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Child Development

Naomi Havron, Alex de Carvalho, Anne-Caroline Fiévet, Anne Christophe
Adults create and update predictions about what speakers will say next. This study asks whether prediction can drive language acquisition, by testing whether 3- to 4-year-old children (n = 45) adapt to recent information when learning novel words. The study used a syntactic context which can precede both nouns and verbs to manipulate children's predictions about what syntactic category will follow. Children for whom the syntactic context predicted verbs were more likely to infer that a novel word appearing in this context referred to an action, than children for whom it predicted nouns...
July 13, 2018: Child Development
Xiao Zhang, Pekka Räsänen, Tuire Koponen, Kaisa Aunola, Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen, Jari-Erik Nurmi
Mathematical difficulties have been distinguished as mathematics learning disability (MLD) and persistent low achievement (LA). Based on 1,880 Finnish children who were followed from kindergarten (age 6) to fourth grade, this study examined the early risk factors for MLD and LA. Distinct groups of MLD (6.0% of the sample) and LA (25.7%) children were identified on the basis of their mathematics performance between first and fourth grades with latent class growth modeling. Impairment in the same set of cognitive skills, including language, spatial, and counting skills, was found to underlie MLD and LA...
July 12, 2018: Child Development
Jennifer A Somers, Linda J Luecken, Tracy L Spinrad, Keith A Crnic
Resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) may confer infant susceptibility to the postpartum environment. Among infants with higher RSA, there may be a positive relation between depressive symptoms across the first 6 months postpartum (PPD) and later behavior problems, and toddlers' dysregulation during mother-child interactions may partially explain the effects. Among a sample of low-income Mexican-American families, infant RSA (N = 322; 46% male) was assessed at 6 weeks of age; mothers (Mage  = 27...
July 10, 2018: Child Development
Hae Yeon Lee, Jeremy P Jamieson, Adriana S Miu, Robert A Josephs, David S Yeager
Grades often decline during the high school transition, creating stress. The present research integrates the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat with the implicit theories model to understand who shows maladaptive stress responses. A diary study measured declines in grades in the first few months of high school: salivary cortisol (N = 360 students, N = 3,045 observations) and daily stress appraisals (N = 499 students, N = 3,854 observations). Students who reported an entity theory of intelligence (i...
July 10, 2018: Child Development
Gilda Morelli, Kim Bard, Nandita Chaudhary, Alma Gottlieb, Heidi Keller, Marjorie Murray, Naomi Quinn, Mariano Rosabal-Coto, Gabriel Scheidecker, Akira Takada, Marga Vicedo
This article examines the parent intervention program evaluated by Weber et al. (2017) and argues that there are scientific and ethical problems with such intervention efforts in applied developmental science. Scientifically, these programs rely on data from a small and narrow sample of the world's population; assume the existence of fixed developmental pathways; and pit scientific knowledge against indigenous knowledge. The authors question the critical role of talk as solely providing the rich cognitive stimulation important to school success, and the critical role of primary caregivers as teachers of children's verbal competency...
July 10, 2018: Child Development
Jennifer Vonk, Stephanie E Jett, Theodore S Tomeny, Sterett H Mercer, Julie Cwikla
Children (predominantly white and middle class) between 3 and 6 years (M = 55.12 months, N = 145 at Time 1, N = 102 at Time 2) participated in the prosocial choice test at two time points approximately 10 months apart. Children could share with strangers, close friends, nonfriends, and in a control, no recipient condition. Children shared more rewards with friends over time. Age interacted with recipient type such that older children had a higher probability of prosocial allocations toward friends and strangers compared to younger children...
June 29, 2018: Child Development
Christopher D Erb, Stuart Marcovitch
Six- to 8-year-olds, 10- to 12-year-olds, and adults (N = 108) performed the Simon task by reaching to targets on a digital display. The spatial and temporal characteristics of their movements were used to assess how two key processes underlying cognitive control-a threshold adjustment process and a controlled selection process-unfold over the course of a response (within-trial dynamics), are modulated by recent experience (cross-trial dynamics), and contribute to age-related gains in control (developmental dynamics)...
June 29, 2018: Child Development
Oda Bjørklund, Lars Wichstrøm, Clare H Llewellyn, Silje Steinsbekk
Eating more or eating less in response to negative emotions, called emotional over- and undereating, is common in children, but research on the etiology of these behaviors is in its infancy. Drawing on a large, representative community sample of Norwegian children followed up on a biennial basis from 6 to 10 years of age (analysis sample: n = 802), child and contextual predictors (i.e., child temperament, depression symptoms, serious life events, family functioning, parental sensitivity and structuring) of change in emotional over- and undereating were examined...
June 29, 2018: Child Development
Margherita Isella, Patricia Kanngiesser, Michael Tomasello
There has been extensive research into the development of selective trust in testimony, but little is known about the development of selective trust in promises. The present research investigates children's (N = 264) selective trust in others' promises to help. In Study 1, 6-year-olds selectively trusted speakers who had previously kept a promise. In Study 2, 5-year-olds displayed selective trust for speakers who had previously kept a prosocial promise (promise to help). In Study 3, 5-year-olds trusted a speaker, who kept a prosocial promise, over a helper...
June 29, 2018: Child Development
Willem E Frankenhuis, Daniel Nettle, John M McNamara
In the last decades, developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) has emerged as a central framework for studying early-life effects, that is, the impact of fetal and early postnatal experience on adult functioning. Apace with empirical progress, theoreticians have built mathematical models that provide novel insights for DOHaD. This article focuses on three of these insights, which show the power of environmental noise (i.e., imperfect indicators of current and future conditions) in shaping development...
June 26, 2018: Child Development
Nicole Wetzel, Florian Scharf, Andreas Widmann
Attention control abilities are relevant for learning success. Little is known about the development of audio-visual attention in early childhood. Four groups of children between the ages of 4 and 10 years and adults performed an audio-visual distraction paradigm (N = 106). Multilevel analyses revealed increased reaction times in a visual categorization task when task-irrelevant novel sounds were presented, demonstrating involuntary distraction of attention. This distraction effect decreased with age and significantly differed between age groups...
June 26, 2018: Child Development
Alexa Martin-Storey, Jessica Fish
Mental health disparities between heterosexual and sexual minority youth are partly explained by the higher rates of victimization experienced by sexual minority youth. The onset and progression of these victimization disparities, however, are poorly understood. Using multirater longitudinal data, trajectories of victimization starting at age 9 were compared among youth who did and did not report same-sex attraction at age 15 (N = 310). Self and teacher, but not primary caregivers, reported victimization was significantly higher among sexual minority youth starting at age 9, but did not vary across time...
June 25, 2018: Child Development
Sue A Rodríguez De Jesús, Kimberly A Updegraff, Adriana J Umaña-Taylor, Susan M McHale, Katharine H Zeiders
Family is an important context for cultural development, but little is known about the contributions of siblings. This study investigated whether older siblings' cultural orientations and familism values predicted changes in younger siblings' cultural orientations and familism values across 2 years and tested sibling characteristics and younger siblings' modeling as moderators. Participants were 246 Mexican-origin younger (Mage  = 17.72; SD = 0.57) and older siblings (Mage  = 20.65; SD = 1.57) and their parents...
June 25, 2018: Child Development
Agathe Backer-Grøndahl, Ane Naerde, Thormod Idsoe
This study examined differential and mediating relations between hot and cool self-regulation (Mage  = 48.2 months; N = 1,155, 48% girls), first-grade (Mage  = 77.5 months) maladjustment (externalizing [EXT] and internalizing [INT] behavior), and first- and second-grade (Mage  = 89.5 months) academic competence (AC). Using teacher reported EXT, INT, and AC, partial support for the differential perspective was found in that only hot self-regulation was significantly related to EXT, whereas both hot and cool self-regulation was significantly related to AC...
June 22, 2018: Child Development
Sean R Womack, Lindsay Taraban, Daniel S Shaw, Melvin N Wilson, Thomas J Dishion
This study examined the impact of residential instability and family structure transitions on the development of internalizing and externalizing problems from age 2 through 10.5. Child's race was examined as a moderator. Caregiver reports of internalizing and externalizing behaviors were obtained on 665 children at ages 5 and 10.5. Early-childhood residential and family structure transitions predicted elevated internalizing and externalizing problems at ages 5 and 10.5, but only for Caucasian children. These findings suggest that residential and family structure instability during early childhood independently contribute to children's later emotional and behavioral development, but vary as a function of the child's race...
June 19, 2018: Child Development
Anouk van Dijk, Astrid M G Poorthuis, Sander Thomaes, Bram O de Castro
Two studies investigated whether parent-child discussion of peer provocations reduces young children's hostile attributional bias. Study 1 (N = 109, age 4-7)-an observational study-showed that parent-child discussion of nonhostile attributions (when reading a picture book) predicted reductions in children's hostile attributional bias from pre- to postdiscussion. Study 2 (N = 160, age 4-6)-an experimental study-showed that stimulating parents to discuss either nonhostile attributions or normative beliefs (vs...
June 19, 2018: Child Development
Patrick T Davies, Lucia Q Parry, Sonnette M Bascoe, Meredith J Martin, E Mark Cummings
This study tested whether the strength of the mediational pathway involving interparental conflict, adolescent emotional insecurity, and their psychological problems depended on the quality of their sibling relationships. Using a multimethod approach, 236 adolescents (Mage  = 12.6 years) and their parents participated in three annual measurement occasions. Tests of moderated mediation revealed that indirect paths among interparental conflict, insecurity, and psychological problems were significant for teens with low, but not high, quality bonds with siblings...
June 19, 2018: Child Development
Mahesh Srinivasan, Elizabeth Kaplan, Audun Dahl
Conflicts arise when members of one religion apply their norms to members of another religion. Two studies explored how one hundred 9- to 15-year-old Hindu and Muslim children from India reason about the scope of religious norms. Both Hindus and Muslims from a diverse Hindu-Muslim school (Study 1) and Hindus from a homogeneous Hindu school (Study 2) more often judged it wrong for Hindus to violate Hindu norms, compared to Muslim norms, and said the opposite for Muslims. In contrast, children judged it wrong for both Hindus and Muslims to harm others...
June 13, 2018: Child Development
Paul L Morgan, George Farkas, Marianne M Hillemeier, Wik Hung Pun, Steve Maczuga
Whether and to what extent kindergarten children's executive functions (EF) constitute promising targets of early intervention is currently unclear. This study examined whether kindergarten children's EF predicted their second-grade academic achievement and behavior. This was done using (a) a longitudinal and nationally representative sample (N = 8,920, Mage  = 97.6 months), (b) multiple measures of EF, academic achievement, and behavior, and (c) extensive statistical control including for domain-specific and domain-general lagged dependent variables...
June 9, 2018: Child Development
Katherine B Ehrlich, Gregory E Miller, Madeleine Shalowitz, Rachel Story, Cynthia Levine, Deanna Williams, Van Le, Edith Chen
Children's perceptions of caregivers as a secure base have been linked with socioemotional outcomes, but little is known about connections to physical health. We examined whether secure base representations are associated with children's symptoms, family management strategies, and inflammatory processes in children with asthma. Participants included 308 children (ages 8-17) and one parent. Children completed a blood draw to measure asthma-related immune functions and reported on perceptions of their mothers as a secure base and their asthma symptoms...
June 6, 2018: Child Development
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