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Child Development

Elisabeth Schreuders, Barbara R Braams, Neeltje E Blankenstein, Jiska S Peper, Berna Güroğlu, Eveline A Crone
It was examined how ventral striatum responses to rewards develop across adolescence and early adulthood and how individual differences in state- and trait-level reward sensitivity are related to these changes. Participants (aged 8-29 years) were tested across three waves separated by 2 years (693 functional MRI scans) in an accelerated longitudinal design. The results confirmed an adolescent peak in reward-related ventral striatum, specifically nucleus accumbens, activity. In early to mid-adolescence, increases in reward activation were related to trait-level reward drive...
March 13, 2018: Child Development
Leila M Larson, Reynaldo Martorell, Patricia J Bauer
Nutrition plays an important role in the development of a child, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where malnutrition is often widespread. The relation between diet, hemoglobin, nutritional status, motor development, stimulation and mental development was examined in a cross-sectional sample of 1,079 children 12-18 months of age living in rural Bihar, India. Path analysis revealed associations between (a) length-for-age z-scores and motor development, standardized β (β) = .285, p < ...
March 12, 2018: Child Development
Andrik I Becht, Marieke G N Bos, Stefanie A Nelemans, Sabine Peters, Wilma A M Vollebergh, Susan J T Branje, Wim H J Meeus, Eveline A Crone
This multimethod multisample longitudinal study examined how neurological substrates associated with goal directedness and information seeking are related to adolescents' identity. Self-reported data on goal-directedness were collected across three biannual waves in Study 1. Identity was measured one wave later. Study 1 design and measurements were repeated in Study 2 and extended with structural brain data (nucleus accumbens [NAcc] and prefrontal cortex gray matter volume [PFC]), collected across three biannual waves...
March 8, 2018: Child Development
Jin Li, Yoko Yamamoto, Jamison M Kinnane, Bree C Shugarts, Clarence K K Ho
Little research exists on how immigrant children develop their beliefs about school learning (BASLs) in their home and host cultures. We examined the BASLs and achievement children of Chinese immigrants' (CCI) and European American (EA) children. We followed longitudinally 120 middle-class children from age 4 to 5, balanced for gender. Children heard two story beginnings depicting a child eager to attend school and another not. Children completed the stories and were tested for math and literacy achievement...
March 7, 2018: Child Development
Ron Pomper, Jenny R Saffran
Children use the presence of familiar objects with known names to identify the correct referents of novel words. In natural environments, objects vary widely in salience. The presence of familiar objects may sometimes hinder rather than help word learning. To test this hypothesis, 3-year-olds (N = 36) were shown novel objects paired with familiar objects that varied in their visual salience. When the novel objects were labeled, children were slower and less accurate at fixating them in the presence of highly salient familiar objects than in the presence of less salient familiar objects...
March 7, 2018: Child Development
Jane E Hutchison, Ian M Lyons, Daniel Ansari
This study investigates gender differences in basic numerical skills that are predictive of math achievement. Previous research in this area is inconsistent and has relied upon traditional hypothesis testing, which does not allow for assertive conclusions to be made regarding nonsignificant findings. This study is the first to compare male and female performance (N = 1,391; ages 6-13) on many basic numerical tasks using both Bayesian and frequentist analyses. The results provide strong evidence of gender similarities on the majority of basic numerical tasks measured, suggesting that a male advantage in foundational numerical skills is the exception rather than the rule...
February 27, 2018: Child Development
Jamie M Quinn, Richard K Wagner
The purpose of this review was to introduce readers of Child Development to the meta-analytic structural equation modeling (MASEM) technique. Provided are a background to the MASEM approach, a discussion of its utility in the study of child development, and an application of this technique in the study of reading comprehension (RC) development. MASEM uses a two-stage approach: first, it provides a composite correlation matrix across included variables, and second, it fits hypothesized a priori models. The provided MASEM application used a large sample (N = 1,205,581) of students (ages 3...
February 27, 2018: Child Development
Caroline P Hoyniak, John E Bates, Angela D Staples, Kathleen M Rudasill, Dennis L Molfese, Victoria J Molfese
Despite a robust literature examining the association between sleep problems and cognitive abilities in childhood, little is known about this association in toddlerhood, a period of rapid cognitive development. The present study examined the association between various sleep problems, using actigraphy, and performance on a standardized test of cognitive abilities, longitudinally across three ages (30, 36, and 42 months) in a large sample of toddlers (N = 493). Results revealed a between-subject effect in which the children who had more delayed sleep schedules on average also showed poorer cognitive abilities on average but did not support a within-subjects effect...
February 27, 2018: Child Development
Danielle M Dalimonte-Merckling, Holly E Brophy-Herb
The aim of this study was to examine how variations in children's temperamental reactivity and mothers' parenting stress relate to parenting behavior. A sample of 3,001 mother-child dyads was assessed when children were 14, 24, 36, and 54 months. Latent profile analysis identified a group of temperamentally "easy" children whose mothers experienced little parenting stress, along with two groups of highly reactive children differentiated by mothers' stress levels. Maternal negative regard over time was highest in the group of reactive children with highly stressed mothers...
February 27, 2018: Child Development
J J Cutuli, Janette E Herbers
This study considers risk associated with family homelessness for school functioning and experimental evidence on the effects of different housing interventions over time. Students in homeless families (N = 172; Mage  = 7.31; SD = 4.15) were randomized to housing interventions that focus on acute risks (community-based rapid rehousing), chronic risks (permanent subsidy), or usual care (UC). A matched group of low-income, housed students served as an additional reference for effects on attendance, school mobility, and reading and math achievement across 4 years...
February 21, 2018: Child Development
Marc Jambon, Sheri Madigan, André Plamondon, Ella Daniel, Jennifer M Jenkins
This study utilized actor-partner interdependence modeling to examine the bidirectional effects of younger (Mage = 18 months) and older siblings (Mage = 48 months) on later empathy development in a large (n = 452 families), diverse (42% immigrant) Canadian sample. Controlling for parenting, demographic characteristics, sibling relationship quality, and within-child stability in empathic concern, both younger and older siblings' observed empathic concern uniquely predicted relative increases in the other's empathy over a period of 18 months...
February 20, 2018: Child Development
Lindsay Taraban, Daniel S Shaw, Leslie D Leve, Misaki N Natsuaki, Jody M Ganiban, David Reiss, Jenae M Neiderhiser
This study used a large (N = 519), longitudinal sample of adoptive families to test overreactive parenting as a mediator of associations between parental depressive symptoms and early childhood externalizing, and parents' social support satisfaction as a moderator. Maternal parenting (18 months) mediated the association between maternal depressive symptoms (9 months) and child externalizing problems (27 months). Paternal parenting was not a significant mediator. Unexpectedly, we found a cross-over effect for the moderating role of social support satisfaction, such that partners' social support satisfaction reduced the strength of the association between each parent's own depressive symptoms and overreactive parenting...
February 20, 2018: Child Development
Lisa B Hurwitz
Most U.S. preschoolers have consumed media created with funding from the U.S. Department of Education's Ready To Learn (RTL) initiative, which was established to promote school readiness among children ages 2-8. Synthesizing data from 45 evaluations (N = 24,624 unique child participants), this meta-analysis examined the effects of RTL media exposure on young children's literacy skills. Results indicate positive effects of RTL media exposure on children's literacy outcomes, especially vocabulary and phonological concepts...
February 19, 2018: Child Development
Mariola C Gremmen, Christian Berger, Allison M Ryan, Christian E G Steglich, René Veenstra, Jan K Dijkstra
This study examined to what extent adolescents' and their friends' risk behaviors (i.e., delinquency and alcohol use) hinder or promote their academic achievement (grade point average [GPA]), and vice versa. Longitudinal data were used (N = 1,219 seventh- to ninth-grade adolescents; M age = 13.69). Results showed that risk behaviors negatively affected adolescents' GPA, whereas GPA protected against engaging in risk behaviors. Moreover, adolescents tended to select friends who have similar behaviors and friends' behaviors became more similar over time (same-behavior selection and influence)...
February 16, 2018: Child Development
Jonathan Redshaw, Johanna Vandersee, Adam Bulley, Sam J Gilbert
This study explored under what conditions young children would set reminders to aid their memory for delayed intentions. A computerized task requiring participants to carry out delayed intentions under varying levels of cognitive load was presented to 63 children (aged between 6.9 and 13.0 years old). Children of all ages demonstrated metacognitive predictions of their performance that were congruent with task difficulty. Only older children, however, set more reminders when they expected their future memory performance to be poorer...
February 15, 2018: Child Development
Hannah L Schacter, Jaana Juvonen
Although some adolescents are chronically bullied throughout middle school, others may only experience peer victimization temporarily. This study examined the effects of time-invariant (average level) and time-varying (year-to-year) victimization experiences across middle school on adolescents' depressive symptoms, somatic complaints, and self-blame. A key question was whether friends' victimization buffered students from their victimization-related distress. The diverse sample (n = 5,991) was surveyed four times between sixth and eighth grade (Mageat sixth grade = 11...
February 13, 2018: Child Development
Nina Lauharatanahirun, Dominique Maciejewski, Christopher Holmes, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Jungmeen Kim-Spoon, Brooks King-Casas
Adolescent risky behavior is related to developmental changes in decision-making processes and their neural correlates. Yet, research investigating how the family environment relates to risk processing in the adolescent brain is limited. In this study, longitudinal data were collected from 167 adolescents (13-15 years, 53% male) who self-reported household chaos and their parent's monitoring practices, and completed a decision-making task during functional MRI at Time 1 and Time 2 (1 year apart). Parental knowledge was positively related to insular risk processing only among adolescents in low-chaos environments at both time points...
January 31, 2018: Child Development
Deepthi Kamawar, Kimberly Connolly, Andrea Astle-Rahim, Serena Smygwaty, Corrie Vendetti
Planning and self-control were examined in relation to preschoolers' (41- to 74-months) saving behavior. Employing a marble run paradigm, 54 children participated in two trials in which they could use their marbles immediately on a less desirable run, or save for a more desirable run. Twenty-nine children received the opportunity to create a budget. On Trial 1, children in the budgeting condition saved significantly more than did children in the control condition, and their planning ability related to saving (after controlling for age and language)...
January 31, 2018: Child Development
Veronika Vilgis, Kristina L Gelardi, Jonathan L Helm, Erika E Forbes, Alison E Hipwell, Kate Keenan, Amanda E Guyer
The present study used cross-lagged panel analyses to test longitudinal associations among emotion regulation, prefrontal cortex (PFC) function, and depression severity in adolescent girls. The ventromedial and dorsomedial PFC (vmPFC and dmPFC) were regions of interest given their roles in depression pathophysiology, self-referential processing, and emotion regulation. At ages 16 and 17, seventy-eight girls completed a neuroimaging scan to assess changes in vmPFC and dmPFC activation to sad faces, and measures of depressive symptom severity and emotion regulation...
January 30, 2018: Child Development
Parissa J Ballard, Lindsay T Hoyt, Mark C Pachucki
The present study examines links between civic engagement (voting, volunteering, and activism) during late adolescence and early adulthood, and socioeconomic status and mental and physical health in adulthood. Using nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, a propensity score matching approach is used to rigorously estimate how civic engagement is associated with outcomes among 9,471 adolescents and young adults (baseline Mage  = 15.9). All forms of civic engagement are positively associated with subsequent income and education level...
January 23, 2018: Child Development
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