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On Empathy Development in Young Children

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During the formative years, habits, outlooks, and attitudes develop which influence social interaction throughout life. Because empathy is crucial in social interaction, empathy development should be supported. Evidence of empathy is first observed around the age of two (Radke-Yarrow et

During the formative years, habits, outlooks, and attitudes develop which influence social interaction throughout life. Because empathy is crucial in social interaction, empathy development should be supported. Evidence of empathy is first observed around the age of two (Radke-Yarrow et al., 1983, 1984; Spinrad & Fabes, 2009). The purpose of this thesis is to examine empathy in children from multiple perspectives. The scientific literature reviews the discovery of the mirror neuron system (MNS). A study on nine- and ten-year-old children showed a correlation between MNS activity and empathic concern (Pfeifer et al. 2008). Another study with a mean age of 11 demonstrated that high emotional intelligence (EI) resulted in more nominations for "cooperation" and less for "aggression" (Petrides, Sangareau, Furnham & Frederickson, 2006). The three most common EI tests (MSCEIT, TEIQue, Bar-On) are modeled to measure empathy (Bar-On, 2006; Goleman 1998, 1995; Mayer & Caruso 1997; Petrides & Furnham 2001). Psychologists agree that low measures are linked to narcissistic and aggressive behavior. The Observational Study analyzed both evidence of empathy and a lack of empathy in interactions with three- and four-year-old children. Personal experiences were also shared on how empathy was understood and practiced. Lastly, the children's short story was written to support empathy development through fiction-reading.

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2018-12

A Comprehensive Review of the Effects of Immigration on Development in Early and Middle Childhood

Description

Immigration becomes relevant in policies and U.S. culture as globalization spreads. The physical relocation affects children’s development because they are growing up during uncertain times and they could potentially miss important milestones during childhood if the effects of immigration are

Immigration becomes relevant in policies and U.S. culture as globalization spreads. The physical relocation affects children’s development because they are growing up during uncertain times and they could potentially miss important milestones during childhood if the effects of immigration are not understood and explored. This paper aims to assess children’s physical, psychosocial, and academic trends and how they compare to native citizens of the United States. Law, research, medicine, and education are all relevant realms that could work on understanding the immigrant children’s problems, as well as help bolster any advantages and skills they might have.

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2020-05

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Do Emotions Make A Difference? Determining if Positive Emotions Moderate the Effectiveness of an Embodied Language Comprehension Intervention

Description

Previous research demonstrated the overall efficacy of an embodied language intervention (EMBRACE) that taught pre-school children how to simulate (imagine) language in a heard narrative. However, EMBRACE was not effective for every child. To try to explain this variable

Previous research demonstrated the overall efficacy of an embodied language intervention (EMBRACE) that taught pre-school children how to simulate (imagine) language in a heard narrative. However, EMBRACE was not effective for every child. To try to explain this variable response to the intervention, the video recordings made during the four-day intervention sessions were assessed and emotion was coded. Each session was emotion-coded for child emotions and for child-researcher emotions. The child specific emotions were 1) engagement in the task, this included level of participation in the activity, 2) motivation/attention to persist and complete the task, as well as stay focused, and 3) positive affect throughout the session. The child-researcher specific emotions were 1) engagement with each other, this involved how the child interacted with the researcher and under what context, and 2) researcher’s positive affect, this incorporated how enthusiastic and encouraging the researcher was throughout the session. It was hypothesized that effectiveness of the intervention would be directly correlated with the degree that the child displayed positive emotions during the intervention. Thus, the analysis of these emotions should highlight differences between the control and EMBRACE group and help to explain variability in effectiveness of the intervention. The results did indicate that children in the EMBRACE group generally had a significantly higher positive affect compared to the control group, but these results did not influence the ability for the child to effectively recall or moderate the EEG variables in the post-test. The results also showed that children who interacted with the researcher more tended to be in the EMBRACE group, whereas children who did not interact with the researcher more frequently were in the control group, showing that the EMBRACE intervention ended up being a more collaborative task.

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2020-05

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An Approach to Assessing PTSD in Refugee Children

Description

Post-traumatic stress disorder is prevalent in refugees. The population of refugees in the United States is continuing to increase, of which the majority of the incoming refugees are children. A more comprehensive approach is needed to assess children for PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is prevalent in refugees. The population of refugees in the United States is continuing to increase, of which the majority of the incoming refugees are children. A more comprehensive approach is needed to assess children for PTSD. This creative project involved reviewing existing literature on refugees in the United States, child refugees, Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, and available and applicable PTSD assessment tools. I developed a reference chart that compared the available assessment tools. I recognized that a PTSD assessment tool for refugee children does not exist. In response, I created an approach to assessing PTSD in refugee children ages 5-12. In creating this toolkit, I determined who is appropriate for administering the assessment, discovered how to create trust between the clinician and the child, created the assessment tool, including implementation instructions, and then provided directions on scoring and referrals. The tool itself is called the Child Refugee PTSD Assessment Tool (CRPAT-12). The creation of the CRPAT-12 will hopefully be disseminated and will encourage refugee resettlement organizations to assess children for PTSD upon intake. Early identification of symptoms of distress will help the child receive the appropriate treatment and will help prevent more extreme mental health complications.

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2017-05

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Measuring the Effects of Martial Arts and ADHD

Description

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a four-week martial arts program implemented once a week on children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between the ages of four and seven. This was a single group,

The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a four-week martial arts program implemented once a week on children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) between the ages of four and seven. This was a single group, pre- and post-intervention assessment pilot study. The total sample of the study was four children (n=4) and the martial arts classes were based on the Duke Kenpo Little Tiger Program by Jonathan Duke of Mesa, Arizona. Change was measured using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, 2nd edition (BRIEF-2) parental form and participants were encouraged to record at-home practice. Data were collected pre-intervention and four weeks afterwards. Limitations included small sample size, measurement limitation (e.g., ceiling effect), data based on parental report, a short intervention period, potential instructor bias, and uneven gender distribution. Given the small sample size (n=4), this study did not complete statistical analysis and alternatively described the changing patterns of the participant's ADHD symptoms from BRIEF-2 measures pre and post intervention. The results of this study could not generate the power to detect significance to state significant implications. However, the trends suggested that some participants declined in executive function in certain areas (e.g., task-monitoring and planning) and improved in other areas (e.g., working memory and organization of materials). All participants demonstrated improvement within the cognitive (CRI) scale of the BRIEF-2 and future studies may explore the potential for martial arts interventions in children under seven as a means to improve the cognitive aspect of executive function development. In addition, future studies may consider exploring the role of frequency versus time for at-home martial arts practice for children with ADHD under the age of seven.

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2017-12

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A Child's Ability to Learn Emotion Understanding and Coping Strategies

Description

Self-regulation in the form of coping with emotions is something that most people have effectively adapted to by adulthood. This is an organically learned process that begins in early childhood through play, parenting, education, and peer interactions. This study examines

Self-regulation in the form of coping with emotions is something that most people have effectively adapted to by adulthood. This is an organically learned process that begins in early childhood through play, parenting, education, and peer interactions. This study examines whether six children aged 4-5 (M age= 4.72, SD= 0.372, 50% female, 100% Caucasian) are able to understand basic emotions and how to cope with them through one of two protocols. The conditions were either directive instruction or embodied cognition, and children were evaluated with a pre and post-test measure. Findings did not indicate any significant effect of the conditions on memorizing coping mechanisms, nor did it indicate that there was a significant improvement in emotion understanding following the sessions. These findings were limited by the sample size and participant interest.

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2017-12

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The Effects of Interaction with Children in Symptoms of Depression in the Elderly

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The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of social interaction with children on the symptoms of depression in elderly participants at the John C. Lincoln Adult Day Healthcare center when compared to depressive symptoms in the elderly

The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of social interaction with children on the symptoms of depression in elderly participants at the John C. Lincoln Adult Day Healthcare center when compared to depressive symptoms in the elderly who do not regularly interact with children. This organization provides care to elderly members of the community in a dignified and stimulating manner. It allows caregivers of participants to take a break from day to day responsibilities while providing the participants with a safe and active environment. It shares premises with the Lincoln Learning Center, which is a care/educational facility for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age. The children and the elderly interact one day a week for half an hour in a planned activity in the Adult Day Healthcare Center. The Geriatric Depression Scale- Short Form was used to assess for presence of depressive symptoms in both the control group (those who did not regularly interact with children) and the experimental group (those who did regularly interact with the children). The scale consisted of 15 yes-or-no questions regarding the average emotions the participants experienced in a week. A total of 15 people participated in the study, eight in the control group and seven in the experimental group. Eight of the participants were male, seven were female and they ranged in age from 58 to 96 years old. An independent sample t-test was performed to assess the data for statistical significance.

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2016-12

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Overweight Youth: The Prevention of Premature Chronic Disease Development

Description

This creative project examines the effectiveness of several school based nutritional education and parent based programs along with multi-component interventions. Six published articles were reviewed and summarized to identify the most successful interventions to prevent childhood obesity. In addition to

This creative project examines the effectiveness of several school based nutritional education and parent based programs along with multi-component interventions. Six published articles were reviewed and summarized to identify the most successful interventions to prevent childhood obesity. In addition to these studies other resources were examined to understand the developmental levels of school-aged and adolescent students. As part of this project a narrated power point covering the key aspects of the nutritional needs of the school-aged child was developed. This power point will be utilized by future nursing students whom are working with parents in the schools or in the community on nutrition strategies. The power point will provide a context for individual or group discussions with parents to offer helpful ideas on how to work effectively with their children. The topic of nutrition and obesity in school-aged children is a current topic in health care especially in environments where nutritional resources are limited. The overall outcome of this project will be to assist in decreasing the incidence of overweight and obese youth and the prevention of the development of premature chronic diseases especially in early adolescence and young adulthood.

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2014-12

The Primer Project: Creating an Interactive Children's Storybook

Description

As part of a group project, myself and four teammates created an interactive children's storybook based off of the "Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" in Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age. This electronic book is meant to be read aloud by

As part of a group project, myself and four teammates created an interactive children's storybook based off of the "Young Lady's Illustrated Primer" in Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age. This electronic book is meant to be read aloud by a caregiver with their child, and is designed for reading over long distances through the use of real-time voice and video calling. While one part of the team focused on building the electronic book itself and writing the program, myself and two others wrote the story and I provided illustrations. Our Primer tells the story of a young princess named Charname (short for character name) who escapes from a tower and goes on a mission to save four companions to help her on her quest. The book is meant for reader-insertion, and teaches children problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking skills by presenting challenges for Princess Charname to solve. The Primer borrows techniques from modern video game design, focusing heavily on interactivity and feelings of agency through offering the child choices of how to proceed, similar to choose-your-own-adventure books. If brought to market, the medium lends itself well to expanded quests and storylines for the child to explore as they learn and grow. Additionally, resources are provided for the narrator to help create an engaging experience for the child, based off of research on parent-child cooperative reading and cooperative gameplay. The final version of the Primer included a website to run the program, a book-like computer to access the program online, and three complete story segments for the child and narrator to read together.

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2016-05

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The Role of Fruits and Vegetables in Hydration of 3-13 y Old Children

Description

Background: Inadequate hydration can have several adverse effects on health. In children, it can negatively affect their health and cognitive performance. The effects of fruits and vegetables on the hydration of children have not been adequately studied. This study included

Background: Inadequate hydration can have several adverse effects on health. In children, it can negatively affect their health and cognitive performance. The effects of fruits and vegetables on the hydration of children have not been adequately studied. This study included 177 children in this age group and examined the contribution of fruits and vegetables (F&V) on total water intake (TWI).

Methods: Two-day dietary and fluid intake records as well as 24-h urine samples were collected from 177 children over different weekends. The dietary records were analyzed with Nutrition Data System for Research to obtain TWI from food (TWI-F) as well as TWI from fruits and vegetables (TWI-FV). The fluid intake data was used to determine TWI from liquids (TWI-L). The urine samples were analyzed for volume (UVol), urine osmolality (UOsm), urine specific gravity (USG), and urine color (UCol) to examine hydration. Age was categorized into 3, 4-8, and 9-13 y based on the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Results: About 52% of the children did not meet water intake recommendations by IOM and 39.8% of the children were underhydrated based on elevated urine osmolality. The average TWI was found to be 1,911± 70 mL. TWI-F was observed to be 492±257 mL, while TWI-L was 1,419±702 mL. TWI-FV only contributed 200±144 mL. As expected TWI was significantly higher in the older children (9-13 y) than children in other age group (3 and 4-8 y). The average UVol was 709±445 mL, USG was 1.019±0.006, UOsm was 701±233 mOsm·kg-1, and UCol was a 3±1 (based on the urine color chart). Only urine volume seemed to be influenced by the age of the children as it was significantly higher for the children in the 9-13 y age group.

Conclusion: Nearly half of the children did not meet water recommendations by IOM and were underhydrated. Fruits and vegetables did not have a significant contribution to TWI. Dietary interventions to increase F&V consumption, lower consumption of SSB, as well as maintain proper hydration may benefit the health of children.

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2020-05