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Poster F76

Beyond Behavior: Using ERPs to Map Parenting Styles’ Influence on Selective Attention

Poster Session F - Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Emily Stripling1 (, Ashley Brook1, Michelle Johnson1, Sinead Mukolo-Villegas1, Deya Rassul1, Emma Sells1, Hannah Johnson1, Michael Oliver1; 1Belmont University

Parenting styles are critical in children’s attachment styles, emotional socialization, psychological development, and decision-making. Previous research suggests that unsupportive parenting like authoritarian and uninvolved styles, causes children to struggle cognitively, while authoritative parenting leads to heightened cognitive abilities. Research is limited regarding the connection between parenting styles and cortical processing. One study using fMRI determined that children with unsupportive parents have less adaptive neural connections, which may translate to deficits in cognitive performance over time. No studies to our knowledge have explored temporal differences in cortical activation. Different parenting styles may lead to variations in cortical activation, revealing weakened or delayed processing. The goal of this study was to establish a relationship between parenting style and brain activity to determine the effects that parenting styles have on cognition in adulthood. 67 participants completed a parenting styles questionnaire and the Stroop Task while electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded. Electrical activity was averaged to create event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to the Stroop task. Results reveal that those with authoritative parenting styles had reduced cortical responsiveness in frontal lobes compared to other parenting styles (Congruent P300 Amplitude, t(42) = -2.773, p=0.008, Incongruent P300 Amplitude, t(43) = -2.164, p=0.036), suggesting more efficient cognitive functioning when it comes to tasks requiring selective attention. Individuals with less supportive parenting styles may require more cognitive input as reflected by greater cortical responses to the Stroop Task. Future studies on decision-making and/or attention should consider parenting styles as an explanatory factor leading to variability in performance.

Topic Area: METHODS: Electrophysiology


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April 13–16  |  2024