Child Development Research The latest articles from Hindawi © 2017 , Hindawi Limited . All rights reserved. Young Children’s Risk-Taking: Mothers’ Authoritarian Parenting Predicts Risk-Taking by Daughters but Not Sons Sun, 15 Oct 2017 06:45:39 +0000 We investigated how mothers’ parenting behaviors and personal characteristics were related to risk-taking by young children. We tested contrasting predictions from evolutionary and social role theories with the former predicting higher risk-taking by boys compared to girls and the latter predicting that mothers would influence children’s gender role development with risk-taking occurring more in children parented with higher levels of harshness (i.e., authoritarian parenting style). In our study, mothers reported their own gender roles and parenting styles as well as their children’s risk-taking and activities related to gender roles. The results were only partially consistent with the two theories, as the amount of risk-taking by sons and daughters did not differ significantly and risk-taking by daughters, but not sons, was positively related to mothers’ use of the authoritarian parenting style and the girls’ engagement in masculine activities. Risk-taking by sons was not predicted by any combination of mother-related variables. Overall, mothers who were higher in femininity used more authoritative and less authoritarian parenting styles. Theoretical implications as well as implications for predicting and reducing children’s risk-taking are discussed. Erin E. Wood and Shelia M. Kennison Copyright © 2017 Erin E. Wood and Shelia M. Kennison. All rights reserved. How Usual Is “Play As You Usually Would”? A Comparison of Naturalistic Mother-Infant Interactions with Videorecorded Play Sessions in Three Cultural Communities Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:05:56 +0000 In developmental research, mothers are frequently asked to “play as you usually would.” In this study, maternal behavior towards their three-month-olds in three cultural communities (Nso, Cameroon; Gujarati, India; Athens, Greece) was compared between videorecorded “play” situations and naturalistic observations. If there is consistency, videorecorded “play” episodes can be used as a proxy for daily behavior. Body contact, body stimulation, face-to-face situations, and object stimulation were coded. While individual mothers showed consistent levels of body contact and face-to-face and object stimulation in both situations, there were also high correlations across the different types of behaviors. Only body contact and object stimulation correlate significantly across behavioral frames but not with each other across or within either observational frame. They can therefore be understood as behaviors with some discriminatory power. Mothers generally show a higher frequency of behaviors in the videorecorded play situations than during the everyday observations across all three communities. However, the samples differ in the extent to which three of the four behaviors are seen more in the videorecorded play sessions. A broader and general understanding of mothers’ ethnotheories and daily activities in each community is required in order to interpret videographed “play as you usually would” situations. Monika Abels, Zaira Papaligoura, Bettina Lamm, and Relindis D. Yovsi Copyright © 2017 Monika Abels et al. All rights reserved. Mental State Talk Structure in Children’s Narratives: A Cluster Analysis Tue, 21 Mar 2017 07:55:39 +0000 This study analysed children’s Theory of Mind (ToM) as assessed by mental state talk in oral narratives. We hypothesized that the children’s mental state talk in narratives has an underlying structure, with specific terms organized in clusters. Ninety-eight children attending the last year of kindergarten were asked to tell a story twice, at the beginning and at the end of the school year. Mental state talk was analysed by identifying terms and expressions referring to perceptual, physiological, emotional, willingness, cognitive, moral, and sociorelational states. The cluster analysis showed that children’s mental state talk is organized in two main clusters: perceptual states and affective states. Results from the study confirm the feasibility of narratives as an outlet to inquire mental state talk and offer a more fine-grained analysis of mental state talk structure. Giuliana Pinto, Caterina Primi, Christian Tarchi, and Lucia Bigozzi Copyright © 2017 Giuliana Pinto et al. All rights reserved. Metasynthesis of Factors Contributing to Children’s Communication Development: Influence on Reading and Mathematics Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 +0000 The purpose of this study is to determine what previous studies have found to be factors that contribute to a child’s initial communication development and previously identified effects of reading mathematics storybooks to toddlers or preschoolers. Therefore, it follows that the earlier a preschooler is exposed to mathematics vocabulary, the easier mathematics vocabulary acquisition and understanding can be for that child, which can result in an increase in future academic achievement. This metasynthesis was conducted to gather information on the effects that interactive relationships with caregivers have on a child’s ability to communicate and then how symbiotic reading and mathematics interventions can affect a child’s ability to think and communicate mathematically. According to the data analyzed for this metasynthesis, caregivers’ language relationships help facilitate a child’s early communication development and reading and mathematics symbiotic instruction can lead to developing a child’s ability to think and communicate mathematically. Amber J. Godwin, Mary Margaret Capraro, William H. Rupley, and Robert M. Capraro Copyright © 2017 Amber J. Godwin et al. All rights reserved. Children Adopt the Traits of Characters in a Narrative Sun, 05 Feb 2017 10:11:11 +0000 Adults adopt the traits of characters in narratives, but little is known about whether children do so. In Study 1, 7- and 10-year-olds () heard a 2.5-minute recording about a professor or cheerleader. Reporting higher engagement in the professor narrative related to more time playing with an analytical toy (a Rubik’s cube), whereas reporting higher engagement in the cheerleader narrative related to less time playing with Rubik’s cube. However, although children were randomly assigned to a narrative, within condition children may have had preexisting personality differences causing them both to become more engaged in that narrative and also to behave more like that character afterwards. To control for this possibility, in Study 2 children () were given perspective-taking or objective instructions. Interestingly, both instructions created higher engagement than in Study 1, resulting in main effects of narrative. Children in the professor condition, compared to those in the cheerleader condition, spent more time playing with Rubik’s cube and self-reported higher levels of professor-relevant characteristics (e.g., smart, good at teaching). These studies show that, by the elementary school years and particularly when highly engaged in a narrative, children adopt the traits of a narrative’s central character. Rebecca A. Dore, Eric D. Smith, and Angeline S. Lillard Copyright © 2017 Rebecca A. Dore et al. All rights reserved. Adults’ Theory of Infants’ Mind: A Comparison between Parents and Nonparents Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 This study examined whether there were parental state differences in interpretations of infants’ behaviours as associated with some mental states. Parents, nonparent women, and nonparent men were shown video clips that displayed several infant behaviours (e.g., playing with his/her mother). Then they were given two tasks. In a rating task, participants were asked to rate the likelihood of the filmed infant to have a mental state. On the other hand, in a description task, participants were instructed to explicitly describe the filmed infants’ mental state in an open-ended manner. Importantly, all participants were asked to report the meaning of infants’ behaviour in specific acts from the same set of infants’ behaviours (e.g., the infants saw mother’s face and smiled). The results revealed that parents and nonparent women significantly higher rated that infants were likely to express a mental state in the rating task than nonparent men did. On the other hand, parents were more likely to describe the filmed infants’ mental states in the description task than nonparent women and nonparent men did. Results suggest that parents interpret more meanings from infants’ behaviours compared to nonparents, even when both parents and nonparents equally focused on infants’ behaviours. Ikuko Shinohara and Yusuke Moriguchi Copyright © 2017 Ikuko Shinohara and Yusuke Moriguchi. All rights reserved. Fourteen-Month-Olds Adapt Their Imitative Behavior in Light of a Model’s Constraints Mon, 09 Jan 2017 07:53:24 +0000 Rather than reenacting every action they observe, preverbal infants adapt their imitative behavior. Although previous studies have revealed the capability of preverbal infants to imitate selectively, the question about the adaptability of this behavior on an individual level did not attract considerable scientific attention until now. In the current study, we investigated whether 14-month-old infants flexibly alternate their imitative response in accordance with a model’s changing physical constraints in a body-part imitation paradigm. Participants were presented with two novel actions whereby a model illuminated a light-box and turned on a sound-box, either by using her forehead (head touch) or by sitting on the apparatus (sit-touch). Each participant observed these tasks in two conditions: once where the model’s hands were occupied and once where her hands were free while executing the head or sit-touch. Participants were more likely to reenact the observed novel behavior when the model had freely chosen to perform it than when she had to do so due to physical constraints. Not only did we replicate a number of previous findings, we show here that preverbal infants adapt their imitative behavior across conditions based on the physical constraints of the model. These results point towards the adaptable nature of imitative behavior also on an individual level. This ability might be one of the building blocks for children for learning their social group’s specific action repertoire. Kata Gellén and David Buttelmann Copyright © 2017 Kata Gellén and David Buttelmann. All rights reserved. Appearances Are Deceiving: Observing the World as It Looks and How It Really Is—Theory of Mind Performances Investigated in 3-, 4-, and 5-Year-Old Children Thu, 08 Dec 2016 08:06:20 +0000 Appearance-reality (AR) distinction understanding in preschoolers is worth of further consideration. This also goes for its relationship with false-belief (FB) understanding. This study helped fill these gaps by assessing 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children’s performances on an appearance-reality distinction task and by investigating relationships with unexpected location, deceptive content, and deception comprehension task performances. 91 preschoolers participated in this study divided into 3 groups: (1) 37 children, M-age 3.4 years; (2) 23 children, M-age 4.5 years; (3) 31 children, M-age 5.4 years. A developmental trend was found where appearance-reality distinction understanding was significantly influenced by age. If wrong answers were particularly high by 3-year-old children, they greatly decreased by 4- and 5-year-old children. 3-year-old children also tended to fail in FB tasks; instead 4- and 5-year-old children performed AR tasks better than FB tasks. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed. Lucia Bigozzi, Alessandra Di Cosimo, and Giulia Vettori Copyright © 2016 Lucia Bigozzi et al. All rights reserved. Infants Actively Construct and Update Their Representations of Physical Events: Evidence from Change Detection by 12-Month-Olds Thu, 24 Nov 2016 14:34:51 +0000 The present research investigates the effects of top-down information on 12-month-olds’ representations of physical events, focusing on their ability to detect an object change across different events. Infants this age typically fail to detect height changes in events with tubes even though they successfully do so in events with covers. In Experiment  1, infants who saw a tube event in which objects did not interact successfully detected a change in an object’s height, suggesting that object interaction affects infants’ categorization of physical events. Experiments 2 and 3 examined the fine-grained process of event representation. In Experiment  2, infants detected the change in the tube event if they were led by pretest exposure to believe that the event was conducted with a cover. In Experiment  3, infants who initially believed so updated their representation if shown a tube before object interaction occurred (but not after). Together, these findings provide new evidence that infants, like older children and adults, actively construct physical events. Whether they notice a change depends on their existing knowledge and the current representation of the event. Su-hua Wang and Elizabeth J. Goldman Copyright © 2016 Su-hua Wang and Elizabeth J. Goldman. All rights reserved. Livelihood of Street Children and the Role of Social Intervention: Insights from Literature Using Meta-Analysis Thu, 17 Nov 2016 11:47:37 +0000 As studies done by different scholars indicate that the present status of street children is remarkably insightful, this invites us to systematically review the existing literature by using meta-analysis. In this paper 31 studies were reviewed by applying a predetermined set of inclusion and exclusion criteria as part of meta-analysis. These studies were compiled mainly from three continents (Africa, Asia, and Latin America), which are often observed to be diversified economically, politically, socially, and environmentally. Empirical evidences based on data generated from reviewed studies provide a holistic picture on the predominance of male street children among a total sample size of 68014 street children. Working as a daily labourer is considered as the most predominant informal occupation for street children. Empirical evidences suggest that majority of street dwellers were categorized into children working on the street in Africa, while in Asia a sizable proportion of them were abandoned from their house. Interestingly, it suggests that children coming to a street may be due to push factors like coercion by family, lack of access to education, and the existence of displeasing life in Africa, while in Asia children were pushed by family to beg and act as a day labourer and street vendor to assure the livelihood of their abandoned families. Statistical evidence based on odds ratio suggested no association between location of the study region and the characteristics of street children. Analysis of variance results showed that there exists a significant variation within a continent for all four variables (living condition, education, gender, and livelihood strategies). In fact, daily labour was the most acceptable means of livelihood earning and it is followed by street vendor and others. The present condition of street children necessitates social intervention to address the present problems of street dwellers by ensuring sustainable livelihood options among them. Habtamu Wandimu Alem and Arindam Laha Copyright © 2016 Habtamu Wandimu Alem and Arindam Laha. All rights reserved. Type and Duration of Home Activities of Children with Specific Language Impairment: Case Control Study Based on Parents’ Reports Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:10:45 +0000 Parents of children with specific language impairment (SLI) are advised to promote language development at home. However, it is not known if children with SLI differ from healthy controls in their daily activities. This study collected prospectively information about the home activities of the children with SLI and their matched controls by using parents’ daily reports. Participants were 20 matched pairs. The ages of children in matched pairs were from 6 to 8 years. During one week, parents filled in daily questionnaires of listed home activities. The observed time was between 5 pm and 9.30 pm each day and it was divided into 30-minute scoring periods. Parents of children with SLI reported more varying home activities and fewer activities of playing outdoors than parents of control children. Home activities with literacy or screen time did not show difference between the two groups, and neither did playing table top games. Parents of children with SLI did more overlapping choices when scoring home activities than parents of control children. Children with SLI seemed to spend somewhat less time with home activities that, in particular, may ask for language and social skills and collaboration with peers. Sinikka Hannus, Timo Kauppila, and Kaisa Launonen Copyright © 2016 Sinikka Hannus et al. All rights reserved. Child Welfare Deprivation in Rural Nigeria: A Counting Approach Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:25:30 +0000 The study applies the counting approach to explain the deprivation concept among children under 5 years of age using the 2008 DHS data. Five dimensions of deprivation were used: safe drinking water, sanitation, housing, health, and nutrition largely recognized in the SDGs. In all, a total of 13561 children were sampled. About half of the children were males with a mean age of 28.27 months old. The assessment of dimensional deprivation showed that children are most deprived in sanitation, health, and access to safe drinking water while they were least deprived in nutrition. The situation is also marked with regional disparities with northern regions reporting higher deprivation rates than the southern regions but this rate was significantly higher in the sanitation dimension across regions. Considering deprivation counts, 33.9% of children suffer from more than three deprivations and approximately 85.2% from at least two deprivations. Child deprivation should be tackled using a holistic approach through social protection programmes to resolve children’s problems in an integrated manner which would in this case be more efficient and effective in safeguarding children’s rights to survival and development. Identifying the children suffering from single and multiple deprivations can help to target the interventions. Olufemi Adebola Popoola and Adetola Adeoti Copyright © 2016 Olufemi Adebola Popoola and Adetola Adeoti. All rights reserved. Ingroup/Outgroup Attitudes and Group Evaluations: The Role of Competition in British Classroom Settings Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:50:11 +0000 Children’s intergroup bias is one of the consequences of their readiness to categorise people into ingroups and outgroups, even when groups are assigned arbitrarily. The present study examined the influence of intergroup competition on children’s ingroup and outgroup attitudes developed within the minimal-group setting in British classrooms. One hundred and twelve children in two age groups (6-7- and 9-10-year-olds) were assessed on classification skills and self-esteem before being allocated to one of two colour “teams.” In the experimental condition, children were told that the teams would have a competition after two weeks and teachers made regular use of these teams to organise activities. In the control condition, where no competition ensued, teachers did not refer to “teams.” Then children completed trait attributions to their own-team (ingroup) and other-team (outgroup) members and group evaluations. It was found that children developed positive ingroup bias across conditions, but outgroup negative bias was shown only by 6-7-year-olds in the experimental condition, particularly if they lost the competition, where they evaluated their team more critically. Better classification skills were associated with less negativity towards the outgroup in the experimental condition. Findings are discussed in relation to relevant theoretical premises and particulars of the intergroup context. Virginia L. Lam and Jodi-Ann Seaton Copyright © 2016 Virginia L. Lam and Jodi-Ann Seaton. All rights reserved. The Use of Causal Language and Filled Pauses in Children with and without Autism Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:17:27 +0000 This study investigated the relationship between pragmatic ability and two aspects of structural language in conversational language samples from 24 school-age children with and without high-functioning autism (HFA): causal statements and speech disruptions. In contrast to a majority of previous studies, grammatical complexity and mean length of utterance were factored into the analyses, since these are potential confounding variables. The results showed that children with HFA used fewer spontaneous causal statements and fewer filled pauses in conversation compared to children with typical development (TD). There was also a significant and positive relationship between filled pauses and pragmatic ability after controlling for structural language ability. The results may help us understand the conversational patterns of children with HFA better. Anna Eva Hallin, Gabrielle D. Garcia, and Christina Reuterskiöld Copyright © 2016 Anna Eva Hallin et al. All rights reserved. Community-Based Family Literacy Program: Comparing Different Durations and Family Characteristics Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:33:16 +0000 The current study investigated the influence of the community-based family literacy program on parent’s and children’s engagement in family reading practices and language/literacy activities at home. Parent’s and children’s engagement in family reading practices and language/literacy activities based on different family characteristics and the lengths of program attended were compared. Six-week and four-week Family Storyteller Program for Preschoolers series were taught between 2013 and 2015. Three hundred seventy-five parents completed both presurveys and postsurveys. Parents showed promising results in enhancing parents’ and child’s engagement in family reading practices and language/literacy activities at home after participating in the intervention. It was also found that durations of the program and family characteristics were correlated to different outcomes. YaeBin Kim and Teresa Byington Copyright © 2016 YaeBin Kim and Teresa Byington. All rights reserved. Adolescent Social Anxiety and Substance Use: The Role of Susceptibility to Peer Pressure Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:24:50 +0000 The aim of this study was to further our understanding of the link between social anxiety and substance use in adolescents, in particular the role susceptibility to peer pressure plays in this link. The relation between social anxiety and susceptibility to peer pressure was studied in two community samples ( and ) each consisting of two age groups (12-13 and 15–17 years). The relation of these two variables with substance use was evaluated in the second sample using regression analysis. Social anxiety was related to susceptibility to peer pressure in both groups and not related to substance use in the younger group and negatively related to substance use in the older group. Susceptibility to peer pressure acted as a suppressor in the relation between social anxiety and substance use. Results suggest that socially anxious adolescents basically avoid substance use but, if susceptible, may yield to peer pressure and start using substances. Parents, teachers, and therapists should be aware of this susceptibility to possibly negative peer pressure of socially anxious adolescents. Anke W. Blöte, Anne C. Miers, and P. Michiel Westenberg Copyright © 2016 Anke W. Blöte et al. All rights reserved. Integrating Orthographic and Phonological Knowledge in Early Readers: Implicit and Explicit Knowledge Sun, 04 Sep 2016 11:16:11 +0000 Children develop some orthographic knowledge before learning to read. In some contexts phonological knowledge can scaffold orthographic understanding, but in others, phonological knowledge must be ignored in favor of orthographic knowledge. The current study examines the development of orthographic knowledge as it interacts with phonological knowledge in early readers. Forty-five Kindergarten students were presented with two different nonwords on screen and their gaze was tracked. In the first task, they were asked to choose the best “word,” and in the second task they were asked to choose the best “word” for a specific pronunciation, thereby requiring phonological decoding of the stimuli. Our findings indicate that early readers show explicit awareness of some orthographic conventions and implicit awareness of others, but they only showed implicit awareness when they did not have to additionally decode the stimuli. These results suggest that early orthographic knowledge may be fragile and easily masked by phonological knowledge. Tanya Kaefer Copyright © 2016 Tanya Kaefer. All rights reserved. Differences between Estimation and Real Performance in School-Age Children: Fundamental Movement Skills Tue, 05 Jul 2016 14:28:19 +0000 Observations in studies of estimation compared to actual performance in motor skills revealed that children are not always accurate and have a tendency to overestimate the maximum distance at which an action can be performed. The relationship between estimated and real motor competences was analyzed for several tasks: standing long jump (SLJ), throwing and kicking, and walking backwards (WB) on a balance beam. Children were asked to predict their maximum distance prior to performing those tasks. Participants were 303 children (160 boys), which were between 6 and 10 years of age (, ). Children’s estimations were compared with their real performance to determine their accuracy. Absolute error (real performance − estimation) and error tendency, that is, the direction of the error (overestimation, accuracy, and underestimation bias), were calculated. Children had a tendency to overestimate their performance and were more conservative in the WB task, a noncommon action. In general, it is possible to conclude that children, in the studied age span, tend to overestimate their performance, particularly in familiar skills. This fact may be determinant to the development of their motor competences, since they are more likely to engage and persist in motor tasks, but it might also be a problem in terms of child safety because it could increase the occurrence of unintended injuries. Gabriela Almeida, Carlos Luz, Rui Martins, and Rita Cordovil Copyright © 2016 Gabriela Almeida et al. All rights reserved. Measurement of Perceived Parental Success Standards in Sport and Relations with Athletes’ Self-Esteem, Performance Anxiety, and Achievement Goal Orientation: Comparing Parental and Coach Influences Wed, 23 Mar 2016 13:54:54 +0000 The Perceived Parent Success Standards Scale (PPSSS), adapted from the Perception of Success Questionnaire constructed by Roberts et al. (1998) to measure athletes’ achievement goal orientation, provides a measure of athletes’ perceptions of mastery- and ego-oriented parental success criteria, a central component of parental motivational climate. This study focused on 543 young athletes (ages 9–16) on 82 teams in recreational basketball leagues. The PPSSS exhibited strong factorial validity, construct validity, and orthogonality between ego and mastery factors that allow for different combinations of these factors to be tested. We also compared the impact of the motivational climates created by coaches and success standards conveyed by parents on postseason athlete outcome measures of anxiety, self-esteem, and achievement goal orientation. Correlational and multilevel regression analyses revealed that both coach and parent variables were significantly related to the athlete variables. However, mediational analyses indicated that parental success standards mediated relations between coach-initiated climate and all of the outcome variables, reflecting the power of parental socialization processes. We discuss potential reasons for the greater parental influence shown in this and a previous study, and we suggest directions for further research as well as possible interventions that can help both coaches and parents create a more positive athletic environment for young athletes. Frank J. Schwebel, Ronald E. Smith, and Frank L. Smoll Copyright © 2016 Frank J. Schwebel et al. All rights reserved. Perceptions of Popularity-Related Behaviors in the Cyber Context: Relations to Cyber Social Behaviors Tue, 08 Dec 2015 14:14:26 +0000 Despite acknowledging that adolescents are active users of electronic technology, little is known about their perceptions concerning how such technologies might be used to promote their social standing among their peer group and whether these perceptions relate to their cyber social behaviors (i.e., cyber aggression perpetration, cyber prosocial behavior). To address this gap in the literature, the present study included 857 seventh graders (M age: 12.19; 50.8% female) from a large Midwestern city in the United States. They completed questionnaires on face-to-face social behaviors, cyber social behaviors, perceived popularity, social preference, and their perceptions of characteristics and activities related to the cyber context which might be used to promote popularity. Findings revealed four activities and characteristics used to improve adolescents’ social standing in the peer group, including antisocial behaviors, sociability, prosocial behaviors, and technology access. Using antisocial behaviors in the cyber context to promote popularity was related to cyber aggression perpetration, while controlling for gender, social preference, and perceived popularity. On the other hand, sociability and prosocial behaviors in the cyber context used to improve popularity as well as technology access were associated with cyber prosocial behavior. A call for additional research is made. Michelle F. Wright Copyright © 2015 Michelle F. Wright. All rights reserved. Early Vocabulary Development in Rural and Urban Mozambique Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:00:42 +0000 This paper presents an adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (short version) into three languages spoken in Southern Mozambique. The tool was adapted to study vocabulary development among children of 12 to 25 months of age in two communities: a rural, monolingual Changana speaking community and an urban bilingual Ronga and Portuguese speaking community. We present a norming study carried out with the adaptation, as well as a validation study. The norming study revealed various predictors for reported expressive and receptive vocabulary size. These predictors include age, socioeconomic status, reported health problems, caregiving practices, and location. The validation of the CDI among a small sample in both communities shows positive correlations between the reported expressive vocabulary scores and children’s recorded word production. We conclude that the adapted CDI is useful for research purposes and could be used as a template for adaptations into other languages from similar cultures. Paul Vogt, J. Douglas Mastin, and Suzanne Aussems Copyright © 2015 Paul Vogt et al. All rights reserved. The Mind and Heart of the Social Child: Developing the Empathy and Theory of Mind Scale Tue, 10 Nov 2015 12:56:12 +0000 Empathy and theory of mind (ToM) are distinctive psychological constructs in predicting children’s social functioning. This study provided evidence of the independent nature of these constructs and developed a parent questionnaire for measuring individual differences in children’s empathy and ToM. In Study 1, exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis based on responses of 116 parents of Hong Kong children established a three-factor structure of the Empathy and Theory of Mind Scale (EToMS), that is, Empathy, Nice ToM, and Nasty ToM. An additional 189 parents of Study 2 confirmed this three-factor model. A subsample of 93 children (, SD = .84, 47 boys) from Study 2 took part in child measures of helping and lying behaviors as well as false belief understanding. The results supported the reliability and validity of the EToMS, making it a useful assessment of children’s social predispositions. Zhenlin Wang and Lamei Wang Copyright © 2015 Zhenlin Wang and Lamei Wang. All rights reserved. Gender Differences in Beliefs about Infant-Directed Speech: The Role of Family Dynamics Mon, 19 Oct 2015 08:20:38 +0000 The research investigated the relationship between family dynamics and the beliefs about the benefits of talking to infants. Prior research has shown that language development is enhanced by verbal interaction with others. We tested two hypotheses: (a) men may view talking to infants as less beneficial than women and (b) one’s relationships with parents would be related to the extent to which young adults view talking to infants as beneficial. In a study with 301 undergraduates (181 women, 120 men), we confirmed both hypotheses, showing that (a) men were less likely than women to view talking to infants as beneficial and (b) for both men and women, the more negative their relationship with their mother, the less likely they were to view talking to infants as beneficial. Implications for infant care are discussed. Shelia M. Kennison and Jennifer Byrd-Craven Copyright © 2015 Shelia M. Kennison and Jennifer Byrd-Craven. All rights reserved. Microdevelopment of Complex Featural and Spatial Integration with Contextual Support Thu, 15 Oct 2015 09:22:26 +0000 Complex spatial decisions involve the ability to combine featural and spatial information in a scene. In the present work, 4- through 9-year-old children completed a complex map-scene correspondence task under baseline and supported conditions. Children compared a photographed scene with a correct map and with map-foils that made salient an object feature or spatial property. Map-scene matches were analyzed for the effects of age and featural-spatial information on children’s selections. In both conditions children significantly favored maps that highlighted object detail and object perspective rather than color, landmark, and metric elements. Children’s correct performance did not differ by age and was suboptimal, but their ability to choose correct maps improved significantly when contextual support was provided. Strategy variability was prominent for all age groups, but at age 9 with support children were more likely to give up their focus on features and transition to the use of spatial strategies. These findings suggest the possibility of a U-shaped curve for children’s development of geometric knowledge: geometric coding is predominant early on, diminishes for a time in middle childhood in favor of a preference for features, and then reemerges along with the more advanced abilities to combine featural and spatial information. Pamela L. Hirsch and Elisabeth Hollister Sandberg Copyright © 2015 Pamela L. Hirsch and Elisabeth Hollister Sandberg. All rights reserved. The Role of Self-Action in 2-Year-Old Children: An Illustration of the Arithmetical Inversion Principle before Formal Schooling Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:32:54 +0000 The importance of self-action and its considerable links with cognitive activity in childhood are known. For instance, in arithmetical cognition, 2-year-olds detected an impossible arithmetical outcome more accurately when they performed the operation themselves (actor mode) than when the experimenter presented it (onlooker mode). A key component in this domain concerns the understanding of the inversion principle between addition and subtraction. Complex operations can be solved without calculation by using an inversion-based shortcut (3-term problems of the form must equal a). Some studies have shown that, around the age of 4, children implicitly use the inversion principle. However, little is known before the age of 4. Here, we examined the role of self-action in the development of this principle by preschool children. In the first experiment, 2-year-olds were confronted with inversion ( or 2) and standard ( or 2) arithmetical problems either in actor or onlooker mode. The results revealed that actor mode improved accuracy for the inversion problem, suggesting that self-action helps children use the inversion-based shortcut. These results were strengthened with another inversion problem ( or 2) in a second experiment. Our data provide new support for the importance of considering self-action in early mathematics education. Amélie Lubin, Sandrine Rossi, Nicolas Poirel, Céline Lanoë, Arlette Pineau, and Olivier Houdé Copyright © 2015 Amélie Lubin et al. All rights reserved. Maternal Reading Self-Efficacy Associated with Perceived Barriers to Reading Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:32:32 +0000 Although early reading practices impact a host of child literacy, language, and school outcomes, many parents do not read to their young children. One possible explanation for this lack of early literacy practices is mothers’ feelings about their ability to successfully read to their children. A series of multiple regressions were used to explore whether new mothers’ reading self-efficacy predicted their perceived barriers to reading to their 18-month-old children. Findings suggest that self-efficacy buffers against mother-centered (e.g., too tired), child-centered (e.g., toddler fussy), and structural (e.g., environmental distractions) barriers to reading. Given the importance of early literacy and that not all mothers read to their toddlers, increasing reading self-efficacy may offer a way to reduce perceived barriers to early literacy practices. Joyce Lin, Stephanie M. Reich, Sabrina Kataoka, and George Farkas Copyright © 2015 Joyce Lin et al. All rights reserved. Age and Cultural Differences in Self-Perceptions of Mastery Motivation and Competence in American, Chinese, and Hungarian School Age Children Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:44:56 +0000 We examined age differences in self-perceptions of five dimensions of mastery motivation and also of competence in American, Chinese, and Hungarian children and teens. Participants included 200 Americans, 1,465 Chinese, and 8,175 Hungarians from 7 to 19 years of age. The Dimensions of Mastery Questionnaire provides comparable data across these different cultures as indicated by very similar factor structures and reasonably good internal consistency reliabilities for the scales. Across all three cultures, there was the expected decline from primary to secondary school in total persistence and the four instrumental mastery motivation scales, except for social persistence with adults in the American sample. Mastery pleasure did not decline in the American and Chinese samples but declined in the Hungarian sample. Self-perceived competence did not decline significantly in the American sample or in the Hungarian sample from age 11 to 17; however, competence self-ratings declined in the Chinese sample. The three cultures were compared at 11 and 16. Although there were some significant differences, small effect sizes indicated that the level of motivation was similar for each culture at each age. The other literature provides clues about why the declines occur in all three cultures and why there are some differences among cultures. Krisztian Jozsa, Jun Wang, Karen Caplovitz Barrett, and George A. Morgan Copyright © 2014 Krisztian Jozsa et al. All rights reserved. Functional Assessment Based Parent Intervention in Reducing Children’s Challenging Behaviors: Exploratory Study of Group Training Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:58:21 +0000 This study examined the effects of group parent training on children’s challenging behaviors in home settings. Eight parents of young children with challenging behaviors were trained in a large group setting on using functional assessment to design interventions that fit the strengths and needs of individual families. The training included information sharing and collaborating with parents on designing functional-assessment based interventions. An Interrupted Time Series Design was used to examine the effects of large group training by comparing parent and child behaviors prior to intervention with behaviors after the intervention. Data were analyzed using Repeated Measures ANOVA. The results indicated that group training increased parents’ ability to implement functional assessment based strategies and these strategies resulted in a significant reduction in children’s challenging behaviors. Furthermore, parent implementation of functional assessment based strategies and children’s decreased levels of challenging behaviors were maintained after the completion of the intervention. Angel Fettig and Michaelene M. Ostrosky Copyright © 2014 Angel Fettig and Michaelene M. Ostrosky. All rights reserved. Letter and Colour Matching Tasks: Parametric Measures of Developmental Working Memory Capacity Sun, 30 Nov 2014 00:10:12 +0000 We investigated the mediating role of interference in developmental assessments of working memory (WM) capacity across childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. One hundred and forty-two participants completed two versions of visuospatial (colour matching task, CMT) and verbal (letter matching task, LMT) WM tasks, which systematically varied cognitive load in a high and low interference condition. Results showed similar developmental trajectories across high interference contexts (CMT- and LMT-Complex) and divergent developmental growth patterns across low interference contexts (CMT- and LMT-Simple). Performance on tasks requiring greater cognitive control was in closer agreement with developmental predictions relative to simple recall guided tasks that rely solely on the storage components of WM. These findings suggest that developmental WM capacity, as measured by the CMT and LMT paradigms, can be better quantified using high interference contexts, in both content domains, and demonstrate steady increases in WM through to mid-adolescence. Tamara L. Powell, Marie Arsalidou, Vanessa M. Vogan, and Margot J. Taylor Copyright © 2014 Tamara L. Powell et al. All rights reserved. Developmental Readiness in the Understanding of Own and Other’s False Beliefs Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 One of the most important milestones in the development of theory of mind is the understanding of false beliefs. This study compares children’s understanding of representational change and others’ false beliefs and evaluates the effectiveness of an appearance-reality training for improving children’s false belief understanding. A total of 78 children ranging in age from 41 to 47 months were trained in three sessions and evaluated in a pretest and in a posttest. The results show that for children it is easier to understand representational change than false beliefs in others, and that the improvement after training was greater when starting from a higher score in the pretest. The implications of this for training in false belief understanding are discussed. Anna Amadó, Elisabet Serrat, and Francesc Sidera Copyright © 2014 Anna Amadó et al. 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