An interview with Masha A. Gartstein
Does culture determine whether or not our kids become introverts or extroverts? What makes some babies and kids more prone to fussiness while others are more calm? Also, can we positively influence our children’s behavior or is temperament primarily genetic?
Maria (Masha) Gartstein is a professor in the Washington State University Department of Psychology and the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Director. Masha and her collaborators’ research has focused on the role that parenting plays in how temperament “comes online” in early childhood. Their work is the subject of an episode in the Netflix documentary “Babies” filmed at the Gartstein Temperament Laboratory.
In this interview she answers some of the above questions and also discusses findings on the impacts of the microbiome, genetics, epigenetics, parenting and culture on children’s temperament.
She also talks about:
– Her childhood growing up
– The impacts of stress during pregnancy
– Difficulties and challenges women researchers and faculty face when they become mothers
– Individualism vs. collectivism and how what’s valued in each culture influences our childrens’ behavior
– The Frozen II motto she lives by
If you’re interested in learning about her fascinating research, make sure to tune into this episode.