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Child Development Perspectives

Sonya Troller-Renfree, Charles H Zeanah, Charles A Nelson, Nathan A Fox
The adverse effects of institutionalized care and psychosocial deprivation have been documented for more than 100 years. Children who have been raised in institutions are at heightened risk of developing internalizing and externalizing disorders. Given the profound biological and psychological effects of institutional rearing, identifying neural and cognitive factors that influence the emergence of psychopathology in institutionalized children is of great interest. Using data from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a randomized control study on the effects of institutional care and a foster care intervention, this article examines two factors that appear to influence the emergence of psychopathology in children who have been institutionalized-neural indices of cognitive control and visual attention biases...
March 2018: Child Development Perspectives
Amanda W Harrist, Glade L Topham, Laura Hubbs-Tait, Lenka H Shriver, Taren M Swindle
In recent years, researchers and policymakers have recognized that obesity in childhood is not simply a medical problem, but is a complex social and psychological phenomenon. Our research team used an interpersonal and intrapersonal risk model to examine the psychosocial aspects of obesity among rural children. In this article, we describe how the global study of children's obesity has broadened over the last 10 to 15 years, and we present our model of interpersonal and intrapersonal risk factors, which includes complex pathways with many psychosocial variables...
December 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Daniel N Klein, Megan C Finsaas
In this article, we summarize findings from the Stony Brook Temperament Study, which seeks to elucidate the early antecedents and pathways to later depressive and anxiety disorders. The study focuses on parents' internalizing disorders and children's early temperament as distal risk factors that operate, in part, through biobehavioral reward and threat systems. We summarize findings linking parents' emotional disorders and observations of children's early temperament to subsequent neural measures of children's affective processing...
December 2017: Child Development Perspectives
David S Yeager
Social difficulty during adolescence contributes to internalizing problems (e.g., depression, stress) and spurs cycles of aggression and retaliation. In this article, I review how implicit theories of personality-beliefs about whether people can change their socially relevant characteristics-can help explain why some adolescents respond to social difficulty in these ways while others do not. Believing an entity theory of personality-the belief that people cannot change-causes people to blame their own and others' traits for social difficulty, and predicts more extreme affective, physiological, and behavioral responses (e...
September 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Daniel S Shaw, Lindsay E Taraban
In this article, we review advances in developing and preventing conduct problems in early childhood and identify challenges. Among the topics we address are expanding the targets of prevention programs beyond improving parenting skills, implementing family-based interventions during early childhood for families living in impoverished communities, making greater use of community platforms that serve young children at risk for early conduct problems, and incorporating techniques such as motivational interviewing to improve families' engagement in nontraditional mental health settings...
June 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Marc H Bornstein, Diane L Putnick, Gianluca Esposito
Developmental science is centrally concerned with both consistency and change in characteristics through time. Consistency and change in development are tracked by group mean level continuity and individual order stability. Group mean level and individual order consistency and change are both developmentally informative and can co-exist conceptually and empirically as the two are partially orthogonal perspectives on development. Continuity and stability are broadly applicable to characteristics of the individual, dyad, and environment...
June 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Elisabeth Conradt
While the negative effects of early-life stress on children's developmental outcomes are well documented, we know little about how these processes unfold and which children are more susceptible to these exposures. In this article, I outline how studying the effects of early-life stress on children's development can be advanced by considering how epigenetic processes may contribute to the emergence of children's behavior. The study of epigenetics can help pinpoint the mechanisms by which early-life stress may affect developmental outcomes and identify which children may be most sensitive to the effects of these exposures...
June 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Rebecca Waller, Luke Hyde
Antisocial behavior is costly and harmful to families, communities, and society. With roots in early childhood, antisocial behavior puts children at risk for poor physical and mental health outcomes across development. Callous-unemotional (CU) traits identify a subgroup of youth with particularly severe and stable antisocial behavior. While much literature has examined CU traits in late childhood and adolescence, researchers are just beginning to elucidate the developmental origins of CU traits. In this article, we review research examining the measurement and correlates of CU behaviors in early childhood, along with evidence that these early behaviors predict later measures of CU traits...
June 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Audun Dahl
Much of developmental science aims to explain how or whether children's experiences influence their thoughts and actions. Developmental theories make assumptions and claims-what I call ecological commitments-about events outside research contexts. In this article, I argue that most developmental theories make ecological commitments about children's thoughts, actions, and experiences outside research contexts, and that these commitments sometimes go unstated and untested. I also argue that naturalistic methods can provide evidence for or against ecological commitments, and that naturalistic and experimental studies address unique yet complementary questions...
June 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Stefanie Mollborn
Over the past two decades, births to U.S. teenagers have fallen and no longer follow overall fertility patterns. Yet the unique challenges faced by teenage mothers and their families justify continued research. Across disciplines, newer work has furthered our understanding of teenage motherhood today. In this article, I highlight four areas of progress: processes of selection into teenage motherhood, the broader consequences of teenage childbearing beyond the socioeconomic realm, heterogeneity of effects, and the application of life course principles...
March 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Aerika Brittian Loyd, Brittney V Williams
Effective programs for youth can reduce problem behaviors and promote positive development. In particular, cultural assets (e.g., ethnic-racial identity) are important for African American youth's health and development. In this article, we argue that youth programs represent an important social context for African American youth's development of positive ethnic-racial identity and we present a conceptual framework for understanding how such programs may affect African American youth's development in this area...
March 2017: Child Development Perspectives
Philip A Fisher, Tahl I Frenkel, Laura K Noll, Melanie Berry, Melissa Yockelson
In this article, we focus on applying methods of translational neuroscience to two-generation, family-based interventions. In recent years, a small but growing body of evidence has documented the reversibility of some of the neurobiological effects of early adversity in the context of environmental early interventions. Some of these interventions are now being implemented at scale, which may help reduce disparities in the face of early life stress. Further progress may occur by extending these efforts to two-generation models that target caregivers' capabilities to improve children's outcomes...
December 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Carol McDonald Connor
In this article, I present a developmental model of how children learn to comprehend what they read, which builds on current models of reading comprehension and integrates findings from instructional research and evidence-based models of development in early and middle childhood. The lattice model holds that children's developing reading comprehension is a function of the interacting, reciprocal, and bootstrapping effects of developing text-specific, linguistic, and social-cognitive processes, which interact with instruction as child-characteristic-by-instruction (CXI) interaction effects...
December 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Peter J Marshall
We are recognizing increasingly that the study of cognitive, social, and emotional processes must account for their embodiment in living, acting beings. The related field of embodied cognition (EC) has coalesced around dissatisfaction with the lack of attention to the body in cognitive science. For developmental scientists, the emphasis in the literature on adult EC on the role of the body in cognition may not seem particularly novel, given that bodily action was central to Piaget's theory of cognitive development...
December 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Jennifer E Lansford, Marc H Bornstein, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Kenneth A Dodge, Suha M Al-Hassan, Dario Bacchini, Anna Silvia Bombi, Lei Chang, Bin-Bin Chen, Laura Di Giunta, Patrick S Malone, Paul Oburu, Concetta Pastorelli, Ann T Skinner, Emma Sorbring, Laurence Steinberg, Sombat Tapanya, Liane Peña Alampay, Liliana Maria Uribe Tirado, Arnaldo Zelli
International research on parenting and child development can advance our understanding of similarities and differences in how parenting is related to children's development across countries. Challenges to conducting international research include operationalizing culture, disentangling effects within and between countries, and balancing emic and etic perspectives. Benefits of international research include testing whether findings regarding parenting and child development replicate across diverse samples, incorporating cultural and contextual diversity to foster more inclusive and representative research samples and investigators than has typically occurred, and understanding how children develop in proximal parenting and family and distal international contexts...
September 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Jukka M Leppänen
Infants have a natural tendency to look at adults' faces, possibly to help initiate vital interactions with caregivers during sensitive periods of development. Recent studies using eye-tracking technologies have identified the mechanisms that underlie infants' capacity to orient and hold attention on faces. These studies have shown that the bias for faces is weak in young infants, but becomes more robust and resistant to distraction during the second half of the 1st year. This development is apparently related to more general changes in infants' attention and control of eye movement...
September 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Allan Wigfield, Jessica Gladstone, Lara Turci
The authors review research on children's reading motivation and its relation to their reading comprehension. They begin by discussing work on the development of school motivation in general and reading motivation in particular, reviewing work showing that many children's reading motivation declines over the school years. Girls tend to have more positive motivation for reading than do boys, and there are ethnic differences in children's reading motivation. Over the last 15 years researchers have identified in both laboratory and classroom-based research instructional practices that positively impact students' reading motivation and ultimately their reading comprehension...
September 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Emily C Merz, Katia M Harlé, Kimberly G Noble, Robert B McCall
In studies of children adopted from institutions, being raised in an institution has been associated consistently with an increased risk of persistent cognitive, academic, and social-emotional problems. These findings raise questions about the neurocognitive mechanisms that contribute to these negative outcomes. Theory and models based on studies of animals indicate that development of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and executive function (EF) may be particularly susceptible to environmental influences during early childhood...
June 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Ramesh S Bhatt, Alyson Hock, Hannah White, Rachel Jubran, Ashley Galati
Although we know much about the development of face processing, we know considerably less about the development of body knowledge-despite bodies also being significant sources of social information. One set of studies indicated that body structure knowledge is poor during the 1st year of life and spawned a model that posits that, unlike the development of face knowledge, which benefits from innate propensities and dedicated learning mechanisms, the development of body knowledge relies on general learning mechanisms and develops slowly...
March 2016: Child Development Perspectives
Kristin Pauker, Amanda Williams, Jennifer R Steele
The ability to discriminate visually based on race emerges early in infancy: 3-month-olds can perceptually differentiate faces by race and 6-month-olds can perceptually categorize faces by race. Between ages 6 and 8 years, children can sort others into racial groups. But to what extent are these abilities influenced by context? In this article, we review studies on children's racial categorization and discuss how our conclusions are affected by how we ask the questions (i.e., our methods and stimuli), where we ask them (i...
March 2016: Child Development Perspectives
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