Childhood Precursors of Depressive Symptoms and Disorders in ...
CONCERN FOR OTHERS: ORIGINS & DEVELOPMENT Carolyn Zahn-Waxler, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin - Madis THEORY OF MORAL SENTIMENTS: ADAM SMITH 1757
Morality is not always calculating Human beings are social creatures Born with natural empathy Concern for well-being of others is an essential feature of morality Empathy- understand others perspective & have a visceral or
emotional response EARLY THEORIES: Children Lack Moral Sense before Age 7 Psychoanalytic Driven by sexual and aggressive impulses Cognitive Egocentric---immature cortex Unaware of others perspectives
Sociobiological Human social nature is self-serving DIFFERENT VIEWS LEGITIMIZE CONSTRUCT OF EMPATHY 1. Evolutionary altruism E.O.Wilson
emphasis on group process 2. Empathy in mammals Paul MacLean distress cries of offspring > maternal caregiving limbic & prefrontal cortex interconnections 3.Neuroscience mirror neurons/emotional resonance wired to experience others emotions
EMPATHY/CARING FOR OTHERS: CENTRAL ISSUES Biology Development Environment Nature and nurture interact Adaptive/Maladaptive CONCERN FOR OTHERS A. AFFECT ---Empathic Emotions; voice, gesture)
(face, B. BEHAVIOR ---Prosocial Actions (helps, shares, comforts) C. COGNITION --- Effort to Understand (inquiries, hypothesis-testing) BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS OF EMPATHY Personal Distress Concern 0-12 mos
12-18 mos 18 + mos Personal Distress Concern ? 0-12 mos 12-18 mos
18 + mos LONGITUDINAL SAMPLES: 17 YRS A. CONCERN FOR OTHERS (normative) NIMH singletons Colorado twins Wisconsin- twins B. CONCERN FOR OTHERS (risk) Parental depression Marital conflict MULTIPLE METHODS:
Home and Laboratory Mothers trained as observers Structured probes---simulated distress adults, peers, infants, animals ________________________________________ Maternal, teacher & child reports Natural observations in lab (sibs, peers)
Mood inductionsphysiological activity Narrativeschildrens representations Natural distresses observed and caused by child
JULIE, 18 mos A crying baby in a high chair threw away his cookies. Julie (1) tried to return his cookies. Mother then put baby in play pen and Julie hovered over him there. She began to (2) stroke his hair and (3) pat his shoulders making (4) sympathetic, cooing sounds. Next she went to (5) get her mother from another room. leading her to the play pen. Finally, she (6) took her mothers hand and placed it on top of the babys head. She showed empathic concern throughout. NIMH: PROSOCIAL ACTS
months Zahn-Waxler et al. 1992 Development of Concern: Affective and Cognitive Forms 3 Knafo, Zahn-Waxler, et al., 2008 2.8 2.6
Concern Hyp Test 2.4 2.2 2 14months 20months 24months
36months DEVELOPMENTAL REPLICATIONS Zahn-Waxler, et al. (2 samples) (1-2.5 yr
olds) Knafo, et al., 2008 (twin sample) (1-3 yr. olds) Volbrecht, et al., 2007 (1.5-2 yr. olds) What about individual differences? Environment/parenting Temperament Genes High Empathy
Empathy arenting Practices Medium Empathy Empathy 14 mos Low Empathy
Empathy 14 mos 14 mos High warmth Low control Low warmth High control 20 mos
High warmth Low control Positive family climat Low warmth High control 20 mos Negative family clima Low Control High Control 20 mos
Robinson et al. 1994 High Empathy Empathy hild Temperament Medium Empathy
Empathy 14 mos Low Empathy Empathy 14 mos 14 mos
High positivity, sociability, & negative affect Low positivity & 20 mos sociability High positivity & sociability Low positivity &
20 mos sociability High positivity & sociability Low positivity & 20 mos sociability Robinson et al. 1994 CARING GROWS FROM 1-2 YEARS
Roth-Hanania, Davidov, & Zahn-Waxler, 2011 INFANTS CONCERN FOR OTHERS CHILDREN of DEPRESSED MOTHERS: 2-4 yr olds Prosocial to Mother 3 prosocial acts 2.5 2 Girls
Boys 1.5 1 0.5 0 Well mothers Depressed mothers Zahn-Waxler & Radke-Yarrow responses to conflict
CONCERN FOR OTHERS: Toddlers response to parent conflict 0.5 0.45 0.4 0.35 0.3 0.25 0.2 0.15 0.1 0.05 0
Anger Distress Prosocial Low Conflict High Conflict Cummings et al. CONCLUSIONS
Empathy is present in first years of life Continuities/discontinuities across development Biological and environmental contributions to individual differences in childrens empathic concern and prosocial behavior Many ways in which concern for others may become compromised ---surfeits and deficits
that interfere with the quality of childrens lives. New Directions Basic research Neural underpinnings in first year of life Developing literature on the social brain Interactions of parenting, genes, and epigenetic factors (Knafo, et al; Davidov, et al.) Early plasticity/malleability plus socialization lit.
Opportune period of development for Interventions that incorporate positive socialization practices with mindfulness-based parenting COLLABORATORS Ronald Iannotti
Carol Van Hulle Michelle Volbrecht Soo Rhee Michael Chapman Goldsmith Robert King Brett Haberstick Sharee Light
Pamela Cole Paul Hastings Dale Hay Hill Shari Young Ronit Roth- Hanania Mark Cummings Marian Radke-Yarrow Robert Emde JoAnn Robinson
Elizabeth Shirtcliff Nathan Fox Ariel Knafo Barbara Usher Maayan Davidov Thanks for Your Attention!
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