Frustration in Infancy: Implications for Emotion Regulation, Physiological Processes, and Temperament
A study sample of 162 six‐month‐old children was selected from a larger sample of 346 infants on the basis of parents' report of their infants' temperament and a laboratory assessment of temperament. Infants were classified as easily frustrated and less easily frustrated and compared on a number of emotion regulation, physiology, and temperament measures. Results indicated that male and female infants were equally likely to be classified as frustrated and less easily frustrated; however, male infants were less able to regulate physiologically. Easily frustrated infants used different emotion regulation strategies and were observed to be less attentive and more active than less easily frustrated infants when observed in the laboratory. These infants were also characterized by their parents as more active, less attentive, and more distressed to novelty. Infants classified as easily frustrated were more reactive physiologically and less able to regulate physiological reactivity than their less easily frustrated counterparts. It is hypothesized that this cluster of characteristics may constitute a unique temperamental type that may have implications for other types of behavioral functioning. Limitations of the study are that observations are based on a single brief assessment of the infant, modest effect sizes were found, and the study is cross‐sectional.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
10.1207/S15327078IN0302_4 About DOI