Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Mom, I Feel You: Mother-Adolescent Emotional Synchrony and Adolescent Well-Being

Amole, Marlissa (2019) Mom, I Feel You: Mother-Adolescent Emotional Synchrony and Adolescent Well-Being. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (441kB) | Preview


Individuals in close relationships can have a powerful influence on each other’s emotions, and ultimately, their emotional well-being. The concept of two individuals’ emotional experiences or underlying physiology being temporally linked is referred to as emotional synchrony. Emotional synchrony has been studied in parent-infant and romantic partners but very little work has examined emotional synchrony during adolescence, a period during which mental health risks increase and close relationships change significantly. The present study examined parent-child emotional synchrony during adolescence and its association with adolescent mental health and the parent-adolescent relationship. This was examined within a three-minute positive interaction context in a community sample of 32 adolescent girls and their mothers. Emotional synchrony was indicated by moment-to-moment temporal linkage, both concurrently and with a one second lag (i.e., adolescent following mother or vice versa) of heart rate or facial displays of positive affect between adolescents and their mothers. Synchrony was observed in 3.1% to 37.5% of dyads, depending on the time lag and heart rate versus positive affect. There was a very low occurrence of heart rate synchrony across time lags, and, on average across time lags, significant positive affect synchrony was observed in one third of dyads. There were no significant associations between synchrony and current adolescent depressive symptoms and there were unexpected associations with parent-adolescent relationship quality. Post-hoc analyses showed that dyads who endorsed indicators of adolescent risk for depression, such as mothers’ depressive symptoms and adolescent trait tendency to experience depressed mood, were less likely to display positive affect synchrony. The results of this study highlight the variability between dyads on the prevalence and patterns of synchrony and suggest that synchrony between parents and adolescents may not be as universally linked to well-being as theory may suggest.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Amole, Marlissamca31@pitt.edumca31
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSilk, Jenniferjss4@pitt.edujss4
Committee MemberCyranowski, Jilljcyranow@pitt.edujcyranow
Committee MemberWright, Aidanaidan@pitt.eduaidan
Committee MemberForest, Amandaforest@pitt.eduforest
Committee MemberBylsma, Laurenbylsmal@pitt.edubylsmal
Date: 25 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 October 2018
Approval Date: 25 September 2019
Submission Date: 14 July 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 68
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotional synchrony physiological synchrony parent-child relationship adolescent well-being
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 14:12
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 14:12


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item