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Browsing by Subject "säätelyongelmat"

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  • Virtamo, Satu (2015)
    Goals: Regulatory problems of crying, eating and sleeping in infancy may lead to mental disorders later in childhood. The consequences of early appearing self-regulation problems assessed by parents have gained only little research attention. Some previous studies suggest that weaker self-regulation in infancy predicts mental disorders later in childhood but the results are conflicting. This study investigated the associations between infant's self-regulation and his/her psychiatric symptoms in early childhood. In addition to overall psychiatric symptoms, associations to externalizing and internalizing symptoms were also studied. Also the interactions between child's gender and mother's depressive symptoms and self-regulation on subsequent psychiatric symptoms were investigated. Methods: The study consisted of 2097 children and their mothers who participated in the prospective PREDO study. Mothers rated self-regulation of their own baby and an imaginary average baby within 1.5 months after the childbirth with Neonatal Perception Inventory. The follow-up was done at the age of 1–5 years when mothers rated their children's psychiatric symptoms with Child Behavior Checklist. Results and conclusions: Infant's self-regulation skills as such and in comparison to the self-regulation of the average infant predicted overall psychiatric symptoms and externalizing symptoms, whereas only the infant's own self-regulation skills predicted internalizing symptoms. Better self-regulation in infancy was associated with less psychiatric symptoms in early childhood. Of the specific self-regulation areas, crying and stomach ache / digestion problems associated almost as strongly with the subsequent psychiatric symptoms as overall self-regulation. Child's gender and mother's depressive symptoms did not moderate the associations between self-regulation and psychiatric symptoms. This study showed that good self-regulation capacity in infancy can protect the child from later psychiatric symptoms. Assessment of self-regulatory skills in infancy at maternity and child health clinics may be beneficial. Thus, parents of infants with increased risk could be offered support already in a very early stage to ease regulatory problems and to prevent further consequences.