Father–child physiological concordance on two timescales is differentially associated with paternal characteristics

Xutong Zhang, Lisa M. Gatzke-Kopp, Meng Chen, Pamela M. Cole, Nilam Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Conceptual work on interpersonal physiology suggests that the dynamic concordance between two person's physiological arousal may transpire on multiple timescales, and the timescale on which it unfolds may determine its psychological significance. The current study tested this hypothesis in the context of parent–child interaction by examining whether the concordance in their cardiac arousal on two timescales was differentially associated with parental characteristics. Using data from 98 fathers and their 3- to 5-year-old children during a task designed to frustrate young children, results indicated that the associations between cardiac concordance and fathers' self-reported parenting hassles emerged for the slower timescale (concordant increasing trends in arousal), whereas concordance on the faster timescale (concordant second-by-second reactivity) was associated with fathers' emotional clarity. Findings suggest that there may be multiple layers of concordant patterns in the dynamic associations between fathers' and children's cardiac arousal, which unfold on different timescales and bear different psychological significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14073
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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