PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Poster Session C - Mental Health Sciences 1.

Theoretical Framework for Understanding the Biopsychosocial Background of Early Regulatory Difficulties in Children with Down Syndrome


Noémi Napravszky1, Ildikó Danis PhD1
1: Semmelweis University, Institute of Mental Health; Budapest, Hungary

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Regulatory problems in infants and toddlers, such as atypical crying behaviour, feeding, and sleeping complaints can become more pronounced in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Down syndrome. Several factors can contribute to the development of regulatory disorders, e.g. the child's biological predisposition, atypical developmental trajectory, different self-regulation, the difficulties in the parents’ psychosocial functioning, and the parent-child interactions. The poster presentation aims to introduce our research plan.
Aims: Our research aims to investigate the developmental characteristics of children with Down syndrome under 36 months of age, and the characteristics of family functioning that manifest along the child's atypical development, to identify the organic and interactional background factors of regulatory disorders in Down syndrome.
Methods: Through a questionnaire survey and focus group interviews, we collect information on early childhood regulatory disorders based on parents' perceptions and representations of children's developmental characteristics, parenting practices, and family functioning. We will be able to compare our data with representative community samples.
Result: The empirical results of the research can provide an opportunity to identify significant risk and protective factors for the mental health of children with special needs and their families, targeted intervention points, and topics to design effective intervention methods and programs.
Conclusion: Early recognition and treatment of regulatory problems can help prevent difficulties in caregiver-child relationship, support optimal early attachment development, and reduce the risk of later psychopathological issues, serving as a protective factor for the life course of the child with Down syndrome and the family.

Funding: The research was not supported by fundings.
E-mail address:
The name of the University and Doctoral School: Semmelweis University, School of PhD Studies, Mental Health Sciences Division, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Program
The name of the Supervisor: Ildikó Danis PhD