La funzione riflessiva materna come fattore di protezione dallo stress correlato al Covid-19 in bambini di scuola primaria.

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Maternal reflexive function as a protective factor from Covid-19-related stress in primary school children.

Eleonora Crapolicchio, Cadamuro Alessia, Bisagno Elisa, Di Bernardo Gian Antonio, Cocco Veronica Margherita, Trifiletti Elena, Vezzali Loris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

[Autom. eng. transl.] The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially those related to social distancing, have had a strong impact on the well-being of adults and children. For the latter, in particular, deprived of support in the presence of peers and educational and scholastic institutions, parents have assumed a fundamental role in modulating and containing their anxieties. We therefore conducted research on primary school children and their mothers, with the aim of investigating their emotional competence, the level of perceived stress and the ability to cope with the stressful event. The hypothesis was that the reflexive function maternal could facilitate the children in understanding and sharing their emotional experiences, configuring itself as a factor of protection from the development of high levels of stress. Method. N = 415 (NF = 250) Italian children of third, fourth and fifth grades of primary schools in central and northern Italy took part in the study (average age = 9.41 years), together with their mothers. Both babies and mothers were given questionnaires to measure competence in the attribution of correct mental states (ToM: e.g., Eyes test), as well as the stressful impact of the health emergency experienced (IES), together with the strategies used to cope with it (coping scales). In addition, the mothers were given RFQ-8 for the evaluation of reflexive function. Results. Data were analyzed through two sequential mediation models using SPSS's PROCESS macro (model 6). The analysis shows how the maternal reflexive function has reduced the impact of the perceived stressful event by children through two different mechanisms: on the one hand, through a process of double mediation that passes through an increased maternal ToM and, consequently, a greater ToM of the children; on the other hand, a greater reflexive function induces mothers to adopt fewer coping strategies of avoidance and this further reverberates in less stress perceived by the children. Conclusions. From this research it emerges that the maternal reflexive function represents a protective factor to promote psychological well-being in children in the face of stressful events. In fact, mothers with better mentalizing skills don't only they also employ fewer dysfunctional coping strategies, but they also stimulate a greater theory of mind in their children, who thus become able to cope with stress in a more adaptive way. In other words, the ability of mothers to make sense of their children's emotional experiences and to understand their mental states affects the same ability of children, and this translates into a lower vulnerability of children, reducing the impact of the stressful event. From an application point of view, it is important to favor educational strategies aimed at stimulating the reflective function of parents and ToM both in adults and in children involved in stressful events.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Maternal reflexive function as a protective factor from Covid-19-related stress in primary school children.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationGiornate di Studio AIP “Emergenza COVID-19. Ricadute evolutive ed educative” Sezione di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e dell’Educazione
Pages20-21
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA DI PSICOLOGIA. Giornate di Studio AIP “Emergenza COVID-19. Ricadute evolutive ed educative” Sezione di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e dell’Educazione - BARI -- ITA
Duration: 15 Sep 202016 Sep 2020

Conference

ConferenceASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA DI PSICOLOGIA. Giornate di Studio AIP “Emergenza COVID-19. Ricadute evolutive ed educative” Sezione di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e dell’Educazione
CityBARI -- ITA
Period15/9/2016/9/20

Keywords

  • italiano

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