Dads and Development of Infants in Oklahoma (DADIO)
This project aims to understand how different caregivers influence infant development. As a field, we know a lot about how differences in mothers’ behavior is related to how infant and child health and development. We know much less, however, about how other caregivers contribute directly and indirectly to child outcomes. In particular, it is not clear how fathers support the development of their children and how they might differ from other caregivers like grandparents and step-parents. This project hopes to gain an understanding of how different physiological profiles (stress hormone levels) among family members are related to infant development.
Exploring the Mother-Infant Biorhythm
This project examined how similarities between the stress hormone (cortisol) levels of mothers and their infants were related to infant-directed speech (e.g., motherese) and social support. We found that mothers who reported talking more to their infants showed more stress hormone synchrony with their infants, and that mothers who reported greater romantic relationship satisfaction had infants with lower stress hormone levels. This manuscript is currently under review for publication.