In the study presented, the development of different fear regulation behaviors and their associations with preceding maternal sensitivity and depression is addressed. A sample of 64 mother-child pairs was examined at the children's ages of 4, 12, and 30 months. Four-month negative reactivity and 12- and 30- month behavioral inhibition and fear regulation behaviors were assessed using laboratory routines. Maternal sensitivity and depression were assessed by behavior observations and questionnaires, respectively. Four-month negative emotionality preceded 30-month behavioral inhibition. Passive fear-regulation behaviors showed significant continuity between 12 and 30 months but no relations with maternal characteristics. In contrast, active fear-regulation behaviors were significantly related to less maternal depression and high sensitivity but showed no continuity. These associations might reflect a more stable disposition underlying passive fear behaviors and a higher dependence on experience for the active fear behaviors.


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pp. 86-101
Launched on MUSE
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