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Reversal theory and emotional and psychophysiological processes in mother-daughter interactions

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posted on 2023-05-26, 22:57 authored by Ghafar-Tabrizi, Robabeh
This thesis investigated the emotional and psychophysiological processes in mother-adolescent daughter dyads using reversal theory constructs (Apter, 1982) including metamotivational states, metamotivational dominances, and reversal processes. Experiment 1 used 63 mother-daughter dyads and sought to identify the predictors of perceived conflict in the family environment and to investigate emotional processes during neutral, conflictual and pleasant conversational interactions. The results revealed associations between the perceived conflict in the family and each of parenting skills and stress, psychopathology, motivational styles, anger intensity and perceived control and organisation in the family. Also, the conversations generally reduced the levels of hedonic tone and transactional gain and increased the levels of transactional loss for the participants. The conflictual conversation induced lower levels of pleasant emotions and higher levels of the telic state, stress, and unpleasant emotions than the neutral or pleasant conversations. Daughters experienced greater levels of paratelic emotions and transactional loss than mothers, which was consistent with the mother-daughter differences in arousal seeking, negativistic and autic-mastery dominance. In Experiment 2, a high-conflict group (12 dyads) and a low-conflict group (12 dyads), were established on the basis of the Conflict subscale of Family Environment Scale to examine emotional changes and physiological arousal during neutral, conflictual and pleasant conversational interactions. The high-conflict group experienced greater levels of unpleasant emotions and positive transactional emotions than the low-conflict group. There was no significant difference in sympathetic arousal between the groups. Experiment 2 also examined the metamotivational and emotional predictors of individual physiological responses during the dyadic interactions. It was found that anxiety and anger (low hedonic tone in a telic state) and excitement and provocativeness (high hedonic tone in a paratelic state) were associated with levels of sympathetic arousal of participants. Both transactional loss and gain were related to physiological responding. In Experiment 3, the same high and low conflict dyads in Experiment 2 were used to examine the levels of physiological linkage between dyads and identify the metamotivational and emotional predictors of physiological linkage. The results indicate that the physiology of daughters predicted the responses of mothers better than vice versa. It was also shown that daughters' ratings of provocativeness and placidity were both predictive of physiological linkage. Both transactional loss and gain were related to shared physiology. For the high-conflict group, physiological linkage was stronger during the conflictual conversation than the pleasant conversation. On the whole, the results demonstrated the utility of reversal theory constructs in explaining the interplay between the operative metamotivational state, reversal processes, motivational styles and contextual features in emotional and physiological processes in mother daughter dyads. However the verbal, non-verbal, and cognitive factors that instigate reversals remain to be investigated.

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Copyright 2003 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Includes bibliographical references

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