Matching Items (7)

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Facebook in Fifth Grade? Implications of Social Media on Today's Youth

Description

This study derives from a developmental psychology viewpoint. The main research question is, "What are the effects of social media on children?" Aspects such as bullying, personality changes, and academic

This study derives from a developmental psychology viewpoint. The main research question is, "What are the effects of social media on children?" Aspects such as bullying, personality changes, and academic performances are considered. This topic is important because it has yet to be explored extensively. Given the ever changing nature of social media, it is a challenge to keep up with research on how this technology is changing the direction of society. Studying children involved with social media allows a direct glimpse into what one aspect of the future of child social development holds. The main problem explored in this thesis is whether or not social media is currently affecting children negatively. Correlations will be examined to determine who is most likely to utilize social media, as well as who is most likely to be affected positively or negatively by networking sites. Motivations behind social media usage and time spent online will also be studied. This research is important in understanding today's youth, and once understood, parents and teachers can learn to guide children in using social media for beneficial reasons rather than potentially detrimental ones. I have conducted my research by means of a survey, one in which the entire fifth-grade class at Copper Creek Elementary School partook. Results showed that nearly all surveyed students used social media. Differences in social media usage between classmates based on gender and presence of older siblings were found. It was concluded that social media is affecting fifth-grade females more negatively than fifth-grade males. Also, it was found that children with older siblings may be at risk for using mature social media sites too soon. The long term effects of these findings were not explored, and further research on this subject is encouraged.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Genetic and Environmental Influences on Children's Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Parenting

Description

The purpose of the current study was to determine the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of prosocial behavior in children using a population of 356 twins at 8

The purpose of the current study was to determine the genetic and environmental contributions to the development of prosocial behavior in children using a population of 356 twins at 8 years of age. The study also aimed to examine whether qualities of parenting (specifically authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles) were phenotypic predictors of prosocial behavior. Both parent-reports and objective ratings of global prosocial behavior were used. Results supported prosocial behavior as a genetically-influenced trait with heritability estimates of 44% and 68% for parent reported and observed prosocial behavior, respectively. Data also suggested prosocial behavior as an environmentally-influenced trait. As hypothesized, authoritative parenting was moderately correlated with parent-reported prosocial behavior and authoritarian parenting was found to be low-to-moderately negatively correlated with parent-reported prosocial behavior. Multi-variable regressions demonstrated that authoritative parenting was significantly predictive of increased parent-reported prosocial behavior but authoritarian parenting was not predictive of decreased parent reported prosocial behavior. However, observed prosocial behaviors were largely independent of both authoritative and authoritarian styles of parenting.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Exploring the stability and instability of aggressors, victims and aggressive-victims from childhood to adolescence

Description

It is widely recognized that peer-directed aggression and victimization are pervasive social problems that impact school-aged children and adolescents. This study investigated the developmental course of aggression and victimization, and

It is widely recognized that peer-directed aggression and victimization are pervasive social problems that impact school-aged children and adolescents. This study investigated the developmental course of aggression and victimization, and more specifically, addressed three primary aims. First, distinct subgroups of children were identified based on similarities and differences in their physical, verbal and relational aggression and victimization. Second, developmental stability (and instability) were assessed by examining the extent to which individuals remain (or change) subgroups throughout childhood and adolescence. Third, group classifications and transitions over time were assessed as a function of children’s individual characteristics and their relational and contextual experiences.

The sample for this longitudinal study consisted of 482 children (50% females) who were followed over time from grades 1 to 11. Multiple-informant data on children’s physical, verbal and relational aggression and victimization (peer-reports), individual characteristics including emotion dysregulation, withdrawn behaviors (teacher-reports), and hostile and self-blaming attributions (self-reports), and their relational and contextual experiences including peer rejection, friendships, social hierarchy and classroom aggression (peer-reports) were assessed in grades 1, 5, 8, and 11. Data analyses primarily consisted of a series of person-centered methods including latent profile and latent transition analyses.

Most of the identified subgroups (e.g., aggressors, victims and aggressive-victims) were distinguishable by their frequencies (i.e., levels) of aggression and victimization, rather than forms (physical, verbal and relational), with the exception of one group that appeared to be more form-specific (i.e., relational aggressive-victims). Among children in each group there was a modest degree of intra-individual stability, and findings elucidated how some groups appeared to be more stable than others as well as developmental differences. Although group stability was fairly common across all groups, and over time, patterns of instability also emerged.

The combination of trends reflecting both stability and instability support the perspective that the development of aggression in childhood and adolescence is characterized by heterogeneity. In contrast to perspectives that highlight the individual stability of aggression (e.g., that it is a stable behavioral style or individual disposition), findings elucidate the individual, relational and contextual mechanisms by which developmental stability and instability were more pronounced.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Transactional processes of parent-child interactions from early to middle childhood

Description

Theoretical models support conceptualizing parent-child relationships as reciprocal and transactional with each person exerting influence on the other’s behaviors and the overall quality and valence of the relationship across time.

Theoretical models support conceptualizing parent-child relationships as reciprocal and transactional with each person exerting influence on the other’s behaviors and the overall quality and valence of the relationship across time. The goals of this study were twofold: 1) determine whether there were reciprocal relations in maternal hostility and child negativity across early and middle childhood, and 2) investigate whether individual characteristics (i.e., child temperamental anger and frustration and maternal neuroticism) moderated relations found in goal one. Data were from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Empirical support was found for conceptualizing mother-child interactions as reciprocal. Maternal hostility was related to a decrease in the probability children would exhibit negative behaviors during mother-child interactions measured approximately two years later. Child negativity was also associated with a significant decrease in the probability mothers would display future hostility.

Child temperamental anger and frustration was found to moderate reciprocal relations across all three parent-to-child cross-lagged paths. Children scoring high on a dispositional proclivity to react with anger and frustration were more likely to avoid maternal hostility, via a significant decrease in negativity, across time. Moderation was also supported in two of three child-to-parent lagged paths. Finally, maternal neuroticism moderated the reciprocal effects during early childhood, such that more neurotic mothers were more likely to demonstrate a decrease in the probability of hostility relative to mothers scoring lower on neuroticism. This affect was attenuated in middle childhood, with patterns becoming similar between mothers scoring high and low on neuroticism. Moreover, children of less neurotic mothers were more likely to demonstrate a decrease in the probability of exhibiting negativity from 36 to 54 months compared to children of more neurotic mothers. This effect also attenuated with patterns becoming negative at the grade 1 to grade 3 lag. Overall, the results from this study supported a transactional model of parent-child relationships, were consistent with the motivation literature, did not support a coercive process of interaction when the sample and measurement paradigm were low-risk, and generally suggested parents and children have an equal influence on the relational processes investigated from early to middle childhood.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Biological sensitivity to the effects of maternal postpartum depressive symptoms on children's behavior problems

Description

The theory of biological sensitivity to context (BSC; Boyce & Ellis, 2005) posits that specific biological characteristics, such as vagal tone, may confer risk for physical and mental health outcomes

The theory of biological sensitivity to context (BSC; Boyce & Ellis, 2005) posits that specific biological characteristics, such as vagal tone, may confer risk for physical and mental health outcomes for some children but promote health for others. High levels of resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), an index of vagal tone, may confer susceptibility to the effects of the caregiving environment on child development. Consistent with BSC, I expected that, relative to infants with lower RSA, infants with higher RSA would demonstrate fewer behavior problems if their mothers reported fewer postpartum depressive symptoms, but more behavior problems if their mothers reported more postpartum depressive symptoms. I also evaluated whether observed child social engagement with their mothers mediated children's biological sensitivity to the effects of postpartum depressive symptoms on behavior problems in early childhood. I evaluated a mediated moderation model among a sample of 322 low-income Mexican American mother-infant dyads. As expected, the RSA x maternal depressive symptoms interaction, controlling for covariates, was a significant predictor of internalizing, externalizing and total behavior problems, and high vagal tone conferred susceptibility for externalizing behavior problems. Contrary to my hypothesis, children with low RSA may be more susceptible to the effects of maternal postpartum depressive symptoms on children's internalizing and total behavior problems, and child social engagement did not account for these effects. Among infants in economically disadvantaged families, lower RSA and fewer maternal depressive symptoms may promote resilience, and more research is needed to understand behavioral mediators of biological sensitivity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Links between prenatal stress and obstetrical complications and infant behavior: a twin design

Description

The main objective of this study was to use a genetically-informative design to examine the putative influences of maternal perceived prenatal stress, obstetrical complications, and gestational age on infant dysregulation,

The main objective of this study was to use a genetically-informative design to examine the putative influences of maternal perceived prenatal stress, obstetrical complications, and gestational age on infant dysregulation, competence, and developmental maturity. Specifically, whether or not prenatal and obstetrical environmental conditions modified the heritability of infant outcomes was examined. A total of 291 mothers were interviewed when their twin infants were 12 months of age. Pregnancy and twin birth medical records were obtained to code obstetrical data. Utilizing behavioral genetic models, results indicated maternal perceived prenatal stress moderated genetic and environmental influences on developmental maturity whereas obstetrical complications moderated shared environmental influences on infant competence and nonshared environmental influences on developmental maturity. Gestational age moderated the heritability and nonshared environment of infant dysregulation, shared and nonshared environmental influences on competence, and nonshared environmental influences on developmental maturity. Taken together, prenatal and obstetric conditions were important nonlinear influences on infant outcomes. An evolutionary perspective may provide a framework for these findings, such that the prenatal environment programs the fetus to be adaptive to current environmental contexts. Specifically, prenatal stress governs gene expression through epigenetic processes. Findings highlight the utility of a genetically informative design for elucidating the role of prenatal and obstetric conditions in the etiology of infant developmental outcomes.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Understanding behavior problems and competencies across childhood through the contributions of parental warmth and rejection and dopamine, vasopressin, and neuropeptide-Y genes

Description

Externalizing behaviors are pervasive, widespread, and disruptive across a multitude of settings and developmental contexts. While the conventional diathesis-stress model typically measures the disordered end of the spectrum, studies that

Externalizing behaviors are pervasive, widespread, and disruptive across a multitude of settings and developmental contexts. While the conventional diathesis-stress model typically measures the disordered end of the spectrum, studies that span the range of behavior, from externalizing to competence behaviors, are necessary to see the full picture. To that end, this study examined the additive and nonadditive relations of a dimension of parenting (ranging from warm to rejecting), and variants in dopamine, vasopressin, and neuropeptide-y receptor genes on externalizing/competence in a large sample of predominantly Caucasian twin children in toddlerhood, middle childhood, and early adolescence. Variants within each gene were hypothesized to increase biological susceptibility to both negative and positive environments. Consistent with prediction, warmth related to lower externalizing/higher competence at all ages. Earlier levels of externalizing/competence washed out the effect of parental warmth on future externalizing/competence with the exception of father warmth in toddlerhood marginally predicting change in externalizing/competence from toddlerhood to middle childhood. Warmth was a significant moderator of the heritability of behavior in middle childhood and early adolescence such that behavior was less heritable (mother report) and more heritable (father report) in low warmth environments. Interactions with warmth and the dopamine and vasopressin genes in middle childhood and early adolescence emphasize the moderational role gene variants play in relations between the rearing environment and child behavior. For dopamine, the long variant related to increased sensitivity to parent warmth such that the children displayed more externalizing behaviors when exposed to rejection but they also displayed more competence behaviors when exposed to high warmth. Vasopressin moderation was only present under conditions of parental warmth, not rejection. Interactions with neuropeptide-y and warmth were not significant. The picture that emerges is one of gene-environment interplay, wherein the influence of both parenting and child genotype each depend on the level of the other. As genetic research moves forward, gene variants previously implicated as conferring risk for disorder should be reexamined in conjunction with salient aspects of the environment on the full range of the behavioral outcome of interest.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011