccoby, Steinberg, Hetherington & Bornstein, 2000). Research on parent-child relations has important implicatio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The relationship between parent and child is an active, self-organizing system in which recurring patterns emerge over time from parent-child interactions. “Coregulation” is one term used to describe the functional operations of this dynamic system, such that the parent influences the child’s emotion, behavior, and physiology in real time, and the...
Article
Resilience can be defined as establishing equilibrium subsequent to disturbances to a system caused by significant adversity. When families experience adversity or transitions, multiple regulatory processes may be involved in establishing equilibrium, including adaptability, regulation of negative affect, and effective problem-solving skills. The a...
Chapter
Full-text available
Family and dynamic systems theories have emerged from basic principles of general systems theory (von Bertalanffy General systems theory. George Braziller. New York, 1968). In this chapter, we illustrate how one of the modeling frameworks being used in ecology (nonlinear dynamic models) can be used to study family systems. First, we review some of...
Article
Full-text available
Predictable patterns in early parent-child interactions may help lay the foundation for how children learn to self-regulate. The present study examined contingencies between maternal teaching and directives and child compliance in mother-child problem-solving interactions at age 3.5 and whether they predicted children's behavioral regulation and dy...
Article
Full-text available
Lower levels of parent-child affective flexibility indicate risk for children's problem outcomes. This short-term longitudinal study examined whether maternal depressive symptoms were related to lower levels of dyadic affective flexibility and positive affective content in mother-child problem-solving interactions at age 3.5 years (N=100) and wheth...
Article
Full-text available
Familial emotion socialization practices relate to children's emotion regulation (ER) skills in late childhood, however, we have more to learn about how the context and structure of these interactions relates to individual differences in children's ER. The present study examined flexibility and attractors in family emotion socialization patterns in...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines development in children with neurogenetic disorders in the context of dynamic systems theory. Use of the dynamic systems framework enables researchers to view development in neurogenetic disorders as an ongoing process of self-organization in a complex system with many interacting components. We present a review of three princ...
Article
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Parent-child dyadic rigidity and negative affect contribute to children's higher levels of externalizing problems. The present longitudinal study examined whether the opposite constructs of dyadic flexibility and positive affect predicted lower levels of externalizing behavior problems across the early childhood period. Mother-child (N = 163) and f...
Article
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This prospective longitudinal study focused on self-regulatory, social-cognitive, and parenting precursors of individual differences in children's peer-directed aggression at early school age. Participants were 199 3-year-old boys and girls who were reassessed following the transition to kindergarten (5.5-6 years). Peer aggression was assessed in p...
Article
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This study was a prospective 2-year longitudinal investigation of associations between negative maternal parenting and disruptive child behavior across the preschool to school transition. Our main goals were to 1) determine the direction of association between early maternal negativity and child disruptive behaviors across this important developmen...
Chapter
Full-text available
Failures in self-regulatory processes underlie the development of early-onset disruptive problem behavior. Two vignettes drawn from our research studies illustrate this connection. In the first, the setting is a preschool classroom: A small group of boys and girls are playing with wooden blocks. The play is quiet and harmonious: two girls and a boy...
Article
Full-text available
The authors examined the longitudinal effects of the Family Check-Up (FCU) on parents' positive behavior support and children's school readiness competencies in early childhood. It was hypothesized that the FCU would promote language skills and inhibitory control in children at risk for behavior problems as an indirect outcome associated with targe...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we argue that a nonlinear dynamical systems (NDS) framework offers an efficient and theoretically sound analysis of both adaptive and maladaptive interactions in children’s close relationships, thereby improving our understanding of the development of psychopathology in children and adolescents. Moreover, NDS analysis of close rela...
Article
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This commentary on the article by Stuart Shanker entitled, "In Search of the Pathways that Lead to Mentally Health Children," makes two main arguments. First, we must rigorously apply dynamic systems methods to the study of positive, adaptive, flexible, and discontinuous psychological processes in the same way we have applied them to pathological,...
Article
Children's early problem behavior that manifests in multiple contexts is often more serious and stable. The concurrent and predictive validity of ratings of externalizing and internalizing by four informants was examined at preschool and early school age in an at-risk sample. Two hundred forty children were assessed by mothers and fathers (Child Be...
Article
Full-text available
We observed the positive emotion socialization practice of parental emotion coaching (EC) and the negative socialization practice of emotion dismissing (ED) during a family interaction task and examined their effects on children's emotion regulation and behavior problems in middle childhood. Participants were 87 sociodemographically diverse familie...
Article
Full-text available
We examined the intergenerational transmission of physical punishment (PP) and whether marital satisfaction moderated this transmission. Participants were 241 mothers and 107 fathers with a three year-old child who completed a semi-structured interview assessing their endorsement of disciplinary methods and the methods their parents used to discipl...
Poster
Full-text available
We examined child compliance (CP) and noncompliance (NCP) with parents in relation to the development of externalizing behaviors. Parent and child gender were examined as moderators of this relationship. Our main goal was to determine whether children’s specific CP and NCP strategies contributed to gender-differentiated pathways of externalizing be...

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Projects

Projects (7)
Project
Between 42% and 84% of adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are also diagnosed with anxiety disorders. This co-occurrence of ASD and anxiety leads to more self-injurious behavior, more depressive symptoms, poorer relationships with teachers, peers, and family members, and higher levels of aggressive behavior than those with ASD alone. There is thus a significant need to identify a biomarker for anxiety in those with autism. This project proposes that respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a measure of cardiac vagal activity, is one such potential biological indicator of co-occurring anxiety. By recruiting four groups of adolescents— those with diagnoses of autism and anxiety, with autism but without anxiety, without diagnoses of autism but with anxiety, and without autism and without anxiety—Yarger, Dunbar and Redcay will examine whether the presence of anxiety symptoms in children on the autism spectrum can be assessed with RSA in real-world social-interactive contexts. While previous studies have examined RSA in lab settings, this project will be the first to examine adolescents on the autism spectrum in real-life and in a sample with both autism and anxiety. It will also focus on recruitment of historically underrepresented individuals on the autism spectrum in autism research (i.e., Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) to reduce disparities starting within research. https://bbi.umd.edu/news/story/2022-bbi-seed-grant-awards-to-fuel-innovation-in-aging-and-development-research
Project
Individual Fellowship: Receive training in a) statistical approaches for dyadic and longitudinal data, b) in cardiovascular data analysis and interpretation and c) expand track record.
Project
The goal of PART is to investigate stress, self-regulation, parenting, and child outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic with a remote, cross-sectional sample of mothers with children aged 2 to 6 years. We examine maternal executive function (self-reported and task-based inhibition, working memory, and set shifting) as a potential buffer in relations between parent and COVID-19 stress and harsh and neglectful parenting. We also examine mothers’ use of screen-based devices as a tool in regulating themselves and their children. Finally, we examine interrelations among maternal stress, self-regulation, parenting risk, and screen-based device use in relating to children's behavior problems. PART is funded by the Child Study Center at Penn State.