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Child Development

Thomas van Huizen, Lisa Dumhs, Janneke Plantenga
This study provides a cost-benefit analysis of expanding access to universal preschool education, focusing on a Spanish reform that lowered the age of eligibility for publicly provided universal preschool from age 4 to age 3. Benefits in terms of child development and maternal employment are estimated using evidence on the causal effects of this reform. In the baseline estimation the benefit-cost ratio is over 4, indicating sizeable net societal benefits of the preschool investment. The results show that the child development effects are the major determinant of the cost-benefit ratio; the employment gains for parents appear to play a relatively minor role...
November 20, 2017: Child Development
Sheretta T Butler-Barnes, Seanna Leath, Amber Williams, Christy Byrd, Rona Carter, Tabbye M Chavous
This study examines school climate, racial identity beliefs, and achievement motivation beliefs within a cultural-ecological and risk and resilience framework. Data were drawn from a longitudinal study of 733 (Mage  = 14.49) African American adolescent girls. A linear mixed effects model was used to determine if racial identity dimensions moderated the relationship between school climate and achievement motivation beliefs across four waves. Results revealed that racial identity (private regard and racial centrality) and ideology (nationalist) beliefs were associated with higher achievement motivation beliefs over time, while racial centrality and private regard, and a sense of belonging served as protective factors...
November 20, 2017: Child Development
Adam J Hoffman, Florence Dumas, Florence Loose, Annique Smeding, Beth Kurtz-Costes, Isabelle Régner
Trajectories of gender identity were examined from Grade 6 (Mage  = 11.9 years) to Grade 9 in European French (n = 570) and North African French (n = 534) adolescents, and gender and ethnic group differences were assessed in these trajectories. In Grade 6, boys of both ethnic groups reported higher levels of gender typicality and felt pressure for gender conformity than girls. European French girls and boys and North African French girls reported decreasing gender typicality from Grade 6 to Grade 9, whereas North African French boys did not change...
November 14, 2017: Child Development
Amanda Williams, Jennifer R Steele
The goal of this research was to examine children's implicit racial attitudes. Across three studies, a total of 359 White 5- to 12-year-olds completed child-friendly exemplar (Affective Priming Task; Affect Misattribution Procedure) and category-based (Implicit Association Test) implicit measures of racial attitudes. Younger children (5- to 8-year-olds) showed automatic ingroup positivity toward White child exemplars, whereas older children (9- to 12-year-olds) did not. Children also showed no evidence of automatic negativity toward Black exemplars, despite demonstrating consistent pro-White versus Black bias on the category-based measure...
November 8, 2017: Child Development
Rory T Devine, Claire Hughes
Although one might expect parents' mind-mindedness (MM; the propensity to view children as mental agents) to relate to everyday mental-state talk (MST) and theory-of-mind capacity, evidence to support this view is lacking. In addition, both the uniqueness and the specificity of relations between parental MM, parental MST, and children's false belief understanding (FBU) are open to question. To address these three gaps, this study tracked 117 preschoolers (60 boys) and their parents across a 13-month period (Mage  = 3...
November 8, 2017: Child Development
Suzanne Aussems, Sotaro Kita
An experiment with 72 three-year-olds investigated whether encoding events while seeing iconic gestures boosts children's memory representation of these events. The events, shown in videos of actors moving in an unusual manner, were presented with either iconic gestures depicting how the actors performed these actions, interactive gestures, or no gesture. In a recognition memory task, children in the iconic gesture condition remembered actors and actions better than children in the control conditions. Iconic gestures were categorized based on how much of the actors was represented by the hands (feet, legs, or body)...
November 8, 2017: Child Development
Clio E Pitula, Carrie E DePasquale, Shanna B Mliner, Megan R Gunnar
Seventy-eight postinstitutionalized (PI) children adopted at ages 17-36 months were assessed 2, 8, 16, and 24 months postadoption on measures of cortisol and parenting quality, and compared to same-aged children adopted from foster care (FC, n = 45) and nonadopted children (NA, n = 45). In kindergarten (Mage  = 6.0 years), teachers, parents, and trained observers completed measures of peer relationships and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. PI children had more peer problems and ADHD symptoms according to teachers and observers than NA children with FC children in between, whereas both PI and FC children were at significantly greater risk of hypocortisolism (i...
November 8, 2017: Child Development
Jerel P Calzo, Vickie M Mays, Charlotte Björkenstam, Emma Björkenstam, Kyriaki Kosidou, Susan D Cochran
Debate persists about whether parental sexual orientation affects children's well-being. This study utilized information from the 2013 to 2015 U.S., population-based National Health Interview Survey to examine associations between parental sexual orientation and children's well-being. Parents reported their children's (aged 4-17 years old, N = 21,103) emotional and mental health difficulties using the short form Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Children of bisexual parents had higher SDQ scores than children of heterosexual parents...
November 8, 2017: Child Development
Ana Maria Gonzalez-Barrero, Aparna S Nadig
This study investigated the effects of bilingualism on set-shifting and working memory in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Bilinguals with ASD were predicted to display a specific bilingual advantage in set-shifting, but not working memory, relative to monolinguals with ASD. Forty 6- to 9-year-old children participated (20 ASD, 20 typically-developing). Set-shifting was measured using a computerized dimensional change card sort (DCCS) task, and by parent report of executive functioning in daily life...
November 7, 2017: Child Development
Keriann Little, Craig A Olsson, Sarah Whittle, Jacqui A Macdonald, Lisa B Sheeber, George J Youssef, Julian G Simmons, Ann V Sanson, Debra L Foley, Nicholas B Allen
In threatening environments, the short (S) allele of 5-HTTLPR is proposed to augment risk for depression. However, it is unknown whether 5-HTTLPR variation increases risk for depression in environments of deprivation, lacking positive or nurturant features. Two independent longitudinal studies (n = 681 and 176, respectively) examined whether 5-HTTLPR moderated associations between low levels of positive parenting at 11-13 years and subsequent depression at 17-19 years. In both studies only LL homozygous adolescents were at greater risk for depression with decreasing levels of positive parenting...
November 2, 2017: Child Development
Alejandrina Cristia, Emmanuel Dupoux, Michael Gurven, Jonathan Stieglitz
This article provides an estimation of how frequently, and from whom, children aged 0-11 years (Ns between 9 and 24) receive one-on-one verbal input among Tsimane forager-horticulturalists of lowland Bolivia. Analyses of systematic daytime behavioral observations reveal < 1 min per daylight hour is spent talking to children younger than 4 years of age, which is 4 times less than estimates for others present at the same time and place. Adults provide a majority of the input at 0-3 years of age but not afterward...
November 2, 2017: Child Development
Allison P Mugno, Lindsay C Malloy, Daniel A Waschbusch, William E Pelham, Victoria Talwar
Children's lie-telling is surprisingly understudied among children with significant behavioral problems. In the present study, experimental paradigms were used to examine antisocial lie-telling among ethnically diverse 5- to 10-year-old children with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD; n = 71) and a typically developing (TD) comparison sample (n = 50) recruited from a southeastern state from 2013 to 2014. Children completed two games that measured the prevalence and skill of their lies: (a) for personal gain and (b) to conceal wrongdoing...
October 27, 2017: Child Development
Kristine N Marbell-Pierre, Wendy S Grolnick, Andrew L Stewart, Jacquelyn N Raftery-Helmer
Parental autonomy support has been related to positive adolescent outcomes, however, its relation to outcomes in collectivist cultural groups is unclear. This study examined relations of specific autonomy supportive behaviors and outcomes among 401 adolescents (Mage  = 12.87) from the United States (N = 245) and collectivist-oriented Ghana (N = 156). It also examined whether adolescents' self-construals moderated the relations of specific types of autonomy support with outcomes. Factor analyses indicated two types of autonomy support: perspective taking/open exchange and allowance of decision making/choice...
October 23, 2017: Child Development
Melissa Brinums, Kana Imuta, Thomas Suddendorf
Deliberate practice is essential for acquiring a wide range of skills that have been central to humans' adaptive success, yet little is known about when and how children develop this capability. The current study examined 4- to 7-year-olds' (N = 120) ability to selectively practice a skill that would be useful in the near future, as well as their broader understanding of the role of deliberate practice in skill acquisition. Six- and 7-year-olds demonstrated both an explicit understanding of deliberate practice and the capacity to practice without being prompted...
October 23, 2017: Child Development
Kelsey L West, Nina B Leezenbaum, Jessie B Northrup, Jana M Iverson
In typical development, walk onset is accompanied by increased language growth (e.g., Walle & Campos, 2014). The present study explored whether this relation may be disrupted in the infant siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; heightened risk of receiving an ASD diagnosis; HR), a population exhibiting substantial variability in motor and language development (e.g., Gamliel, Yirmiya, & Sigman, 2007; Landa & Garrett-Mayer, 2006). Receptive and expressive language were examined across the transition to walking in three groups of HR infants (no diagnosis, language delay, and ASD; N = 91, 8-18 months) and in infants with no family history of ASD (N = 25; 9-15 months)...
October 23, 2017: Child Development
Greg D Reynolds, John E Richards
This study examined behavioral, heart rate (HR), and event-related potential (ERP) correlates of attention and recognition memory for 4.5-, 6-, and 7.5-month-old infants (N = 45) during stimulus encoding. Attention was utilized as an independent variable using HR measures. The Nc ERP component associated with attention and the late slow wave (LSW) associated with recognition memory were analyzed. The 7.5-month-olds demonstrated a significant reduction in Nc amplitude with stimulus repetition. This reduction in Nc was not found for younger infants...
October 20, 2017: Child Development
Elizabeth A McCullough, Cynthia G Clopper, Laura Wagner
The development of language attitudes and perception of talker regional background was investigated across the life span (N = 240, age range = 4-75 years). Participants rated 12 talkers on dimensions of geographic locality, status, and solidarity. Children could classify some dialects by locality by age 6-7 years and showed adult-like patterns by age 8 years. Children showed adult-like status ratings for some dialects by age 4-5 years but were not fully adult-like until age 12 years. Solidarity ratings were more variable and did not exhibit a clear developmental trajectory, although some adult-like patterns were in place by age 6-7 years...
October 20, 2017: Child Development
Adam Fine, Kevin T Wolff, Michael T Baglivio, Alex R Piquero, Paul J Frick, Laurence Steinberg, Elizabeth Cauffman
Adolescents who view the justice system negatively are prone to commit crime. Simultaneously, youth who have difficulty regulating their behavior are likely to commit crime. Using a longitudinal sample of 1,216 male adolescents (ages 13-17) who had been arrested for the first time, were racially/ethnically diverse, and were drawn from three U.S. states, this study incorporated a developmental perspective into the procedural justice framework to examine whether psychosocial immaturity moderated the effect of justice system attitudes on youth crime...
October 16, 2017: Child Development
Alissa Mahler, Adam Fine, Paul J Frick, Laurence Steinberg, Elizabeth Cauffman
Adolescent first-time offenders demonstrate greater risk of continued offending, justice system contact, and high school dropout. The current study evaluates if optimistic expectations protect youth by reducing offending and improving school grades for 3 years following a first arrest (N = 1,165, Mage  = 15.29). This article also considers whether improved behavior raises expectations about the future and uses autoregressive latent trajectory modeling with structured residuals to examine the within-person cross-lagged associations between expectations and behavior...
October 12, 2017: Child Development
Katharine H Zeiders, Sara D Bayless, Chelsea L Derlan, Adriana J Umaña-Taylor, Kimberly A Updegraff, Laudan B Jahromi
Ethnic-racial identity (ERI) development and ethnic-racial discrimination are two salient experiences among adolescents in the United States. Despite growing awareness of the costs and benefits of these experiences individually, we know little about how they may influence one another. The current study examined competing hypotheses relating discrimination and components of ERI (i.e., exploration, resolution, affirmation) among a sample of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers (N = 181; Mage at Wave 1 = 16.83, SD = 1...
October 12, 2017: Child Development
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