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Child Development

Allison P O'Leary, Vladimir M Sloutsky
Two experiments investigated the development of metacognitive monitoring and control, and conditions under which children engage these processes. In Experiment 1, 5-year-olds (N = 30) and 7-year-olds (N = 30), unlike adults (N = 30), showed little evidence of either monitoring or control. In Experiment 2, 5-year-olds (N = 90) were given performance feedback (aimed at improving monitoring), instruction to follow a particular strategy (aimed at improving control), or both. Across conditions, feedback improved children's monitoring, and instruction improved both monitoring and control...
October 19, 2016: Child Development
May Ling D Halim, Diane N Ruble, Catherine S Tamis-LeMonda, Patrick E Shrout, David M Amodio
This study examined factors that predicted children's gender intergroup attitudes at age 5 and the implications of these attitudes for intergroup behavior. Ethnically diverse children from low-income backgrounds (N = 246; Mexican-, Chinese-, Dominican-, and African American) were assessed at ages 4 and 5. On average, children reported positive same-gender and negative other-gender attitudes. Positive same-gender attitudes were associated with knowledge of gender stereotypes. In contrast, positive other-gender attitudes were associated with flexibility in gender cognitions (stereotype flexibility, gender consistency)...
October 19, 2016: Child Development
Nairán Ramírez-Esparza, Adrián García-Sierra, Patricia K Kuhl
This study tested the impact of child-directed language input on language development in Spanish-English bilingual infants (N = 25, 11- and 14-month-olds from the Seattle metropolitan area), across languages and independently for each language, controlling for socioeconomic status. Language input was characterized by social interaction variables, defined in terms of speech style ("parentese" vs. standard speech) and social context (one-on-one vs. group). Correlations between parentese one-on-one and productive vocabulary at 24 months (n = 18) were found across languages and in each language independently...
October 19, 2016: Child Development
Selin Gülgöz, Susan A Gelman
Power differences are observed in children's early relationships, yet little is known about how children conceptualize social power. Study 1 recruited adults (n = 35) to assess the validity of a series of vignettes to measure five dimensions of social power. Using these vignettes, Study 2 (149 three- to nine-year-olds, 42 adults) and Study 3 (86 three- to nine-year-olds, 22 adults) showed that children visiting a science museum at a middle class university town are sensitive to several dimensions of social power from a young age; however, an adult-like breadth of power concepts does not develop until 7-9 years...
October 14, 2016: Child Development
Renaud Massart, Matthew J Suderman, Zsofia Nemoda, Sheila Sutti, Angela M Ruggiero, Amanda M Dettmer, Stephen J Suomi, Moshe Szyf
The effects of social status on human health can be modeled in captive cohorts of nonhuman primates. This study shows that maternal social rank is associated with broad changes in DNA methylation in placentae of rhesus monkeys (N = 10). Differentially methylated genes between social ranks are enriched in signaling pathways playing major roles in placenta physiology. Moreover, the authors found significant overlaps with genes whose expression was previously associated with social rank in adult rhesus monkeys (Tung et al...
October 14, 2016: Child Development
Deborah M Casper, Noel A Card
This meta-analytic review includes 135 studies, representing 17 countries, of child and adolescent (ages 4-17) samples of overt and relational peer victimization and examines the magnitude of overlap between forms of victimization and associations with five social-psychological adjustment indices. Results indicate a strong intercorrelation between forms of victimization (r¯ = .72). No gender difference with regard to relational victimization was found, but boys were slightly higher in overt victimization...
October 6, 2016: Child Development
Wendy Troop-Gordon, Niwako Sugimura, Karen D Rudolph
This research examined the development of stress responses across second to sixth grades and whether exposure to peer victimization alters stress response trajectories. Youth (338 girls; 298 boys; Mage  = 7.97 years, SD = .37) reported on stress responses; teachers and youth reported on peer victimization. Latent growth curve modeling revealed an increase in effortful engagement responses and a decrease in disengagement and involuntary engagement responses during this period. Peer victimization disrupted these normative trajectories, resulting in less effortful engagement and more effortful disengagement and involuntary stress responses in early adolescence...
October 6, 2016: Child Development
Richard E Ahl, Frank C Keil
Four studies explored the abilities of 80 adults and 180 children (4-9 years), from predominantly middle-class families in the Northeastern United States, to use information about machines' observable functional capacities to infer their internal, "hidden" mechanistic complexity. Children as young as 4 and 5 years old used machines' numbers of functions as indications of complexity and matched machines performing more functions with more complex "insides" (Study 1). However, only older children (6 and older) and adults used machines' functional diversity alone as an indication of complexity (Studies 2-4)...
September 26, 2016: Child Development
Ashlea M Klahr, S Alexandra Burt, Leslie D Leve, Daniel S Shaw, Jody M Ganiban, David Reiss, Jenae M Neiderhiser
Negative parenting is shaped by the genetically influenced characteristics of children (via evocative rGE) and by parental antisocial behavior; however, it is unclear how these factors jointly impact parenting. This study examined the effects of birth parent and adoptive parent antisocial behavior on negative parenting. Participants included 546 families within a prospective adoption study. Adoptive parent antisocial behavior emerged as a small but significant predictor of negative parenting at 18 months and of change in parenting from 18 to 27 months...
September 26, 2016: Child Development
Amanda C Brandone
Effective category-based induction requires understanding that categories include both fundamental similarities between members and important variation. This article explores 4- to 11-year-olds' (n = 207) and adults' (n = 49) intuitions about this balance between within-category homogeneity and variability using a novel induction task in which participants predict the distribution of a property among members of a novel category. Across childhood, children learned to recognize variability within categories-showing increasing sensitivity to the role of property type and domain in constraining inferences...
September 20, 2016: Child Development
Katie E Whiteside, Debbie Gooch, Courtenay F Norbury
Children learning English as an additional language (EAL) often experience lower academic attainment than monolingual peers. In this study, teachers provided ratings of English language proficiency and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning for 782 children with EAL and 6,485 monolingual children in reception year (ages 4-5). Academic attainment was assessed in reception and Year 2 (ages 6-7). Relative to monolingual peers with comparable English language proficiency, children with EAL displayed fewer social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties in reception, were equally likely to meet curriculum targets in reception, and were more likely to meet targets in Year 2...
September 20, 2016: Child Development
Su Yeong Kim, Yang Hou, Yolanda Gonzalez
This study aimed to untangle the mixed effects of language brokering by examining a contextual factor (i.e., parent-child alienation) and a personal attribute (i.e., resilience) that may relate to adolescents' feelings during translating (i.e., sense of burden and efficacy) and that may moderate the association between such feelings and adolescent depressive symptoms. Participants included 557 adolescent language brokers (Mage  = 12.96) in Mexican-American families. Results showed that adolescents with a strong sense of alienation from parents or low resilience (a) experienced more burden or less efficacy in translating and (b) were more susceptible to the detrimental effects of feeling a sense of burden and the beneficial effects of experiencing a sense of efficacy, as measured by depressive symptoms...
September 17, 2016: Child Development
Elaine Reese, Ella Myftari, Helena M McAnally, Yan Chen, Tia Neha, Qi Wang, Fiona Jack, Sarah-Jane Robertson
This study explored links between narrative identity, personality traits, and well-being for 263 adolescents (age 12-21) from three New Zealand cultures: Māori, Chinese, and European. Turning-point narratives were assessed for autobiographical reasoning (causal coherence), local thematic coherence, emotional expressivity, and topic. Across cultures, older adolescents with higher causal coherence reported better well-being. Younger adolescents with higher causal coherence instead reported poorer well-being...
September 17, 2016: Child Development
Marie Geurten, Marianne Lloyd, Sylvie Willems
Previous research has suggested that fluency does not influence memory decisions until ages 7-8. In two experiments (n = 96 and n = 64, respectively), children, aged 4, 6, and 8 years (Experiments 1 and 2), and adults (Experiment 2) studied a list of pictures. Participants completed a recognition test during which each study item was preceded by a sound providing either a highly predictive or mildly predictive context in order to make some test items more conceptually fluent. Overall, highly predictive items were recognized at a higher rate than mildly predictive items demonstrating an earlier development of the fluency heuristic than previously observed...
September 15, 2016: Child Development
Rabia R Chhangur, Joyce Weeland, Geertjan Overbeek, Walter Matthys, Bram Orobio de Castro, Danielle van der Giessen, Jay Belsky
This study investigated whether children scoring higher on a polygenic plasticity index based on five dopaminergic genes (DRD4, DRD2, DAT1, MAOA, and COMT) benefited the most from the Incredible Years (IY) parent program. Data were used from a randomized controlled trial including 341 Dutch families with 4- to 8-year-old children (55.7% boys) showing moderate to high levels of problem behavior. IY proved to be most effective in decreasing parent-reported (but not observed) externalizing behavior in boys (but not girls) carrying more rather than fewer dopaminergic plasticity alleles; this Gene × Intervention effect was most pronounced in the case of boys whose parents' manifested the most positive change in parenting in response to the intervention...
September 15, 2016: Child Development
J Ashwin Rambaran, Andrea Hopmeyer, David Schwartz, Christian Steglich, Daryaneh Badaly, René Veenstra
In this study, the associations between peer effects and academic functioning in middle adolescence (N = 342; 14-15 years old; 48% male) were investigated longitudinally. Similarity in achievement (grade point averages) and unexplained absences (truancy) was explained by both peer selection and peer influence, net of acceptance, and connectedness. Friendships were formed and maintained when adolescents had low levels of achievement or high levels of truancy. Friends influenced one another to increase rather than decrease in achievement and truancy...
August 31, 2016: Child Development
Caitlin F Canfield, Lisa R Edelson, Kimberly J Saudino
Although the phenotypic correlation between language and nonverbal cognitive ability is well-documented, studies examining the etiology of the covariance between these abilities are scant, particularly in very young children. The goal of this study was to address this gap in the literature by examining the genetic and environmental links between language use, assessed through conversational language samples, and nonverbal cognition in a sample of 3-year-old twins (N = 281 pairs). Significant genetic and nonshared environmental influences were found for nonverbal cognitive ability and language measures, including mean length of utterance and number of different words, as well as significant genetic covariance between cognitive ability and both language measures...
August 30, 2016: Child Development
Lea J Boldt, Grazyna Kochanska, Katherine Jonas
Although infant attachment has been long seen as key for development, its long-term effects may be complex. Attachment may be a catalyst or moderator of future developmental sequelae rather than a source of main effects. In 102 mothers, fathers, and infants, attachment was assessed at 15 months; children's negativity (rejection of parental rules and modeling attempts) at 25, 38, 52, and 67 months; and developmental outcomes (the child's parent-rated externalizing problems and the parent-child observed relationship quality) at ages 10 and 12...
August 29, 2016: Child Development
Carina Lüke, Angela Grimminger, Katharina J Rohlfing, Ulf Liszkowski, Ute Ritterfeld
Early identification of primary language delay is crucial to implement effective prevention programs. Available screening instruments are based on parents' reports and have only insufficient predictive validity. This study employed observational measures of preverbal infants' gestural communication to test its predictive validity for identifying later language delays. Pointing behavior of fifty-nine 12-month-old infants was analyzed and related to their language skills 1 year later. Results confirm predictive validity of preverbal communication for language skills with the hand shape of pointing being superior compared to the underlying motives for pointing (imperative vs...
August 26, 2016: Child Development
Aprile D Benner, Yijie Wang
There is an extensive body of work documenting the negative socioemotional and academic consequences of perceiving racial/ethnic discrimination during adolescence, but little is known about how the larger peer context conditions such effects. Using peer network data from 252 eighth graders (85% Latino, 11% African American, 5% other race/ethnicity), the present study examined the moderating role of cross-ethnic friendships and close friends' experiences of discrimination in the link between adolescents' perceptions of discrimination and well-being...
August 25, 2016: Child Development
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