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Social Development

Brenda Salley, John Colombo
The term social attention has become widely used during the last decade, appearing within behavioral neuroscience and developmental neurocognitive literatures to characterize a variety of activities and cognitive processes that emerge in the presence of conspecifics. We provide here an overview of the current status of social attention as a construct, as reflected in its appearance in research studies, and we offer a framework for characterizing the extant literature based on the functions of social attention processes: as behavior for social communication, as motivation to engage in social communication, and as a form of basic visual attention in the context of other social agents...
November 2016: Social Development
Elizabeth J Kiel, Julie E Premo, Kristin A Buss
Child gender may exert its influence on development, not as a main effect, but as a moderator among predictors and outcomes. We examined this notion in relations among toddler fearful temperament, maternal protective parenting, maternal accuracy in predicting toddler distress to novelty, and child social withdrawal. In two multi-method, longitudinal studies of toddlers (24 months at Time 1; ns = 93 and 117, respectively) and their mothers, few main effect gender differences occurred. Moderation existed in both studies: only for highly accurate mothers of boys, fearful temperament related to protective parenting, which then predicted later social withdrawal...
May 2016: Social Development
Mojdeh Motamedi, Karen Bierman, Cynthia L Huang-Pollock
This study examined emotional reactivity to rejection and executive function (EF) skills as potential mediators of the social behavior problems of inattentive and hyperactive kindergarteners. Participants included 171 children, including 107 with clinical levels of ADHD symptoms, 23 with sub-clinical levels of ADHD symptoms, and 41 typically-developing children (63% male; 73% Caucasian, 11% African American, 4% Latino/Hispanic, 1% Asian, and 11% multiracial; Mage = 5.2 years). Inattention (but not hyperactivity) was uniquely associated with poor EF, social withdrawal, and aggression...
May 2016: Social Development
Jamie Koenig Nordling, Lea J Boldt, Jessica O'Bleness, Grazyna Kochanska
Although attachment security has been associated with children's rule-compatible conduct, the mechanism through which attachment influences early regard for rules is not well established. We hypothesized that effortful control would mediate the link between security and indicators of children's emerging regard for rules (discomfort following rule violations, internalization of parents' and experimenter's rules, few externalizing behaviors). In a longitudinal study, the Attachment Q-Set was completed by parents, effortful control was observed, and Regard for Rules was observed and rated by parents...
May 2016: Social Development
Janice Zeman, Danielle Dallaire, Sarah Borowski
Children of incarcerated mothers are at increased risk for psychological, social, and emotional maladaptation. This research investigates whether perceived maternal socialization of sadness and anger may moderate these outcomes in a sample of 154 children (53.9% boys, 61.7% Black, M age = 9.38, range: 6 - 12), their 118 mothers (64.1% Black), and 118 caregivers (74.8% female, 61.9% grandparents, 63.2% Black). Using mother, caregiver, and child report, seven maternal socialization strategies were assessed in their interaction with incarceration-specific risk experiences predicting children's adjustment...
February 2016: Social Development
Julie C Dunsmore, Jordan A Booker, Thomas H Ollendick, Ross W Greene
We examined whether maternal emotion coaching at pre-treatment predicted children's treatment response following a 12-week program addressing children's Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) symptoms. Eighty-nine mother-child dyads participated. At pre-treatment, mothers and children engaged in an emotion talk task. Mothers also reported their beliefs about emotions at pre-treatment and their child's disruptive behavior symptoms, emotion regulation, and emotion lability/negativity at pre-, mid-, and post-treatment...
February 2016: Social Development
Arya Ansari, Elizabeth Gershoff
Using a subsample of the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) 2006, this study examined the associations between the amount of teacher instruction in 292 Head Start classrooms with changes in young children's (n = 936) early academic achievement and learning-related social skills from ages 3 to 5. In general, during the early years, children exhibited relatively stable academic and learning-related social skills. Although the amount of teacher instruction did not predict children's short-term academic growth directly, it did predict it indirectly through improvements in learning-related social skills, with benefits lasting through the end of kindergarten...
November 1, 2015: Social Development
Sonya Negriff, Adam James, Penelope K Trickett
Little is known about the social support networks of maltreated youth or how youth in foster care may compare with those who remain with their parent(s). Social network characteristics and perceived social support were examined between (1) maltreated and comparison youth, (2) maltreated youth who remained with their biological parent, those with a foster parent, or a those with a kin caregiver, and (3) youth in stable placements and those who have changed placements. Data came from a sample of 454 adolescents (241 boys, 9-13 years old at enrollment) who took part in a longitudinal study of child maltreatment...
August 1, 2015: Social Development
Elinor Flynn, Samuel E Ehrenreich, Kurt J Beron, Marion K Underwood
This study investigated developmental trajectories for prosocial behavior for a sample followed from age 10 - 18 and examined possible adjustment outcomes associated with membership in different trajectory groups. Participants were 136 boys and 148 girls, their teachers, and their parents (19.4% African American, 2.4% Asian, 51.9% Caucasian, 19.5% Hispanic, and 5.8% other). Teachers rated children's prosocial behavior yearly in grades 4 - 12. At the end of the 12(th) grade year, teachers, parents, and participants reported externalizing behaviors and participants reported internalizing symptoms, narcissism, and features of borderline personality disorder...
August 2015: Social Development
Erin T B Mathis, Karen L Bierman
Delays in emotion regulation and attention control are common among children growing up in poverty, and they contribute to significant socio-economic gaps in school readiness and later school attainment. In this study, the emotion regulation and attention control skills of 210 prekindergarten Head Start participants were assessed (M age = 4.80 years old). Home interviews and videotaped parent-child interactions were used to evaluate three aspects of parenting (e.g., warm-sensitive, directive-critical, and parenting stress)...
August 1, 2015: Social Development
Nan Chen, Martha Ann Bell, Kirby Deater-Deckard
Frontal EEG asymmetry is associated with individual differences in positive/negative emotionality and approach/avoidance tendencies. The current study examined the moderating role of maternal resting frontal EEG asymmetry on the link between child behavior problems and maternal harsh parenting, within the context of differing degrees of chronic family stressors (father unemployment, single parenthood, caring for multiple children, and household chaos). The sample included 121 mother-child pairs. Results showed that stressors and frontal EEG asymmetry together moderated the link...
May 2015: Social Development
Rebecca Waller, Frances Gardner, Thomas Dishion, Stephanie L Sitnick, Daniel S Shaw, Charlotte E Winter, Melvin Wilson
A large literature provides strong empirical support for the influence of parenting on child outcomes. The current study addresses enduring research questions testing the importance of early parenting behavior to children's adjustment. Specifically, we developed and tested a novel multi-method observational measure of parental positive behavior support at age 2. Next, we tested whether early parental positive behavior support was related to child adjustment at school age, within a multi-agent and multi-method measurement approach and design...
May 2015: Social Development
Alisa N Almas, Kathryn A Degnan, Olga L Walker, Anca Radulescu, Charles A Nelson, Charles H Zeanah, Nathan A Fox
The present study compared the social behaviors of 8-year-old previously institutionalized Romanian children from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) in two groups: 1) children randomized to foster care homes (FCG), and 2) children randomized to care as usual (remaining in institutions) (CAUG). Children were observed interacting with an age and gender-matched unfamiliar, non-institutionalized peer from the community (NIG) during six interactive tasks, and their behavior was coded for speech reticence, social engagement, task orientation, social withdrawal, and conversational competence...
May 2015: Social Development
Justin E Heinze, Alison L Miller, Ronald Seifer, Robin Locke
Children with poor emotion knowledge (EK) skills are at risk for externalizing problems; less is known about early internalizing behavior. We examined multiple facets of EK and social-emotional experiences relevant for internalizing difficulties, including loneliness, victimization, and peer rejection, in Head Start preschoolers (N = 134; M = 60 months). Results based on multiple informants suggest that facets of EK are differentially related to negative social-emotional experiences and internalizing behavior and that sex plays a moderating role...
May 2015: Social Development
Julie C Dunsmore
Effects of person- and process-focused feedback, parental lay theories, and prosocial self-concept on children's prosocial behavior were investigated with 143 9- and 10-year-old children who participated in a single session. Parents reported entity (person-focused) and incremental (process-focused) beliefs related to prosocial behavior. Children completed measures of prosocial self-concept, then participated in a virtual online chat with child actors who asked for help with service projects. After completing the chat, children could assist with the service projects...
February 1, 2015: Social Development
Alison Edwards, Nancy Eisenberg, Tracy L Spinrad, Mark Reiser, Natalie D Eggum-Wilkens, Jeffrey Liew
The purpose of this study was to examine whether dispositional sadness predicted children's prosocial behavior and if sympathy mediated this relation. Constructs were measured when children (N = 256 at Time 1) were 18-, 30-, and 42-months old. Mothers and non-parental caregivers rated children's sadness; mothers, caregivers, and fathers rated children's prosocial behavior; sympathy (concern and hypothesis testing) and prosocial behavior (indirect and direct, as well as verbal at older ages) were assessed with a task in which the experimenter feigned injury...
February 2015: Social Development
Laura K Taylor, Christine E Merrilees, Marcie C Goeke-Morey, Peter Shirlow, Ed Cairns, E Mark Cummings
The negative impact of political violence on adolescent adjustment is well-established. Less is known about factors that affect adolescents' positive outcomes in ethnically-divided societies, especially influences on prosocial behaviors toward the outgroup, which may promote constructive relations. For example, understanding how intergroup experiences and attitudes motivate outgroup helping may foster intergroup cooperation and help to consolidate peace. The current study investigated adolescents' overall and outgroup prosocial behaviors across two time points in Belfast, Northern Ireland (N = 714 dyads; 49% male; Time 1: M = 14...
November 2014: Social Development
Olga L Walker, Heather A Henderson, Kathryn A Degnan, Elizabeth C Penela, Nathan A Fox
The current study examined the associations between the early childhood temperament of behavioral inhibition and children's displays of social problem-solving (SPS) behavior during social exclusion. During toddlerhood (ages 2-3), maternal report and behavioral observations of behavioral inhibition were collected. At age 7, children's SPS behaviors were observed during a laboratory social exclusion task based on the commonly used Cyberball game. Results showed that behavioral inhibition was positively associated with displayed social withdrawal and negatively associated with assertive behavior during the observed social exclusion task at 7 years of age...
August 2014: Social Development
Zoe E Taylor, Michael J Sulik, Nancy Eisenberg, Tracy L Spinrad, Kassondra M Silva, Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, Daryn A Stover, Brian C Verrelli
We used observed parenting behaviors, along with genetic variants and haplotypes of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), as predictors of children's ego-resiliency during early childhood (N =153). Quality of mothers' parenting was observed at 18 months of age and mothers' reports of ego-resiliency were collected at six time points from 18 to 84 months. Genetic data were collected at 72 months. Observed parenting was positively associated with initial levels of children's ego-resiliency. Furthermore, although individual genetic variants of the serotonin transporter gene (LPR, STin2) were not associated with ego-resiliency, the S10 haplotype (that combines information from these two variants) was negatively associated with initial levels of ego-resiliency...
August 1, 2014: Social Development
Nicole E Werner, Ashley D Eaton, Kelsey Lyle, Heidi Tseng, Brooke Holst
Previous research has shown that parents of socially competent young children provide them with elaborative, explicit, appropriate and emotion-laden advice about peer interactions. The current study analyzed mothers' conversations with preschoolers (N=175; 52% female; M age = 52 months, SD = 7 months) about peer conflicts involving relational aggression. Conversations were coded for maternal elaboration, emotion references, and discussion of norm violations. Information about relational and physical aggression was collected from teachers at two assessments approximately 12 months apart for a subsample of 136 children...
August 1, 2014: Social Development
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