Studies have demonstrated that coparenting can be assessed prenatally through playful observational conditions, including simulated baby enactments. Regrettably, there is a lack of empirical research examining how prenatal coparenting under the emotional stress elicited by the distress of a simulated infant predicts children's cognitive development. The current longitudinal study introduces a novel procedure—the Inconsolable Doll Task—to assess prenatal coparenting behavioral dynamics under the stress of a non-responsive doll simulator, and examines the extent to which prenatal interaction patterns predict the child's cognitive development at 18 months. The sample consists of 105 community-based, co-living, expectant fathers and mothers. Data were collected prenatally, at three, six, and 18 months in home and lab visits. Results indicate that the prenatal coparenting dynamic of negative escalation explains a unique variance in children's cognitive development at 18 months. This effect is evident even when accounting for both prenatal and postnatal assessments of low-stress coparenting behavioral patterns or self-reported coparenting perceptions, and when controlling for parental education. These findings are discussed in terms of their methodical, empirical, and clinical implications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the Israeli Science Foundation (No. 1888/14), and the FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF - Marie-Curie Action: Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development (IEF) under grant #300805.
This research was supported by grants from the Israeli Science Foundation (No. 1888/14 ), and the FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEF - Marie-Curie Action: Intra-European Fellowships for Career Development (IEF) under grant #300805 .
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.
- Cognitive development
- Doll simulator
- RealCare Baby II-Plus infant simulator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology