Cortical Associates Of Emotional Reactivity And Regulation In Children Who Stutter
Purpose: The purpose of the current study was to investigate cortical associates of emotional reactivity and emotion regulation (as indexed by the amplitude of evoked response potentials [ERP]) in young children who do and do not stutter during passive viewing of pleasant, unpleasant and neutral pictures. Method: Participants were 17 young children who stutter and 19 young children who do not stutter (between 4 years 0 months to 6 years 11 months). The dependent measures were (1) mean amplitude of late positive potential (LPP, an evoked response potential (ERP) sensitive to emotional stimuli) during passive (i.e., no response required) picture viewing and directed reappraisal tasks as well as (2) emotional reactivity and regulation related scores on caregiver reports of young children’s temperament (Children’s Behavior Questionnaire [CBQ] Rothbart, Ahdadi, Hershey & Fisher, 2001). Results: Main findings indicated that young CWS, when compared to their CWNS peers, exhibited significantly greater LPP amplitudes to the unpleasant pictures. Further, for only CWS, there were significant correlations between cortical measures of emotional reactivity and aspects of their temperament; also, only for CWS there were significant correlations between cortical measures of emotion regulation and temperamentally-related measures of emotion. Conclusions: Results were taken to suggest that CWS, when compared to CWNS, are more emotionally reactive to negatively-valenced stimuli (as indicated by cortical measures of emotional reactivity) and that CWS’s emotional reactivity and regulation (as indexed by cortical measures of emotional reactivity and regulation) are correlated with their caregiver reports of emotional reactivity and regulation, while such correlations were not observed for CWNS.