Matching Items (9)

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The relations of household chaos to children's language development: the mediating roles of children's effortful control and parenting

Description

This study drew upon a bioecological framework to empirically investigate the relations between environmental chaos and preschoolers' language across time, including the potentially mediating roles of children's effortful control and

This study drew upon a bioecological framework to empirically investigate the relations between environmental chaos and preschoolers' language across time, including the potentially mediating roles of children's effortful control and parenting. Child sex also was examined as a moderator of these relations. For this study, the following data were collected at 30, 42, and 54 months of age. Household chaos and (at 30 months) socioeconomic status (SES) were reported by mothers. Children's effortful control (EC) was rated by mothers and nonparental caregivers, and was observed during a number of laboratory tasks. Maternal vocalizations were assessed during free play sessions with their children (at 30 and 42 months), and supportive and unsupportive parenting behaviors and affect were observed during free play and teaching tasks at each age. Mothers also reported on their own reactions to children's negative emotions. Finally, (at 54 months) children's expressive and receptive language was measured with a standard assessment. Structural equation modeling and path analyses indicated that SES at 30 months and greater levels of household chaos at 42 months predicted not only poorer language skills, but also deficits in children's EC and less supportive parenting in low-income mothers at 54 months, even when controlling for stability in these constructs. Children's effortful control at 42 months, but not parenting, positively predicted later language, suggesting that EC may play a mediating role in the relations between household chaos, as well as SES, and preschoolers' language abilities. Child sex did not moderate the pattern of relations. Post-hoc analyses also indicated that the negative relation between chaos and language was significant only for children who had low EC at 42 months. This study represents a much-needed addition to the currently limited longitudinal research examining environmental chaos and children's developmental outcomes. Importantly, findings from this study elucidate an important process underlying the links between chaos and children's language development, which can inform interventions and policies designed to support families and children living in chaotic home environments.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Predicting academic competence in elementary school from children's early temperamental approach reactivity and effortful control

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Researchers who have previously explored the relation of broad-based temperamental approach constructs, such as surgency/extraversion, exuberance, or behavioral approach sensitivity, to academic competence (AC) in early elementary school have often

Researchers who have previously explored the relation of broad-based temperamental approach constructs, such as surgency/extraversion, exuberance, or behavioral approach sensitivity, to academic competence (AC) in early elementary school have often found conflicting results. Moreover, few researchers have examined the interaction between these approach reactivity constructs and effortful control (EC) in the prediction of AC. The goal of the current study was to examine the fine-tuned relations of different aspects of temperamental approach reactivity in early childhood (42 and 54 months; N=223), such as impulsivity, frustration, and positive affect, as well as EC, to AC during early elementary school (72 and 84 months). Examining the complex relations may clarify the literature using broad-based approach reactivity constructs. Temperament was observed in the laboratory when children were 54 months of age. Mothers and caregivers also reported on children's impulsivity at 42 and 54 months. School-related behavioral adjustment was reported by children, mothers, and teachers, and GPA was reported by teachers at 72 and 84 months. The results of the study indicated that positive affect, EC, and receptive language ability were the only unique direct predictors of school adjustment and/or GPA. Without EC in the model, only positive affect and vocabulary predicted AC. Frustration, positive affect, and impulsivity each interacted with EC to predict AC outcomes, such EC was only related to higher AC for children with high impulsivity or anger, or low positive affect. Additionally, positive affect and impulsivity interacted to predict GPA, such that impulsivity was positively related to GPA for children with high positive affect, but it was negatively, albeit nonsignificantly, associated with GPA for children with low positive affect. These results were found to be similar for boys and girls. Finding are discussed in terms of the developmental importance of early EC for academic competence for children who have high approach reactivity, as well as the interactive effects of dimensions of approach reactivity on academic achievement.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Preschoolers' selective attention towards emotional information

Description

In two separate publications, the average patterns of, and individual differences in, preschoolers' selective attention processes were investigated using a multilevel modeling framework. In Publication 1, using two independent samples

In two separate publications, the average patterns of, and individual differences in, preschoolers' selective attention processes were investigated using a multilevel modeling framework. In Publication 1, using two independent samples (Ns= 42, 75), preschoolers' selective attention towards different types of emotions (both positive and negative) was examined using two eye-tracking tasks. The results showed that, on average, children selectively attended to valenced emotional information more than neutral emotional information. In addition, a majority of children were able to detect the different emotional stimulus among three neutral stimuli during the visual search task. Children were more likely to detect angry than sad emotional expressions among neutral faces; however, no difference was found between detection of angry and happy faces among neutral faces. In Publication 2, the associations of children's anger and sadness proneness to their attention biases towards anger and sad emotional information, respectively, and the relations of these biases to various aspects children's social functioning and adjustment were examined among preschool-aged children (N = 75). Children's predisposition to anger and sadness were shown to be related to attentional biases towards those specific emotions, particularly if children lacked the ability to regulate their attention. Similarly, components of attention regulation played an important role in moderating the associations of biases towards angry information to aggressive behaviors, social competence, and anxiety symptoms. Biases towards sadness were unrelated to maladjustment or social functioning. Findings were discussed in terms of the importance of attention biases and attention regulation as well as the implications of the findings for attention training programs.  

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Effortful control and emotion understanding: relations with children's maladjustment, social competence, and adult-child relationships

Description

The present study examined the relations of children's effortful control (EC), emotion understanding, maladjustment, social competence, and relationship quality with nonparental caregivers in a sample of 30-, 42-, and 54-month

The present study examined the relations of children's effortful control (EC), emotion understanding, maladjustment, social competence, and relationship quality with nonparental caregivers in a sample of 30-, 42-, and 54-month olds. EC was measured with mothers' and caregivers' reports, as well as observed behavioral tasks. Emotion understanding was assessed by asking children to identify emotions during a puppet task. Mothers and caregivers also reported on children's problem behaviors and social competence. Caregivers provided reports of the quality of their relationship with children. Results from longitudinal structural equation models indicated that even after controlling for sex, SES, language ability, and previous levels of constructs, emotion understanding predicted EC one year later at 42 and 54 months. In addition, children with higher EC had more positive relationships with caregivers at 42 and 54 months. Although EC and EU were not significantly related to maladjustment and social competence after accounting for within time covariation among constructs and longitudinal stability, marginal findings were in expected directions and suggested that more regulated children with better emotion understanding skills had fewer behavioral problems and were more socially skilled. Findings are discussed in terms of the strengths and limitations of the present study.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Social Competence Growth in Preschool: Individual Differences and the Role of Classroom Context

Description

Social-emotional competence (SEC), or effectiveness of social interaction, plays a central role in children’s health and well-being. The three goals of the current study were to describe the development of

Social-emotional competence (SEC), or effectiveness of social interaction, plays a central role in children’s health and well-being. The three goals of the current study were to describe the development of SEC during a preschool year; identify an appropriate factor structure for observed teacher-child interactions; and predict SEC growth from children’s characteristics (emotional competence, language risk, gender, and race/ethnicity), teacher-child relationship quality, and classroom characteristics (relational climate, observed teacher-child interaction quality, and curriculum). Children’s social competence, anger/aggression, effortful control, and emotion knowledge (N =822) was assessed at three time points during a preschool year via teachers’ reports and behavioral assessments. In the fall, teachers reported the quality of their relationships with children and teacher-child interactions were observed in classrooms. Aim 1 results indicated that children exhibited linear increases in effortful control and social competence and stability in anger/aggression, although social competence was the only construct where linear change varied among children. Due to a lack of longitudinal measurement invariance, growth in latent emotion knowledge could not be evaluated. Several gender and racial/ethnic differences were identified in SEC intercepts, but not the social competence slope. Language risk and impulsivity were consistent predictors of SEC intercepts. Aim 2 results indicated that teacher-child interaction quality was primarily unidimensional. Finally, results from aim 3 indicated that children’s emotional competence at the beginning of the year and classroom relational climate were predictive of growth in social competence. End-of-year social competence levels were associated with supportive teacher-child relationship quality (particularly among girls), high emotional competence, low language risk, and supportive classroom relational climate; girls had higher social competence than boys. Although not directly associated with social competence, observed teacher-child interaction quality was conditionally predictive of the social competence in the context of supportive teacher-child relationships. Further, when observed teacher-child interaction quality was average or high, children with low emotional competence exhibited greater growth in social competence than children with high emotional competence. The results inform our understanding of SEC development, the nature of teacher-child interactions in preschool classrooms serving high-risk populations, and potential school-based mechanisms for promoting social competence.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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The relations among mothers' personality, parenting behaviors, and children's regulation, sympathy, and prosocial behavior

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine whether maternal personality (i.e., Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) predicted maternal positive parenting (i.e., warmth/sensitivity and structure), and whether maternal parenting predicted children's regulation

The purpose of this study was to examine whether maternal personality (i.e., Agreeableness and Conscientiousness) predicted maternal positive parenting (i.e., warmth/sensitivity and structure), and whether maternal parenting predicted children's regulation and sympathy and/or prosocial behavior. Additionally, the mediated effect of maternal warmth/sensitivity on the relation between maternal Agreeableness and children's regulation and the mediated effect of maternal structure on the relation between maternal Agreeableness and children's observed sympathy/prosocial behavior were investigated. Maternal personality was measured when children (N = 256 at Time 1) were 18 months old; maternal parenting was assessed when children were 18, 30, and 42 months old; children's regulation and sympathy/prosocial behavior (observed and reported) were assessed when children were 30, 42, and 54 months old. Mothers reported on their personality; maternal warmth/sensitivity was observed; maternal structure was observed and mothers also reported on their use of reasoning; mothers and caregivers rated children's regulation (i.e., effortful control [EC]) and regulation was also observed; mothers and fathers rated children's prosocial behavior; sympathy and prosocial behavior were also observed. In a path analysis, Conscientiousness did not significantly predict maternal warmth/sensitivity or structure at 30 months, whereas Agreeableness marginally predicted maternal warmth/sensitivity at 30 months and significantly predicted maternal structure at 30 months. Maternal warmth/sensitivity at 18 months significantly predicted 30-month EC, and 30-month maternal warmth/sensitivity significantly predicted 42-month EC. Maternal structure at 30 months significantly predicted 42-month observed sympathy/prosocial behavior. Maternal warmth/sensitivity at 42 months significantly predicted 54-month observed sympathy/prosocial behavior and marginally predicted 54-month reported prosocial behavior. Maternal structure and EC did not significantly predict reported prosocial behavior across any time point. EC did not significantly predict observed sympathy/prosocial behavior across any time point and maternal warmth/sensitivity at 18 and 30 months did not predict observed or reported sympathy/prosocial behavior at 30 or 42 months, respectively. Maternal Agreeableness directly predicted 30-month reported prosocial behavior and additional paths suggested possible bidirectional relations between maternal warmth/sensitivity and structure. Mediation analyses were pursued for two indirect relations; however, neither mediated effect was significant. Additional results are presented, and findings (as well as lack thereof) are discussed in terms of extant literature.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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The relations of mothers' conscientiousness to children's academics: mediation through parenting and components of children's internalization

Description

Guided by Belsky's Determinants of Parenting Process Model, the goal of the present study was to examine how mothers' personality (i.e., Conscientiousness) and behaviors (i.e., sensitivity, structure, and negative control)

Guided by Belsky's Determinants of Parenting Process Model, the goal of the present study was to examine how mothers' personality (i.e., Conscientiousness) and behaviors (i.e., sensitivity, structure, and negative control) relate to children's developmental outcomes, such as internalization (i.e., committed compliance and effortful control) and academic adaptation. A multi-method, longitudinal model included five waves of data to examine the processes of the relations among variables. Mothers' Conscientiousness was measured via self-reported data when children were 18 months of age (N = 256), mothers' parenting behaviors were measured through observational laboratory tasks when children were 30 months (N = 230), children's internalization was measured using mothers' and caregivers' reports as well as observational data at 42 months (N = 210), and children's school adaptation was measured when children were 72 and 84 months (Ns = 169 and 144) using mothers' and teachers' reports. Through a series of regression analyses, the results supported the mediated effect of effortful control in the relation between mothers' behaviors and children's school adaptation. As hypothesized, mothers' Conscientiousness marginally predicted children's internalization. Contrary to hypotheses, mothers' Conscientiousness was unrelated to parenting behaviors and children's academic adaptation. Mothers' sensitivity interacted with maternal structure to predict children's effortful control. Socioeconomic status and child sex interacted with mothers' behaviors in predicting the child's committed compliance. The discussion focuses on the unique role of parenting practices and personality on children's internalization and academic adaptation and on the existing literature. Implications of the study for clinicians and intervention researchers are offered.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Parasympathetic nervous system function, temperament, and adjustment in preschoolers

Description

This study examines the relations among three aspects of temperament (shyness, impulsivity, and effortful control), resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) recorded during a calming film and RSA suppression during three

This study examines the relations among three aspects of temperament (shyness, impulsivity, and effortful control), resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) recorded during a calming film and RSA suppression during three behavioral measures of effortful control, and adjustment (anxiety and externalizing behavior) in a sample of 101 preschool-age children. Principal components analysis was used to create composites for effortful control, shyness, impulsivity, anxiety, and externalizing behavior, and hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the study hypotheses. As expected, baseline RSA was negatively related to effortful control in shy children, but was unrelated to effortful control in children who were not shy. It was hypothesized that high baseline RSA would reduce the relation between shyness and anxiety, and between impulsivity and externalizing behavior; this hypothesis was supported for externalizing behavior, but not for anxiety. The interaction between impulsivity and RSA as a predictor of externalizing was statistically independent of effortful control, indicating that these are unique effects. Finally, it was hypothesized that RSA suppression would be positively related to effortful control for children low, but not high, in shyness. There was a marginal interaction between shyness and RSA suppression, with RSA suppression marginally negatively related to EC for children low in shyness, but unrelated to effortful control for children high in shyness; the direction of this association was opposite predictions. These findings indicate that RSA is more strongly related to effortful control for children high in shyness, and that it consequently may not be appropriate to use RSA as an index of EC for all children. This study also draws attention to the need to consider the context in which baseline RSA is measured because a true baseline may not be obtained for shy children if RSA is measured in an unfamiliar laboratory context. The finding that high RSA moderated (but did not eliminate) the relation between impulsivity and externalizing behavior is consistent with the conceptualization of RSA as a measure of self-regulation, but further research is needed to clarify the mechanism underlying this effect.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Early predictors of variations in children's emotion understanding: relations with children's disruptive behaviors

Description

The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal relations of maternal behaviors, children`s temperamental negative emotionality, and children`s emotion perception processes, including emotion perception accuracy (EPA) and emotion

The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal relations of maternal behaviors, children`s temperamental negative emotionality, and children`s emotion perception processes, including emotion perception accuracy (EPA) and emotion perception bias (EPB), to children`s conduct disorder symptoms in a normative sample. Separate structural equation models were conducted to assess whether parenting or children`s proneness to negative emotions at 24-30 (T2), 36-42 (T3) and 48-54 (T4) months predicted children`s EPA and EPB over time, and whether T3 and T4 children`s emotion perception processes were predictive of children`s conduct disorder at 72 months of age (T5). None of the hypothesized longitudinal relations was supported; however, other noteworthy results were observed. T3 children`s proneness to negative emotions was positively related to children`s concurrent bias toward anger. The latent constructs of negative parenting, children`s proneness to negative emotions, and the observed measure of children`s emotion perception accuracy showed stability over time, whereas the observed measures of children`s bias toward understanding distinct negative emotions were unrelated across time. In addition, children`s expressive language was predicted by children`s earlier emotion perception accuracy, which emphasized the importance of improving children`s emotion understanding skills during early years. Furthermore, the previously established negative relation between EPA and EPB variables was only partially supported. Findings regarding the relations between parenting, children`s negative emotionality and emotion perception processes are discussed from a developmental perspective.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011