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

prosocial acts 0.5 0.4 Witness-real Simulated 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 13-15

18-20 23-25 months Zahn-Waxler et al. 1992 NIMH: EMPATHIC CONCERN empathic concern 0.3

0.25 0.2 Witnessed-real Simulated 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 13-15 18-20

23-25 months Zahn-Waxler et al. 1992 NIMH: HYPOTHESIS TESTING hypothesis testing 0.3 0.25 0.2

Witnessed-real Simulated 0.15 0.1 0.05 0 13-15 18-20 23-25

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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