Texas Tech University

Niyantri Ravindran, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Human Development and Family Sciences

Email: Niyantri.Ravindran@ttu.edu

Phone: (806) 834-3889

Office: HS 303A

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Currently accepting graduate students for Fall 2022

Niyantri Ravindran

Research Focus

Children's ability to successfully cope with emotional challenges can have long-term implications for their emotional and physical health. My research program focuses on understanding the temporal dynamics of how parents and young children navigate emotionally challenging situations, at both behavioral and physiological levels. Informed by transactional models of development, my research highlights individual factors (e.g., parental regulation, child negativity) that contribute to parents' responses to young children's negative emotions in real time, as well as how these parental responses promote or hinder children's developing ability to effectively manage negative emotions and stress. I am also interested in examining how sociocultural factors such as contextual stress shape the dynamics of parent-child interaction, and how these dynamics contribute to children's long-term adjustment. To address my research questions, I use observational coding, physiological assessments (e.g., RSA, EDA), and surveys, and I apply intensive longitudinal methods such as multilevel modeling to examine within- and between-person processes in parents and children.

Areas of Expertise

  • Dynamics of parent-child interactions
  • Sociocultural and affective determinants of parenting behavior
  • Parental socialization of children's emotion regulation and coping
  • Physiological stress reactivity and regulation in parents and children
  • Children's emotion regulation, social competence, and peer relationships

Selected Publications

Ravindran, N., McElwain, N. L., Berry, D., & Kramer, L. (forthcoming). Dynamic fluctuations in maternal cardiac vagal tone moderate moment-to-moment associations between children's negative behavior and maternal emotional support. Developmental Psychology.

Ravindran, N., Genaro, B. G., & Cole, P.M. (2021). Parental structuring in response to toddler negative emotion predicts children's later use of distraction as a self-regulation strategy for waiting. Child Development. 92, 5, 1969-1983. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13563

Ravindran, N., Zhang, X., Green, L.G., Gatzke-Kopp, L.M., Cole, P.M., & Ram, N. (2021). Concordance of mother-child respiratory sinus arrythmia is continually moderated by dynamic changes in emotional content of film stimuli. Biological Psychology (Invited submission to Special Issue: Biological, emotional, and behavioral concordance: Multi-level, multi-person approaches to health across the lifespan).  161, 108053. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2021.108053

Chen, X., McCormick, E. M, Ravindran, N., McElwain, N. L., & Telzer, E. H. (2020). Maternal emotion socialization in early childhood predicts adolescents' amygdala-vmPFC functional connectivity to emotion faces. Developmental Psychology, (Special Issue: Parental Socialization of Emotion and Self-Regulation), 56, 503-515. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000852
Ravindran N., Hu, Y., McElwain, N. L., & Telzer, E. H. (2020). Dynamics of mother-adolescent and father-adolescent autonomy and control during a conflict discussion task. Journal of Family Psychology, 34, 312-321. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000588
Ravindran, N., Berry, D. & McElwain, N. L. (2019). Dynamic bidirectional associations in negative behavior: Mother-toddler interaction during a snack delay. Developmental Psychology, 55, 1191-1198. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000703

Ravindran, N., McElwain, N. L., Berry, D., & Kramer, L. (2018). Mothers' dispositional distress reactivity as a predictor of maternal support following momentary fluctuations in children's aversive behavior. Developmental Psychology, 54, 209-219. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000418
Ravindran, N., Engle, J. M., McElwain, N. L., & Kramer, L. (2015). Fostering parents' emotion regulation through a sibling-focused experimental intervention. Journal of Family Psychology, 29, 458-468. https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000084