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Department of Psychology Gartstein Temperament Lab

Child Temperament


Underpinnings of

Identifying typical trajectories of
temperament development
Understanding the interplay
between temperament
Exploring biological
mechanisms for temperament
How cross-cultural differences
effect the development of

Biological Underpinnings of Temperament

In the last 5 years we have focused on enhancing the understanding of biological underpinnings of temperament. Several current projects with this aim in mind are currently in progress. In one study, we are recording infant electroencephalogram (EEG) in the context of several laboratory activities that are designed to mimic every day situations that elicit specific emotional reactions, such as a game of peek-a-boo. In another investigation we are examining how maternal wellbeing during pregnancy effects infant temperament development, considering both psychosocial and physiological stress reactivity (i.e., chronic cortisol levels). The Gartstein laboratory is also participating in two multi-disciplinary studies funded by the WSU Grand Challenges initiatives. The Seed grant funded investigation, entitled: “Developmental origins of health and disease: Identifying potential mechanisms for intergenerational transmission of risk and resilience” is currently underway and involves an evaluation of prenatal factors, including epigenetic effects. The WSU Health Equity Risk and Resilience Consortium (HERRC) funded project entitled: “Childcare choices, microbiomes, and infant behavior – are they related?” will enable us to link temperament markers to microbiome genomic properties, contributing to our understanding of the brain-gut-axis. The Gartstein laboratory is also involved in the WSU Grand Challenges 2017 Health Equity Research Collaborative Grant: “Pregnancy to Parenthood on Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use” as well as a project funded by Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program Dedicated Marijuana Account grant: “Cannabis Use During Pregnancy: First Looks at Effects on Maternal-Child Health”, examining links between perinatal substance exposure and infant outcomes.