Kristin Bernard

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Young children who have experienced early adversity are at risk for developing disorganized attachments. The efficacy of Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), an intervention targeting nurturing care among parents identified as being at risk for neglecting their young children, was evaluated through a randomized clinical trial. Attachment quality was(More)
Cortisol is a hormone involved in mounting a stress response in humans. The evidence of stress reactivity among young children has been mixed, however. In the present study, the order of two laboratory tasks (i.e., Strange Situation and play) was counterbalanced, and home saliva samples were obtained. Saliva samples were also collected upon the children's(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine differences in waking to bedtime cortisol production between children who remained with birth parents vs children placed in foster care following involvement of Child Protective Services (CPS). DESIGN Between-subject comparison of cortisol patterns among 2 groups of children. SETTING Children referred from the child welfare system.(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine toddlers' full-day patterns of cortisol production on child care days and non-child care days, with a particular focus on whether the mid-afternoon elevations at child care persist into the evening or decrease to typical levels observed on non-child care days. DESIGN A prospective observational study. SETTING Four child care centers(More)
Young children who enter foster care experience disruptions in care and maltreatment at a point when maintaining attachment relationships is a key, biologically based task. In previous research, we have found that young children experience challenges as they form attachments with new caregivers. They tend to push their new caregivers away, even though such(More)
Early-life stress, such as maltreatment, institutionalization, and exposure to violence, is associated with accelerated telomere shortening. Telomere shortening may thus represent a biomarker of early adversity. Previous studies have suggested that responsive parenting may protect children from the negative biological and behavioral consequences of early(More)
The transition to out-of-home child care brings a number of challenges for children, including complex peer interactions and extended separations from parents. Children often show a midmorning to afternoon rise in cortisol on child-care days, compared to the typical diurnal decline seen at home. Changes in cortisol were examined in a wide age range of(More)
As an astute observer of parent-infant interaction, Mary Ainsworth described and assessed facets of maternal sensitivity, including responsiveness to conditions of infant distress and non-distress. This paper considers the importance of distinguishing between parental sensitivity to children's distress cues (which we refer to as nurturance) and parental(More)
Early adversity is associated with biological and behavioral dysregulation in early childhood. We examined whether early adversity (i.e., poverty and involvement with child protective services [CPS]) had an indirect effect on externalizing behavior through HPA axis dysregulation, specifically blunted diurnal cortisol patterns. Participants included 94(More)
This study examined the biological processes associated with foster mother-infant bonding. In an examination of foster mother-infant dyads (N = 41, mean infant age = 8.5 months), foster mothers' oxytocin production was associated with their expressions of behavioral delight toward their foster infant and their average P3 response to images of all infant(More)