Matching Items (11)

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Associations Between Sleep and Cognitive Function in Middle Childhood: The Moderating Role of Early Life Socioeconomic Status

Description

The objective of the current study was to examine sleep and academic functioning during middle childhood. More specifically, the twin design was used to determine the heritability of academic competence

The objective of the current study was to examine sleep and academic functioning during middle childhood. More specifically, the twin design was used to determine the heritability of academic competence and sleep. Phenotypic analyses using multi-level mixed model regressions were performed to predict academic functioning from sleep. Lastly, socioeconomic status was tested as a moderator in the associations between sleep and academic functioning. Participants included twins (N = 191 families; Mage = 8.47 years) recruited from Arizona birth records at 12 months of age. Sleep duration, latency, onset, efficiency, variability, and sleep problems were assessed using actigraph watches and the Child Sleep Habits Questionnaire. Academic functioning was assessed using subtests of the Woodcock Johnson Cognitive Test of Achievement-IV (picture vocabulary, passage comprehension, and applied problems) and the MacArthur Health and Behavior Questionnaire. As determined by twin intraclass correlations, the heritability of academic competence ranged from 51-76%. Sleep heritability ranged from 14-80%. In addition, phenotypic analyses only showed a significant association between sleep latency and WJ picture vocabulary scores. More specifically, sleep latency was negatively associated with the picture vocabulary subtest. Additional models were run to examine if any interactive effects were present between early SES and the various sleep parameters. Several significant associations were observed with applied problems scores and parent-reported academic competence. Specifically, for children of low SES, a significant positive association was observed for sleep duration and WJ applied problems scores, as well as for sleep efficiency and WJ applied problems scores. No significant associations were observed for sleep efficiency and HBQ scores with children of any SES. Also, no significant relationships were observed with children of high SES for any of the academic measures.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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The Role of Parenting and Parental Pain in Children's Chronic Pain Experience

Description

Children's chronic pain has many contributing factors, including family environment, genetics, and parenting. Still, pediatric chronic pain remains understudied, and little research has been conducted on predictors of child pain

Children's chronic pain has many contributing factors, including family environment, genetics, and parenting. Still, pediatric chronic pain remains understudied, and little research has been conducted on predictors of child pain onset. This study aims to elucidate some of these factors by examining the role of parenting style and parental pain in children's chronic pain experience. The study answered the following questions: 1) Is child chronic pain heritable?; 2) Do parenting styles and/or parental pain predict child pain?; and 3) Is parenting style the mediating variable in the relation between parent pain and child pain? A twin study design was employed to account for both genetic and environmental influences in pain. Primary and secondary caregivers completed pain questionnaires regarding their own and their children's pain. The caregivers also completed questionnaires regarding their own parenting styles. Observer ratings were used as additional measures of primary caregiver parenting. Results indicated that child pain is heritable and that parental pain was significantly related to child pain. However, parenting style did not predict child pain and was not a mediator in the relationship between parental pain and child pain. Further research on other parenting factors or predictors of pain may lead to prevention of pediatric chronic pain or more effective management of child pain symptoms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Understanding Emotion Dynamics and Observed Cooperation and Conflict in the Sibling Relationship

Description

Sibling interactions are natural contexts for learning about the appropriate expression of emotions. The emotionally charged nature of sibling interactions creates a convenient context to explore emotional reactivity and regulation.

Sibling interactions are natural contexts for learning about the appropriate expression of emotions. The emotionally charged nature of sibling interactions creates a convenient context to explore emotional reactivity and regulation. The purpose of this study was to examine the relations among parent-reported sibling relationship quality, observed sibling prosocial and antisocial behaviors displayed when playing a competitive marble game, and children's emotions coded from videotape. The sample consisted of 58 twin children who are currently participating in the longitudinal Arizona Twin Project. Parents completed the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire online at 5 and 8 years. Additionally, a competitive marble game interaction between the siblings took place in the home at 8 years and was videotaped for objective coding of prosocial, antisocial, and control behavior. Facial expressions were also coded from videotape using Emotient FACET software across the marble game interaction. Three mean composites of emotion were created, including positive and negative emotional facial expressions. Results showed that parent reported warmth did not predict the occurrence of positive emotions during the sibling interaction. However, siblings with high conflict showed less fear during the interaction. Parent reports of warmth predicted the extent to which siblings differed on emotion expression, however conflict did not. Parent ratings of conflict and warmth did not predict the extent to which the sibling dyad was emotionally intense. Findings regarding genetic and environmental effects were in line with previous reports of genetic influence on prosocial behavior and negative emotion, and expressions of joy being influenced by the environment. This study investigated noteworthy aspects of the sibling relationship that appear to promote children's adaptive development.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Creation of a Nutritional Coding System and its Inferences to Health

Description

The Arizona Twin Project is a research project involving the study of twins, both identical and fraternal, and the resilience they develop to physical and mental illnesses later on in

The Arizona Twin Project is a research project involving the study of twins, both identical and fraternal, and the resilience they develop to physical and mental illnesses later on in life by studying several factors such as home environment, sleeping patterns, lifestyle (academics as well as extra-curricular activities), and eating habits. This project specifically focused on the nutrition and food intake by analyzing data from 3 days of food diaries from 10 families. In order to fully assess nutrition and food intake, a coding system was created to properly analyze the data that was provided in the food diaries by the parents. The coding system was generated from a combination of two of the most accurate coding methods used in nutrition, known as the 24 hour food recall and diary/food record methods. The measures that were coded were: most food group consumed, caloric intake, total fat consumption, total protein consumption, total carbohydrate consumption, total sugar consumption, total fiber consumption, frequency of eating, and homemade versus fast food. Once the nutritional data from all 10 families was coded, the output information was analyzed using SPSS to provide summary and descriptive statistics as well as correlations among the codes, and demographics of the sample.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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A Twin Study Approach to Toddler Mental Health: Maternal Depression, Discipline Practices, and Hispanic Ethnicity

Description

We examined the relations between maternal depression, discipline practices, and toddler mental health outcomes, specifically competence and total problem behavior. Ethnicity was considered as a moderator in all analyses. For

We examined the relations between maternal depression, discipline practices, and toddler mental health outcomes, specifically competence and total problem behavior. Ethnicity was considered as a moderator in all analyses. For the first time, ethnicity was considered as a moderator of the heritability of toddler competence and total problem behavior. The data came from the Arizona Twin Project. A subsample containing only Caucasian (66%) and Hispanic (34%; 87% of Mexican descent) participants was used. Primary caregivers (>95% mothers) reported on levels of maternal depression, discipline practices, and their twins' competency and problem behaviors. It was hypothesized that maternal depression would be associated with less competency and more problem behaviors in toddlers; inductive discipline practices would be associated with higher competency and fewer problem behaviors; and punitive discipline practices would be associated with lower competency and more problem behaviors. Ethnicity was predicted to moderate only the relation between discipline practices and toddler mental health. Consistent with predictions, maternal depression predicted less competency and more problem behaviors, and inductive discipline predicted higher competency and fewer problem behaviors, while punitive discipline predicted lower competency and more problem behaviors. Ethnicity moderated the relation between maternal depression at 12 months and total problem behaviors. The heritability of competence and total problem behavior varied across the Caucasian and Hispanic samples.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Familial Risk and Social Support in Children’s ADHD Symptoms

Description

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common developmental disorder characterized by symptoms of impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity that interfere with development. Given the lasting academic and social deficits associated with ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common developmental disorder characterized by symptoms of impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity that interfere with development. Given the lasting academic and social deficits associated with ADHD symptoms, it is critical to study the risk factors of this disorder and possible factors that could protect against its development. Therefore, the current study investigated the potential role of social support from parents, siblings, teachers, and peers as promotive and protective factors against the development of ADHD symptoms for children at familial risk of developing ADHD symptoms. Participants included 903 twins (30.5% monozygotic twins, 35.9% same-sex dizygotic twins, 31.7% opposite-sex dizygotic twins) from the longitudinal Arizona Twin Project. Children (51.6% female) were assessed for social support and ADHD symptoms at age 8 (M = 8.42, SD = 0.68) and for ADHD symptoms at age 9 (M = 9.71, SD = 0.93). Children’s familial risk for developing ADHD symptoms was assessed as a function of their cotwin’s symptom status at age 8 and the pair’s zygosity. Mixed model regression analyses indicated that familial risk was a robust predictor of ADHD symptoms. Further, peer acceptance was found to operate as a promotive factor against the development of ADHD symptoms, with some evidence for positive parenting as a promotive factor, as well. None of the forms of social support were found to be protective factors for children at familial risk of developing ADHD symptoms. Bivariate twin analyses revealed that peer acceptance and ADHD were related for both genetic and environmental reasons, suggesting that children’s heritable behaviors influence their peer acceptance. Future directions may include examining additional factors as possible moderators of familial risk of developing ADHD symptoms.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-12

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A Comparison of Hand and Computer Coding of Expressions of Emotion

Description

Hand-coding systems of measuring facial expressions were developed to study and analyze human emotions, but they are time-intensive and thus seldom used. As technology has advanced, new computer software programs,

Hand-coding systems of measuring facial expressions were developed to study and analyze human emotions, but they are time-intensive and thus seldom used. As technology has advanced, new computer software programs, such as Affectiva, were developed to code facial expressions automatically using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Since this technology is still new, Affectiva and its validity remain understudied, and no psychological research has been conducted to compare Affectiva computer coding and hand coding of children’s emotions. The purpose of this study was to compare hand and computer coding of children’s expressions of emotion during a videotaped parent-child interaction. The study answered the following questions: 1) Do hand and computer coding agree?; and 2) Are hand and computer coding in higher agreement for some emotions than others? The sample included 25 pairs of twins from the Arizona Twin Project. Facial expressions were coded from videotape by a trained and reliable human coder and using the software Affectiva. The results showed that hand and computer coded emotion were in agreement for positive, but not negative emotions. Changing the context of the interaction to elicit more negative emotion, and using the same indicators of each emotion in computer and hand coding are suggested to improve the comparison of computer and hand coding.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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The Relation Between Child Chronic Pain and Internalizing Symptoms: An Analysis of Sibling Relationships as Moderators and Child Social Engagement as a Mediator

Description

Pediatric chronic pain is surprisingly common and impactful, prospectively predicting poorer mental and physical health outcomes. Internalizing symptoms represents one such outcome. It is the most common cluster of symptoms

Pediatric chronic pain is surprisingly common and impactful, prospectively predicting poorer mental and physical health outcomes. Internalizing symptoms represents one such outcome. It is the most common cluster of symptoms in children, it is related to poorer child functioning, and it has been linked to future functioning/psychopathology. The psychosocial mechanisms through which child pain may impact internalizing have yet to be fully elaborated, but withdrawal from social engagement with peers has been proposed as one possible mechanism. Additionally, sibling relationships may play a role in enhancing or diminishing a child’s social engagement while they are in pain. The current study aimed to examine whether child social engagement at age 8 mediates the relation between child chronic pain at age 8 and internalizing symptoms at age 9. Further, the study tested whether sibling warmth and sibling conflict act as moderators between child chronic pain and child social engagement. The physical and emotional health, quality of sibling relations, and extracurricular social engagement of 491 twin children from 247 families were assessed at age 8 and age 9 via surveys completed by the children’s primary caregivers. Findings showed that child pain at age 8 did not predict lower levels of social engagement, and social engagement did not predict child internalizing at age 9. Sibling warmth, but not conflict, significantly moderated the pain—social engagement relation. Together, these findings indicate that the relation between chronic pain and internalizing functions differently in children than in adults through a variety of cognitive, environmental, and social factors. More longitudinal research in this area will help establish changes in the relation between pain and internalizing from childhood into adulthood.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Genetic and environmental influences on parenting, sibling conflict, and childhood sleep in five-year-old twins

Description

Understanding how interpersonal relationships, such as parenting and sibling relationships, may contribute to early sleep development is important, as early sleep dysregulation has been shown to impact later sleep behavior

Understanding how interpersonal relationships, such as parenting and sibling relationships, may contribute to early sleep development is important, as early sleep dysregulation has been shown to impact later sleep behavior (Sadeh & Anders, 1993), as well as cognitive and behavioral functioning (Gregory et al., 2006; Soffer-Dudek et al., 2011). In addition, twin studies provide an optimal opportunity to estimate genetic and environmental contributions to parenting, sibling relationships and child sleep, as they are influenced by both genetic and contextual factors. As such, the current thesis examined whether parental punitive discipline and sibling conflict were associated with child sleep duration, dysregulation and daytime sleepiness at 12 months, 30 months, and five years in a longitudinal sample of young twins recruited through birth records (Lemery-Chalfant et al., 2013). Mixed model regression analyses and quantitative behavioral genetic models (univariate and bivariate) were conducted to explore bidirectional relations and estimate genetic and environmental contributions to parental punitive punishment, sibling conflict and child sleep parameters. Sleep duration and dysregulation showed stability over time. Parental punitive discipline did not predict concurrent or future sleep parameters, nor were there bidirectional relations between punitive discipline and child sleep behaviors. Greater sibling conflict at five years was associated with shorter concurrent child sleep duration and greater daytime sleepiness, suggesting that sibling conflict may be a critical interpersonal stressor that negatively impacts child sleep. Shared environmental factors also accounted for the greatest proportion of the covariance between sibling conflict and sleep duration and daytime sleepiness at five years. These findings hold promise for sleep and sibling interaction interventions, including educating parents about fostering positive sibling relations and teaching caregivers to utilize specific parenting behaviors that may encourage better child sleep behaviors (e.g., establishing bedtime routines). Future studies should aim to understand the nuances of associations between family relationships (like punitive discipline and sibling conflict) and child sleep, as well as other explore person- and family-level factors, such as child negative emotions and parenting, that may influence associations between family relationships and child sleep.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Genetic and environmental influences on associations among multiple sleep parameters, weight indicators and weight status, and effortful control in young twins

Description

Prior research has established associations between sleep duration and body mass index (BMI) scores and risk for obesity in middle childhood, but it is less clear whether other objectively- and

Prior research has established associations between sleep duration and body mass index (BMI) scores and risk for obesity in middle childhood, but it is less clear whether other objectively- and subjectively-measured sleep indicators may be associated with BMI scores, weight status (e.g., obesity), and other estimates of weight and body fat such as waist circumference (WC) and percent body fat. Empirical studies have also demonstrated independent associations between broad self-regulation and sleep indicators and BMI scores, but no study to date has tested these factors in a model together and the extent to which associations between normative sleep problems, weight indicators, and effortful control (EC) may be explained by shared genetic or environmental influences. Data from a large longitudinal study of twins was used to test phenotypic associations between sleep problems at eight years and weight indicators at nine years, including whether EC at eight years moderates these associations. Additionally, multiple quantitative behavior genetic models were used to estimate unique and shared genetic and environmental covariances among normative sleep problems, weight indicators, and EC at eight years of age and whether additive genetic influence on weight in middle childhood differs by child weight status group. Phenotypic findings showed that greater sleep duration at eight years predicted greater decreases BMI at nine years of age for children with low levels of EC at eight years. Greater sleep midpoint variability at eight years predicted greater increases in percent body fat from eight to nine years of age for children with low EC at eight years. Behavior genetic findings showed greater environmental influences on parent-reported sleep duration and quality, as well as objective sleep midpoint variability. Similarly, associations between parent-reported sleep duration and sleep midpoint variability and other sleep indicators and EC were primarily accounted for by shared environmental factors. In contrast, there was high additive genetic influence on objective sleep quantity and quality, all weight indicators, and EC. Many of the associations between sleep indicators, sleep and weight indicators, and among weight indicators were entirely accounted for by shared additive genetic factors, suggesting that common, underlying sets of genes explain these relations.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019