A Research Career Award would support 5 years of programmatic work nested in the applicant?s ongoing research, whose overarching objective is to understand how young children develop conscience, or how they gradually internalize rules, values, and standards of behavior. The applicant?s expertise in temperament, socialization processes, and socioemotional development affords a unique perspective on conscience that incorporates the child?s biologically-founded individuality and early parent-child relationships in a developmental framework. The institutional environment is strongly supportive and extensive resources are in place. The applicant?s proposed study, """"""""Internalization of Moral Standards in Young Children,"""""""" would become the centerpiece of the projected activity. In that study, 100 children, mothers, and fathers will be followed from 7 to 52 months, using observations in multiple naturalistic and standard laboratory contexts and parents?, children?s, and alternative caregivers? reports. Measures will be robustly aggregated, and the analyses will elucidate causal links among constructs, using structural equations modeling. The study will consider early conscience as a result of the interplay between children?s early individuality and their early relationships with both parents, in the context of the family ecology. Several directions for the applicant?s learning and professional growth are outlined. The applicant will acquire knowledge of biological processes that underpin self-regulated, internalized conduct in the context of learning/collaborative enterprises with three scholars, each approaching this issue from a different biological perspective. These complementary perspectives focus on psychophysiology of the Behavioral Inhibition System, the functioning of the hypothalamic pituitary-adrenocortical axis, and the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating moral emotions and behavior. The candidate will also acquire expertise in advanced statistical techniques for multivariate longitudinal data. The ultimate goal to be enhanced by the award is to produce a comprehensive model of conscience development in childhood. Conscience is a critical component of mental health, and its disturbances are among the core markers of conduct problems. By elucidating adaptive and maladaptive pathways of early conscience and their determinants embedded in biology, relationships, and their interplay, this research will foster the understanding of early risks and inform prevention and intervention efforts.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-1 (01))
Program Officer
Morf, Carolyn
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University of Iowa
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Iowa City
United States
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Goffin, Kathryn C; Boldt, Lea J; Kochanska, Grazyna (2018) A Secure Base from which to Cooperate: Security, Child and Parent Willing Stance, and Adaptive and Maladaptive Outcomes in two Longitudinal Studies. J Abnorm Child Psychol 46:1061-1075
Goffin, Kathryn C; Boldt, Lea J; Kim, Sanghag et al. (2018) A Unique Path to Callous-Unemotional Traits for Children who are Temperamentally Fearless and Unconcerned about Transgressions: a Longitudinal Study of Typically Developing Children from age 2 to 12. J Abnorm Child Psychol 46:769-780
Jonas, Katherine; Kochanska, Grazyna (2018) An Imbalance of Approach and Effortful Control Predicts Externalizing Problems: Support for Extending the Dual-Systems Model into Early Childhood. J Abnorm Child Psychol 46:1573-1583
Kim, Sanghag; Kochanska, Grazyna (2017) Relational antecedents and social implications of the emotion of empathy: Evidence from three studies. Emotion 17:981-992
Boldt, Lea J; Kochanska, Grazyna; Jonas, Katherine (2017) Infant Attachment Moderates Paths From Early Negativity to Preadolescent Outcomes for Children and Parents. Child Dev 88:584-596
Dindo, Lilian; Brock, Rebecca L; Aksan, Nazan et al. (2017) Attachment and Effortful Control in Toddlerhood Predict Academic Achievement Over a Decade Later. Psychol Sci 28:1786-1795
Brock, Rebecca L; Kochanska, Grazyna; Boldt, Lea J (2017) Interplay between children's biobehavioral plasticity and interparental relationship in the origins of internalizing problems. J Fam Psychol 31:1040-1050
Kochanska, Grazyna; Brock, Rebecca L; Boldt, Lea J (2017) A cascade from disregard for rules of conduct at preschool age to parental power assertion at early school age to antisocial behavior in early preadolescence: Interplay with the child's skin conductance level. Dev Psychopathol 29:875-885
Brock, Rebecca L; Kochanska, Grazyna (2016) Toward a developmentally informed approach to parenting interventions: Seeking hidden effects. Dev Psychopathol 28:583-93
Brock, Rebecca L; Kochanska, Grazyna (2016) Interparental conflict, children's security with parents, and long-term risk of internalizing problems: A longitudinal study from ages 2 to 10. Dev Psychopathol 28:45-54

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