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New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development

Philip A Fisher
The use of theory-driven models to develop and evaluate family-based intervention programs has a long history in psychology. Some of the first evidence-based parenting programs to address child problem behavior, developed in the 1970s, were grounded in causal models derived from longitudinal developmental research. The same translational strategies can also be applied to designing programs that leverage emerging scientific knowledge about the effects of early adverse experiences on neurobiological systems to reduce risk and promote well-being...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Dylan G Gee
Early caregiving experiences play a central role in shaping emotional development, stress physiology, and refinement of limbic circuitry. Converging evidence across species delineates a sensitive period of heightened neuroplasticity when frontoamygdala circuitry is especially amenable to caregiver inputs early in life. During this period, parental buffering regulates emotional behaviors and stress physiology as emotion regulation circuitry continues to mature. By contrast, disorganized or poor quality caregiving has profound and lasting consequences on the maturation of frontoamygdala circuitry essential for emotion regulation, even following termination of this early life stressor (e...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Angela N Maupin, Aliya C Roginiel, Helena J V Rutherford, Linda C Mayes
The transition to parenthood marks a significant developmental period for the mother. Clinical and preclinical studies evidence neural and hormonal changes that support maternal behavior that is critical to infant survival and development. These changes suggest marked plasticity as a result of reproduction in the mother. Furthermore, multiple reproductive experiences may contribute to long-lasting changes to support more efficient and competent caregiving with subsequent pregnancies and births. However, less is known about neural, hormonal, and behavioral changes that occur as a function of parity-the number of children a woman has...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Sohye Kim, Lane Strathearn
Although dramatic postnatal changes in maternal behavior have long been noted, we are only now beginning to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that support this transition. The present paper synthesizes growing insights from both animal and human research to provide an overview of the plasticity of the mother's brain, with a particular emphasis on the oxytocin system. We examine plasticity observed within the oxytocin system and discuss how these changes mediate an array of other adaptations observed within the maternal brain...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Pilyoung Kim
New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother-infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human mothers' brains, and explore how such plasticity supports mothers' psychological adaptation to parenting and sensitive maternal behaviors. Last, I discuss pregnancy and the early postpartum period as a window of vulnerabilities and opportunities when the human maternal brain is influenced by stress and psychopathology, but also receptive to interventions...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Mariana Pereira
Parenting recruits a distributed network of brain structures (and neuromodulators) that coordinates caregiving responses attuned to the young's affect, needs, and developmental stage. Many of these structures and connections undergo significant structural and functional plasticity, mediated by the interplay between maternal hormones and social experience while the reciprocal relationship between the mother and her infant forms and develops. These alterations account for the remarkable behavioral plasticity of mothers...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Frances A Champagne, James P Curley
Maternal behavior is dynamic and highly sensitive to experiential and contextual factors. In this review, this plasticity will be explored, with a focus on how experiences of females occurring from the time of fetal development through to adulthood impact maternal behavior and the maternal brain. Variation in postpartum maternal behavior is dependent on estrogen sensitivity within the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus and activation within mesolimbic dopamine neurons. This review will discuss how experiences across the lifespan alter the function of these systems and the multigenerational consequences of these neuroendocrine and behavioral changes...
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Helena J V Rutherford, Linda C Mayes
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Marigen Narea
This commentary discusses the implication of child and adolescent development research for public policy in Latin America. As illustrated by the articles in this special issue, even though the research of child and adolescent development in Latin America is making significant progress, still more research is needed. Developmental research in the region faces the challenge of uncovering the mechanisms that affect child development in a context of high levels of poverty and inequality. In addition, researchers in the region should be particularly careful in using appropriate and rigorous methods, improving the design and adaptation of instruments that measure child and adolescent development, developing longitudinal datasets, and looking for causal evidence...
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
David D Preiss, Valeska Grau, Dominga Ortiz, Michelle Bernardino
We review recent research about the development of creativity in South America focusing on studies of individual differences in creativity and educational and developmental studies of children and adolescents' creativity. Most South American researchers are influenced by mainstream psychometric approaches, although computational and cultural approaches are also considered. Two main areas of inquiry are: (a) the relationship between creativity and other constructs, and (b) the structural and cultural inhibitors of creativity in school...
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Séverin Lions, Marcela Peña
Reading comprehension (RC) is below the international standard in many countries of Latin America (LA). Here we review factors that might be associated with failure in RC of the first language in LA. Then we present interventions reporting beneficial impact on RC in typically developing students from English-speaking countries and discuss their possible applicability in LA. We conclude that research-based pedagogical interventions are currently available to promote RC at school and may be suitable to implement in LA in order to improve RC...
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Natália Bezerra Mota, Mauro Copelli, Sidarta Ribeiro
The early onset of mental disorders can lead to serious cognitive damage, and timely interventions are needed in order to prevent them. In patients of low socioeconomic status, as is common in Latin America, it can be hard to identify children at risk. Here, we briefly introduce the problem by reviewing the scarce epidemiological data from Latin America regarding the onset of mental disorders, and discussing the difficulties associated with early diagnosis. Then we present computational psychiatry, a new field to which we and other Latin American researchers have contributed methods particularly relevant for the quantitative investigation of psychopathologies manifested during childhood...
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Christian Berger, Carolina Lisboa, Olga Cuadros, Pablo de Tezanos-Pinto
Peer relations constitute a main developmental context for adolescents. Peers offer an instance for identity definition and set the norms of acceptable and valued characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes, representing a societal model that allows and restrains avenues for adolescents' socioemotional development. The present article departs from these considerations to review research on adolescents' peer relations in Latin America from a socioemotional perspective. First, approaches to adolescence are discussed, with a main focus on attachment and identity theories, based on a bioecological framework...
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Katherine Strasser, Andrea Rolla, Silvia Romero-Contreras
Educational results in Latin America (LA) are well below those of developed countries. One factor that influences how well children do at school is school readiness. In this article, we review studies conducted in LA on the readiness skills of preschool children. We begin by discussing contextual factors that affect what is expected of children upon school entry, and we examine critical aspects of children's developmental contexts in LA. We then review local research on the level and determinants of three readiness skills of preschoolers in LA...
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
M Soledad Segretin, M Julia Hermida, Lucía M Prats, Carolina S Fracchia, Eliana Ruetti, Sebastián J Lipina
For at least eight decades, researchers have analyzed the association between childhood poverty and cognitive development in different societies worldwide, but few of such studies have been carried out in Latin America. The aim of the present paper is to systematically review the empirical studies that have analyzed the associations between poverty and cognitive development in children under 18 years of age from Latin American and Caribbean countries between 2000 and 2015. This analysis takes into consideration the country where the work was conducted, the experimental and analytical design, sample size and composition, cognitive and poverty paradigms implemented, levels of analysis, and the inclusion of mediation analyses...
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
David D Preiss
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Paul J Silvia, Alexander P Christensen, Katherine N Cotter
A major question for research on the development of creativity is whether it is interested in creative potential (a prospective approach that uses measures early in life to predict adult creativity) or in children's creativity for its own sake. We suggest that a focus on potential for future creativity diminishes the fascinating creative world of childhood. The contributions to this issue can be organized in light of an ability × motivation framework, which offers a fruitful way for thinking about the many factors that foster and impede creativity...
2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Mark A Runco
The articles in this issue of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development nicely summarize recent findings about creativity and development. This commentary underscores some of the key ideas and puts them into a larger context (i.e., the corpus of creativity research). It pinpoints areas of agreement (e.g., the need to take both generative and convergent processes into account when examining developmental changes in creative behavior) but balances this with a discussion of concerns. These include (a) problems with the concept of Big C creativity, as it may confound the realization of creative potential, (b) lack of attention given to cultural relativity, and (c) inappropriate testing of divergent thinking...
2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Ronald A Beghetto, Anna E Dilley
What experiences influence the development of creativity in children and adolescents? One experience is the mortification of creative aspirations. Creative mortification (CM) refers to the loss of one's willingness to pursue a particular creative aspiration following a negative performance outcome. The purpose of this article is to introduce an empirically testable model of CM. Specifically, the model highlights how CM can result from interpreting a negative performance outcome through the lens of internal attributions, fixed ability beliefs, and the experience of shame...
2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
Sietske W Kleibeuker, Carsten K W De Dreu, Eveline A Crone
Creativity is a multifaceted construct that recruits different cognitive processes. Here, we summarize studies that show that creativity develops considerably during adolescence with different developmental trajectories for insight, verbal divergent thinking, and visuospatial divergent thinking. Next, these developmental time courses are mapped to changes in brain activity when individuals perform divergent thinking tasks. The findings point to an important role of the prefrontal cortex for generating novelty and complexity...
2016: New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development
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