Parent-Child Interaction

Studying the Behaviour and Physiology of Parent-Child Interaction

SDR Scientific provide a range of tools to assist researchers studying parent-child interaction from a behavioural and physiological perspective. When interacting with a parent, children learn social skills such as sharing, cooperating, and respecting others’ belongings. In addition, young children also learn to communicate and develop motor skills.

Early in life, children are not capable of filling out a questionnaire or talking to an interviewer. In these cases, observing behaviour can provide valuable information in combination with parental interviews. There are many tools to assess parent-child interaction including questionnaires, observation checklists, experimental procedures, wearable recording devices and video observation.

An often-used method to investigate parent-child interaction is Ainsworth’s Strange Situation Test (SST). This psychological test in which the child interacts with both a stranger and a parent is used to investigate the bond between parent and child. The responses of the child and the parent in the different episodes give insight into the type of attachment between parent and child. Different types of attachment can help explain behavioural and emotional disorders.

Parent-child interaction can be recorded on video for detailed analysis. Video recording allows researchers to observe the subjects remotely, without the presence of an extra person in the room.

Multiple videos can be played synchronously in The Observer XT, the software tool from Noldus IT for data collection, analysis, and presentation of observational data. Behaviour can be scored live and recorded to video files simultaneously to enable detailed logging at a later stage.

When comparing the interaction of siblings, experiments can’t always take place in a single room. In these cases, a multi room laboratory may be required for the research. Viso, the multi video recording suite, is the best fit for this purpose.

Many researchers have turned to automated facial expression analysis software to better provide an objective assessment of emotions. FaceReader software is fast, flexible, objective, accurate, and easy to use. It immediately analyses your live video, recorded video, or still images, saving valuable time. Baby FaceReader is now available for younger (6-24 month-old) subjects.

A physiological data acquisition system from Biopac Systems can aid research into parent-child interaction by collecting additional data from the subjects including ECG, HRV, EEG, EMG, EDA, and many more. This data can be recorded and synchronised with The Observer XT.

Children thrive in a positive environment, so hearing compliments, stating clear expectations for positive behaviours, and positively engaging with the child should enhance self-confidence and the development of communication and healthy habits.

Key Products for Parent-Child Interaction: