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Child Development

Tyler W Watts, Greg J Duncan, Douglas H Clements, Julie Sarama
The current study estimated the causal links between preschool mathematics learning and late elementary school mathematics achievement using variation in treatment assignment to an early mathematics intervention as an instrument for preschool mathematics change. Estimates indicate (n = 410) that a standard deviation of intervention-produced change at age 4 is associated with a 0.24-SD gain in achievement in late elementary school. This impact is approximately half the size of the association produced by correlational models relating later achievement to preschool math change, and is approximately 35% smaller than the effect reported by highly controlled ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models (Claessens et al...
January 20, 2017: Child Development
Wendy Ellis, Lynne Zarbatany, Xinyin Chen, Megan Kinal, Lisa Boyko
Peer group interactional style was examined as a moderator of the relation between peer group school misconduct and group members' school misconduct. Participants were 705 students (Mage  = 11.59 years, SD = 1.37) in 148 peer groups. Children reported on their school misconduct in fall and spring. In the winter, group members were observed in a limited-resource task and a group conversation task, and negative and positive group interactional styles were assessed. Multilevel modeling indicated that membership in groups that were higher on school misconduct predicted greater school misconduct only when the groups were high on negative or low on positive interactional style...
January 20, 2017: Child Development
Samuel Ronfard, Jonathan D Lane
Children aged 4-7 years (N = 120) played four rounds of a find-the-sticker game. For each round, an informant looked into two cups and made a claim about which cup held a sticker. At the end of each round, children guessed the sticker's location, and then the sticker's actual location was revealed. For three of the rounds, the informant accurately reported the sticker's location. But critically, for one round-either Round 1, 2, or 3-she was inaccurate. Children continually adjusted their trust in the informant as they obtained more information about her accuracy...
January 20, 2017: Child Development
Charissa S L Cheah, Christy Y Y Leung, Sevgi Bayram Özdemir
This study examined the social-cognitive reasoning of 52 Chinese Malaysian preadolescents (9-12 years old; M = 11.02, SD = 0.94) and 68 adolescents (13-18 years old; M = 14.76, SD = 1.39) in resolving filial dilemmas within the personal and moral domain. Preadolescents deferred to parental authority, whereas adolescents endorsed filial obligation reasoning to justify compliance in the personal domain. Both appealed to filial obligation, pragmatic, or welfare and safety reasoning to justify compliance but fairness or rights reasoning to justify their noncompliance, for the moral issue...
January 20, 2017: Child Development
Emma Blakey, Daniel J Carroll
When switching between tasks, preschoolers frequently make distraction errors-as distinct from perseverative errors. This study examines for the first time why preschoolers make these errors. One hundred and sixty-four 2- and 3-year-olds completed one of four different conditions on a rule-switching task requiring children to sort stimuli according to one rule and then switch to a new rule. Conditions varied according to the type of information that children needed to ignore. Children made significantly more distraction errors when the to-be-ignored information was related to the previous rule...
January 9, 2017: Child Development
Yvonne H M van den Berg, Marike H F Deutz, Sanny Smeekens, Antonius H N Cillessen
This study examined the associations between children's early life experiences with parents, ego resiliency and ego undercontrol, and peer group social status in a longitudinal, multimethod study from infancy to middle childhood. Participants were 129 children (52% boys) who were followed from 15 months of age to 9 years and their primary caregivers from the Nijmegen Longitudinal Study on Infant and Child Development. The measurements included observations of parent-child interaction, teacher ratings of ego resiliency and ego undercontrol, and peer-reported social status...
January 4, 2017: Child Development
Marco Del Giudice
Expectations about the shape of statistical interactions play a crucial role in the study of differential susceptibility and other types of person-environment interplay. These expectations shape methodological guidelines and inform the interpretation of empirical findings; however, their logic has never been explicitly examined. This study is the first systematic exploration of the evolution of interaction shape in differential susceptibility. The model introduced here yields a number of novel insights; for example, interactions in differential susceptibility should usually be asymmetric and likely to be biased toward the prototypical shape of diathesis-stress models...
December 29, 2016: Child Development
Amanda J Lucas, Emily R R Burdett, Vanessa Burgess, Lara A Wood, Nicola McGuigan, Paul L Harris, Andrew Whiten
This study tested the prediction that, with age, children should rely less on familiarity and more on expertise in their selective social learning. Experiment 1 (N = 50) found that 5- to 6-year-olds copied the technique their mother used to extract a prize from a novel puzzle box, in preference to both a stranger and an established expert. This bias occurred despite children acknowledging the expert model's superior capability. Experiment 2 (N = 50) demonstrated a shift in 7- to 8-year-olds toward copying the expert...
December 29, 2016: Child Development
Kelsey Lucca, Makeba Parramore Wilbourn
Infants' pointing gestures are a critical predictor of early vocabulary size. However, it remains unknown precisely how pointing relates to word learning. The current study addressed this question in a sample of 108 infants, testing one mechanism by which infants' pointing may influence their learning. In Study 1, 18-month-olds, but not 12-month-olds, more readily mapped labels to objects if they had first pointed toward those objects than if they had referenced those objects via other communicative behaviors, such as reaching or gaze alternations...
December 29, 2016: Child Development
Wyndol Furman, Charlene Collibee
This study examined how representations of parent-child relationships, friendships, and past romantic relationships are related to subsequent romantic representations. Two-hundred 10th graders (100 female; Mage  = 15.87 years) from diverse neighborhoods in a Western U.S. city were administered questionnaires and were interviewed to assess avoidant and anxious representations of their relationships with parents, friends, and romantic partners. Participants then completed similar questionnaires and interviews about their romantic representations six more times over the next 7...
December 28, 2016: Child Development
Elizabeth O Hayward, Bruce D Homer, Manuel Sprung
Age-related changes in flexibility and automaticity of reasoning about social situations were investigated. Children (N = 101; age range = 7;8-17;7) were presented with the flexibility and automaticity of social cognition (FASC), a new measure of social cognition in which cartoon vignettes of social situations are presented and participants explain what is happening and why. Scenarios vary on whether the scenario is socially ambiguous and whether or not language is used. Flexibility is determined by the number of unique, plausible explanations, and automaticity is indicated by speed of response...
December 22, 2016: Child Development
Tessa Margett-Jordan, Rachael G Falcon, David C Witherington
Given limitations in the integrative scope of past research, basic questions about the organization and development of preschoolers' living kinds concept remain open to debate. This study was designed to address past limitations through use of a longitudinal design, extensive stimulus set, and alternate indices of understanding. Thirty-five English-speaking 3-year-olds from middle-class families in Albuquerque, NM participated in four testing sessions over 1 year. Indices of understanding included statements that preschoolers generated about various living and nonliving objects, biological properties they attributed to the objects, and their characterization of objects as "alive" or not...
December 19, 2016: Child Development
Florrie Fei-Yin Ng, Irene Nga-Lam Sze, Catherine S Tamis-LeMonda, Diane N Ruble
Academic socialization by low-income immigrant mothers from Mainland China was investigated in two studies. Immigrant Chinese mothers of first graders (n = 52; Mage  = 38.69) in the United States (Study 1) and kindergartners (n = 86; Mage  = 36.81) in Hong Kong (Study 2) tell stories that emphasized achieving the best grade through effort more than did African American (n = 39; Mage  = 31.44) and native Hong Kong (n = 76; Mage  = 36.64) mothers, respectively. The emphasis on achievement was associated with mothers' heightened discussion on discrimination (Study 1) and beliefs that education promotes upward mobility (Study 2), as well as children's expectations that a story protagonist would receive maternal criticism for being nonpersistent in learning (Study 2)...
December 19, 2016: Child Development
Amanda P Williford, Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch, Jessica Vick Whittaker, Jamie DeCoster, Karyn A Hartz, Lauren M Carter, Catherine Sanger Wolcott, Bridget E Hatfield
A randomized controlled trial was used to examine the impact of an attachment-based, teacher-child, dyadic intervention (Banking Time) to improve children's externalizing behavior. Participants included 183 teachers and 470 preschool children (3-4 years of age). Classrooms were randomly assigned to Banking Time, child time, or business as usual (BAU). Sparse evidence was found for main effects on child behavior. Teachers in Banking Time demonstrated lower negativity and fewer positive interactions with children compared to BAU teachers at post assessment...
December 19, 2016: Child Development
Janine Bempechat, Jin Li, Samuel Ronfard
This mixed-methods study of urban low-income, English-proficient Chinese American, second-generation 15-year-olds (conducted in 2004; N = 32) examined the relation among the virtue model of learning communicated by parents and adolescents' learning beliefs, self-regulated learning (SRL) behaviors, and academic achievement. Analysis of in-depth individual interviews revealed that for these adolescents, perceptions of family educational socialization predicted students' endorsement of their culture's virtue-oriented learning beliefs and that adolescents' endorsement of these learning beliefs predicted their academic achievement...
December 16, 2016: Child Development
Kimberly L Meidenbauer, Jason M Cowell, Melanie Killen, Jean Decety
Distinguishing between equity and equality is essential when making social and moral decisions, yet the related neurodevelopmental processes are unknown. Evaluations of contextually based third-party distributions incorporating recipient need and resource importance were examined in children and adolescents (N = 82; 8-16 years). Spatiotemporal neurodynamic responses show distinct developmental profiles to viewing such distributions. Event-related potentials (ERPs) differentially predicted real-life behaviors based on age, where older children's (8-10 years) evaluations were related to a fairly rapid, automatic ERP component (early posterior negativity), whereas adolescent and preadolescent (11-16 years) evaluations, first-person allocations, and prosocial behaviors were predicted by later, cognitively controlled ERP components (P3 and late positive potential)...
December 16, 2016: Child Development
Myriam Villalobos Solís, Judith G Smetana, Marina Tasopoulos-Chan
Puerto Rican adolescents (N = 105; Mage  = 15.97 years, SD = 1.40) evaluated hypothetical situations describing conflicts between Latino values (family obligations and respeto) and autonomy desires regarding personal, friendship, and dating activities. Adolescents judged that peers should prioritize Latino values over autonomy, which led to greater feelings of pride than happiness. However, they believed that teens would prioritize autonomy over Latino values, which led to greater feelings of happiness than pride...
December 16, 2016: Child Development
Hannah J Kramer, Deborah Goldfarb, Sarah M Tashjian, Kristin Hansen Lagattuta
We explored children's and adults' ability to disengage from current physiological states when forecasting future desires. In Study 1, 8- to 13-year-olds and adults (N = 104) ate pretzels (to induce thirst) and then predicted and explained what they would want tomorrow, pretzels or water. Demonstrating life-span continuity, approximately 70% of participants, regardless of age, chose water and referenced current thirst as their rationale. Individual differences in working memory and undergraduate grade point average were positively related to performance on the pretzel task...
December 16, 2016: Child Development
Youqin Huang, Qian Song, Ran Tao, Zai Liang
With unprecedented migration taking place in China, millions of children are profoundly affected. Using a sample of 916 children (aged 5-18) of migrants and the life course perspective, this article examines the impact of parental migration on children's health. Results show that migration has a complex impact on children's health. Although migrating to cities itself does not benefit children, poor housing conditions in cities have a negative impact on their health. The timing of parental migration is important, as preschoolers migrating with parents and teenagers left behind by parents have significantly worse health than others...
December 16, 2016: Child Development
Rachel E White, Emily O Prager, Catherine Schaefer, Ethan Kross, Angela L Duckworth, Stephanie M Carlson
This study investigated the benefits of self-distancing (i.e., taking an outsider's view of one's own situation) on young children's perseverance. Four- and 6-year-old children (N = 180) were asked to complete a repetitive task for 10 min while having the option to take breaks by playing an extremely attractive video game. Six-year-olds persevered longer than 4-year-olds. Nonetheless, across both ages, children who impersonated an exemplar other-in this case a character, such as Batman-spent the most time working, followed by children who took a third-person perspective on the self, or finally, a first-person perspective...
December 16, 2016: Child Development
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