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Child Development

Jonathan S Beier, Brandon F Terrizzi, Amanda M Woodward, Emma G Larson
This study examined social influences on 3-year-old children's decisions to help an experimenter gain another person's attention (N = 32). Children were slower to help the experimenter when the target had previously expressed disinterest in attending to her. Shy children were less likely to support the experimenter's attempts to communicate with the target; however, this association was not influenced by children's knowledge of the target's disinterest, and there was no relation between shyness and children's support for a separate physical goal...
November 24, 2016: Child Development
Rory T Devine, Claire Hughes
This meta-analysis seeks to integrate findings from 25 years of research on family correlates of young children's false belief understanding (FBU). Using data from 93 studies of 3- to 7-year-old children, we examined the correlations between FBU and four of the most widely studied family factors: parental socioeconomic status, number of siblings, parental mental-state talk, and mind-mindedness. FBU exhibited modest associations with each family variable and these associations held even when individual differences in verbal ability were taken into account...
November 24, 2016: Child Development
Daniel Berry, Michael T Willoughby
Reciprocal feedback processes between experience and development are central to contemporary developmental theory. Autoregressive cross-lagged panel (ARCL) models represent a common analytic approach intended to test such dynamics. The authors demonstrate that-despite the ARCL model's intuitive appeal-it typically (a) fails to align with the theoretical processes that it is intended to test and (b) yields estimates that are difficult to interpret meaningfully. Specifically, using a Monte Carlo simulation and two empirical examples concerning the reciprocal relation between spanking and child aggression, it is shown that the cross-lagged estimates derived from the ARCL model reflect a weighted-and typically uninterpretable-amalgam of between- and within-person associations...
November 23, 2016: Child Development
Talee Ziv, Jessica A Sommerville
The present research investigated the developmental trajectory of infants' fairness expectations from 6 to 15 months of age (N = 150). Findings revealed a developmental transition in infants' fairness expectations between 6 and 12 months, as indicated by enhanced visual attention to unfair outcomes of resource distribution events (a 3:1 distribution) relative to fair outcomes (a 2:2 distribution). The onset of naturalistic sharing behavior predicted infants' fairness expectations at transitional ages. Beyond this period of developmental transition, the presence of siblings and infants' prompted giving behavior predicted individual differences in infants' fairness concerns...
November 21, 2016: Child Development
Elise Chor
One-quarter of the Head Start population has a mother who participated in the program as a child. This study uses experimental Head Start Impact Study (HSIS) data on 3- and 4-year-olds (N = 2,849) to describe multigenerational Head Start families and their program experiences. In sharp contrast to full-sample HSIS findings, Head Start has large, positive impacts on cognitive and socioemotional development through third grade among the children of former participant mothers, including improved mathematics skills and reductions in withdrawn and aggressive behavior...
November 21, 2016: Child Development
Ashley M Groh, Angela J Narayan, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg, Glenn I Roisman, Brian E Vaughn, R M Pasco Fearon, Marinus H van IJzendoorn
This meta-analytic review examines the association between early attachment (assessed at 1-5 years) and child temperament (assessed at birth-12 years), and compares the strength of this association with recently documented meta-analytic associations between early attachment and social competence, externalizing behavior, and internalizing symptoms. Based on 109 independent samples (N = 11,440) of diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, temperament was weakly associated with attachment (in)security (d = ...
November 21, 2016: Child Development
Kenneth A Dodge, Yu Bai, Helen F Ladd, Clara G Muschkin
North Carolina's Smart Start and More at Four (MAF) early childhood programs were evaluated through the end of elementary school (age 11) by estimating the impact of state funding allocations to programs in each of 100 counties across 13 consecutive years on outcomes for all children in each county-year group (n = 1,004,571; 49% female; 61% non-Latinx White, 30% African American, 4% Latinx, 5% other). Student-level regression models with county and year fixed effects indicated significant positive impacts of each program on reading and math test scores and reductions in special education and grade retention in each grade...
November 17, 2016: Child Development
Beth M Casey, Caitlin M Lombardi, Dana Thomson, Hoa Nha Nguyen, Melissa Paz, Cote A Theriault, Eric Dearing
The primary goal in this study was to examine maternal support of numerical concepts at 36 months as predictors of math achievement at 4½ and 6-7 years. Observational measures of mother-child interactions (n = 140) were used to examine type of support for numerical concepts. Maternal support that involved labeling the quantities of sets of objects was predictive of later child math achievement. This association was significant for preschool (d = .45) and first-grade math (d = .49), controlling for other forms of numerical support (identifying numerals, one-to-one counting) as well as potential confounding factors...
November 14, 2016: Child Development
Barbara R Braams, Eveline A Crone
Adolescence is an important time for social development during which friendships become more intimate and complex. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study we tested how outcomes for friends are processed on the neural level across adolescence. Participants between 8 and 27 years of age were tested twice with a 2-year difference between the first (N = 299) and second (N = 254) time points. Participants performed a task in which they could win and lose money for themselves and their best friend...
November 11, 2016: Child Development
Hiltrud W R Otto, Nicole Schuitmaker, Bettina Lamm, Monika Abels, Yan Serdtse, Relindis Yovsi, Mark Tomlinson
This study introduces a peri-urban context of poverty to the study of child development in Africa in contrast to the more typical assessments in middle-class and rural contexts. Spot observations were used to assess universal caregiving behaviors toward seventy-six 3-month-old infants. Results show that middle-class infants experienced distal parenting behaviors instantiated by mothers, whereas rural children experienced proximal parenting practices in interactions with others. Infants growing up in poverty had mothers and other caretakers involved at mostly low levels...
November 10, 2016: Child Development
Callie W Little, Sara A Hart, Jamie M Quinn, Elliot M Tucker-Drob, Jeanette Taylor, Christopher Schatschneider
This study explores the co-development of two related but separate reading skills, reading fluency and reading comprehension, across Grades 1-4. A bivariate biometric dual change score model was applied to longitudinal data collected from 1,784 twin pairs between the ages of 6 and 10 years. Grade 1 skills were influenced by highly overlapping genetic and environmental factors. Growth in both skills was influenced by highly overlapping shared environmental factors. Cross-lagged parameters indicated bidirectional effects, with stronger effects from fluency to comprehension change than from comprehension to fluency change...
November 10, 2016: Child Development
Michelle McGillion, Jane S Herbert, Julian Pine, Marilyn Vihman, Rory dePaolis, Tamar Keren-Portnoy, Danielle Matthews
A child's first words mark the emergence of a uniquely human ability. Theories of the developmental steps that pave the way for word production have proposed that either vocal or gestural precursors are key. These accounts were tested by assessing the developmental synchrony in the onset of babbling, pointing, and word production for 46 infants observed monthly between the ages of 9 and 18 months. Babbling and pointing did not develop in tight synchrony and babble onset alone predicted first words. Pointing and maternal education emerged as predictors of lexical knowledge only in relation to a measure taken at 18 months...
November 10, 2016: Child Development
Nicola Botting, Anna Jones, Chloe Marshall, Tanya Denmark, Joanna Atkinson, Gary Morgan
Studies have suggested that language and executive function (EF) are strongly associated. Indeed, the two are difficult to separate, and it is particularly difficult to determine whether one skill is more dependent on the other. Deafness provides a unique opportunity to disentangle these skills because in this case, language difficulties have a sensory not cognitive basis. In this study, deaf (n = 108) and hearing (n = 125) children (age 8 years) were assessed on language and a wide range of nonverbal EF tasks...
November 10, 2016: Child Development
Chrystyna D Kouros, Mona El-Sheikh
The current study examined within-family relations between mothers', fathers', and children's objectively assessed sleep. Participants were 163 children (Mage  = 10.45 years; SD = 0.62) and their parents. For 7 nights, families wore actigraphs to assess sleep duration (minutes), quality (efficiency, long wake episode, total wake minutes), and schedule (wake time). A sleep log assessed bedtime. Multilevel models indicated that children's sleep minutes, sleep efficiency, wake minutes, and wake time were associated with fluctuations in their mothers', but not fathers', sleep that same night...
November 10, 2016: Child Development
Gabriel L Schlomer, H Harrington Cleveland, Mark E Feinberg, Pedro S A Wolf, Mark T Greenberg, Richard L Spoth, Cleve Redmond, Eric P Tricou, David J Vandenbergh
This study addresses replication in candidate gene × environment interaction (cG×E) research by investigating if the key findings from Brody, Beach, Philibert, Chen, and Murry (2009) can be detected using data (N = 1,809) from the PROSPER substance use preventive intervention delivery system. Parallel to Brody et al., this study tested the hypotheses that substance misuse initiation would increase faster from age 11 to age 14 and be higher at age 14 among: (a) 5-HTTLPR short carrier adolescents versus long homozygotes, (b) control versus intervention adolescents, and (c) 5-HTTLPR short carriers in the control condition versus all other participants...
November 8, 2016: Child Development
Hilary E Miller, Haley A Vlach, Vanessa R Simmering
Prior research has investigated the relation between children's language and spatial cognition by assessing the quantity of children's spatial word production, with limited attention to the context in which children use such words. This study tested whether 4-year-olds children's (N = 41, primarily white middle class) adaptive use of task-relevant language across contexts predicted their spatial skills. Children were presented with a spatial scene description task, four spatial tasks, and vocabulary assessments...
November 8, 2016: Child Development
Drew H Bailey, Andrew K Littlefield
This study reanalyzes data presented by Ritchie, Bates, and Plomin (2015) who used a cross-lagged monozygotic twin differences design to test whether reading ability caused changes in intelligence. The authors used data from a sample of 1,890 monozygotic twin pairs tested on reading ability and intelligence at five occasions between the ages of 7 and 16, regressing twin differences in intelligence on twin differences in prior intelligence and twin differences in prior reading ability. Results from a state-trait model suggest that reported effects of reading ability on later intelligence may be artifacts of previously uncontrolled factors, both environmental in origin and stable during this developmental period, influencing both constructs throughout development...
November 8, 2016: Child Development
Maria A Osina, Megan M Saylor, Patricia A Ganea
This study investigated the nature of infants' difficulty understanding references to hidden inaccessible objects. Twelve-month-old infants (N = 32) responded to the mention of objects by looking at, pointing at, or approaching them when the referents were visible or accessible, but not when they were hidden and inaccessible (Experiment I). Twelve-month-olds (N = 16) responded robustly when a container with the hidden referent was moved from a previously inaccessible position to an accessible position before the request, but failed to respond when the reverse occurred (Experiment II)...
November 3, 2016: Child Development
Kelsey M Quigley, Ginger A Moore, Cathi B Propper, Barbara D Goldman, Martha J Cox
Consistent with the gustatory-vagal hypothesis, vagal stimulation during breastfeeding may contribute to infants' physiological regulatory development independent of caregiving effects. This study examined whether breastfeeding predicted 6-month-old infants' (N = 151) and their mothers' vagal regulation during the face-to-face still-face (FFSF). Although breastfed and nonbreastfed infants showed expected vagal withdrawal during the Still-Face episode, only breastfed infants showed continued withdrawal during the reunion episode, suggesting greater physiological mobilization to repair the interaction...
November 1, 2016: Child Development
Robert Hepach, Amrisha Vaish, Michael Tomasello
Little is known about the flexibility of children's prosocial motivation. Here, 2- and 3-year-old children's (n = 128) internal arousal, as measured via changes in pupil dilation, was increased after they accidentally harmed a victim but were unable to repair the harm. If they were able to repair (or if they themselves did not cause the harm and the help was provided by someone else) their arousal subsided. This suggests that children are especially motivated to help those whom they have harmed, perhaps out of a sense of guilt and a desire to reconcile with them...
November 1, 2016: Child Development
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