SER-PD – Polish adaptation of the My Emotions Scale for the assessment of parents’ emotional reactions to child’s crying
More details
Hide details
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk, Gdansk, Poland
Submission date: 2018-04-04
Final revision date: 2018-05-27
Acceptance date: 2018-05-28
Online publication date: 2018-07-25
Publication date: 2019-03-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2019;7(1):53–63
The Polish adaptation of the My Emotions Scale measuring parental self-reported emotional reactions to a child’s crying is pre-sented. The scale measures parent-oriented (amusement, anxiety, frustration) and infant-oriented (sympathy and empathy) emo-tional reactions to a child’s crying, which has been defined as the most obvious early attachment behaviour.

Participants and procedure:
A total of 495 parents of small children (including 376 mothers, no couples) took part in the study. Females were M = 27.79 (SD = 5.01) years old on average, whereas mean age of men was M = 31.71 (SD = 5.37) years. The majority of participants (74.90%) had one child. The average age of the assessed child was M = 9.17 months (SD = 4.43). Reliability and validity prop-erties of the scale are presented.

The results confirmed the five-factor model, which showed adequate fit indices. The SER-PD has adequate internal consistency. The criterion-related validity of the scale was established by correlating five dimensions of parental emotional reactions to the child’s crying with measures of dispositional empathy and contextually neutral emotional reactions.

The SER-PD gives the opportunity for broader analyses of the parental responsiveness construct. It is a useful tool to examine parent-child interactions easily and noninvasively, in large samples, and in situations where qualitative data might be difficult to obtain.

Ainsworth, M. D. S. (1968). Object relations, dependency, and attachment: A theoretical review of the infant mother relationship. Child Development, 40, 969–1025.
Ainsworth, M. S., & Bowlby, J. (1991). An ethological approach to personality development. American Psychologist, 46, 333–341.
Bell, S. M., & Ainsworth, M. D. S. (1972). Infant crying and maternal responsiveness. Child Development, 43, 1171–1190.
Bleichfeld, B., & Moely, B. E. (1984). Psychophysiological responses to an infant cry: Comparison of groups of women in different phases of the maternal cycle. Developmental Psychology, 20, 1082.
Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and loss. Loss, sadness and depression. Vol. 3. New York: Basic Books.
Bowlby, J. (1988). A secure base. New York: Basic Books.
Campos, J. J., Campos, R. G., & Barrett, K. C. (1989). Emergent themes in the study of emotional development and emotion regulation. Developmental Psychology, 25, 394–402.
Chrzan-Dętkoś, M., & Walczak, T. (2017). Uzależnieni rodzice – narażone dziecko. Zakłócenia w funkcjonowaniu uzależnionych matek w relacji z niemowlętami oraz możliwość skutecznej pomocy [Addicted parents – vulnerable children. Distortions in parent-infant relation and possibilities of help]. Psychoterapia, 2, 21–36.
Curran, M. A., Hazen, N., Jacobvitz, D., & Sasaki, T. (2006). How representations of the parental marriage predict marital emotional attunement during the transition to parenthood. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 477–484.
Davidov, M., & Grusec, J. E. (2006). Untangling the links of parental responsiveness to distress and warmth to child outcomes. Child Development, 77, 44–58.
Davis, M. H. (2006). Empathy. In J. E. Stets & J. H. Tur­ner (eds.), Handbook of the sociology of emotions (pp. 443–466). New York: Springer.
Davis, M. H. (2004). Empathy: Negotiating the border between self and other. In L. Z. Tiedens & C. W.Leach (eds.), The social life of emotions (pp. 19–42). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113–126.
Davis, M. H. (1980). A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10, 85.
Del Vecchio, T., Walter, A., & O’Leary, S. G. (2009). Affective and physiological factors predicting maternal response to infant crying. Infant Behavior and Development, 32, 117–122.
Dix, T. (1991). The affective organization of parenting: Adaptive and maladaptative processes. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 3–25.
Feshbach, N. (1990). Parental empathy and child adjustment/maladjustment. In N. Eisenberg & J. Strayer (eds.), Empathy and its development (pp. 271–291). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Field, T., Diego, M., & Hernandez-Reif, M. (2009). Depressed mothers’ infants are less responsive to faces and voices. Infant Behavior & Development, 32, 239–244.
Hoffman, M. L. (1984). Interaction of affect and cognition on empathy. In C. E. Izard, J. Kagan, & R. B. Zajonc (eds.), Emotions, cognition, and behavior (pp. 103–131). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hoffman, M. L. (2003). Empathy and moral development. Implications for caring and justice. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Hu, L.-T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.
Kazmierczak, M., Plopa, M., & Retowski, S. (2007). Skala Wrażliwości Empatycznej [The Empathic Sensitiveness Scale]. Przegląd Psychologiczny, 50, 9–24.
Kaźmierczak, M. (2015). Oblicza empatii w procesie adaptacji do rodzicielstwa [Faces of empathy in transition to parenthood]. Warsaw: Scholar.
Kaźmierczak, M., & Karasiewicz, K. (2018). Making space for a new role – gender differences in identity changes in couples transitioning to parenthood. Journal of Gender Studies. Published online 21.02.2018. doi: 10.1080/09589236.2018.1441015.
Kaźmierczak, M., Pastwa-Wojciechowska, B., & Bła­żek, M. (2013). A multidimensional model of empathy, and the occurrence of personality disorders and stress in social settings. Acta Neuropsychologica, 11, 113–125.
Lang, P. J. (1995). The emotion probe: Studies of motivation and attention. American Psychologist, 50, 372–385.
Leerkes, E. M. (2018). My emotions: A new self-report of mothers’ emotional reactions to infant crying. Manuscript in preparation.
Leerkes, E. M. (2010). Predictors of maternal sensitivity to infant distress. Parenting: Science and Practice, 10, 219–239.
Leerkes, E. M., & Crockenberg, S. C. (2006). Antecedents of mothers’ emotional and cognitive responses to infant distress: The role of family, mother, and infant characteristics. Infant Mental Health Journal, 27, 405–428.
Leerkes, E. M., Parade, S. H., & Burney, R. V. (2010). Origins of mothers’ and fathers’ beliefs about infant crying. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 31, 467–474.
Leerkes, E. M., & Siepak, K. J. (2006). Attachment linked predictors of women’s emotional and cognitive responses to infant distress. Attachment & Human Development, 8, 11–32. doi: 10.1080/14616730600594450.
Leerkes, E. M., Weaver, J. M., & O’Brien, M. (2012). Differentiating maternal sensitivity to infant distress and non-distress. Parenting: Science and Practice, 12, 175–184.
Leerkes, E., & Qu, J. (2017). The maternal (non) responsiveness questionnaire: Initial factor structure and validation. Infant and Child Development, 26. doi: 10.1002/icd.1992.
Maindal, H. T., Sokolowski, I., & Vedsted, P. (2010). Adaptation, data quality and confirmatory factor analysis of the Danish version of the PACIC questionnaire. The European Journal of Public Health, 22, 31–36.
Mesman, J., Minter, T., Angnged, A., Cissé, I. A., Salali, G. D., & Migliano, A. B. (2017). Universality without uniformity: A culturally inclusive approach to sensitive responsiveness in infant caregiving. Child Development, 89, 837–850.
Moreno, A., Klute, M. M., & Robinson, J. L. (2008). Relational and individual resources as predictors of empathy in early childhood. Social Development, 17, 613–637.
Riem, M. M., Pieper, S., Out, D., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., & van IJzendoorn, M. H. (2010). Oxytocin receptor gene and depressive symptoms associated with physiological reactivity to infant crying. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 6, 294–300.
Schreiber, J. B., Nora, A., Stage, F. K., Barlow, E. A., & King, J. (2006). Reporting structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analysis results: A review. The Journal of Educational Research, 99, 323–338.
Simsek, Z., Veiga, J. F., Lubatkin, M. H., & Dino, R. N.(2005). Modeling the multilevel determinants of top management team behavioral integration. Academy of Management Journal, 48, 69–84.
Spangler, G., Maier, U., Geserick, B., & von Wahlert, A.(2010). The influence of attachment representation on parental perception and interpretation of infant emotions: A multilevel approach. Developmental Psychobiology, 52, 411–423.
Spinrad, T. L., & Stifter, C. A. (2006). Toddlers’ empathy-related responding to distress: Predictions from negative emotionality and maternal behavior in infancy. Infancy, 10, 97–121.
Swain, J. E., Konrath, S., Brown, S. L., Finegood, E. D.,Akce, L. B., Dayton, C. J., & Ho, S. S. (2012). Parenting and beyond: Common neurocircuits underlying parental and altruistic caregiving. Parenting, 12, 115–123.
Van Ijzendoorn, M. H., & Hubbard, F. O. (2000). Are infant crying and maternal responsiveness during the first year related to infant-mother attachment at 15 months? Attachment & Human Development, 2, 371–391.
Zeifman, D. M. (2003). Predicting adult responses to infant distress: Adult characteristics associated with perceptions, emotional reactions, and timing of intervention. Infant Mental Health Journal, 24, 597–612.
Zeifman, D. M., & St James-Roberts, I. (2017). Parenting the crying infant. Current Opinion in Psychology, 15, 149–154.