ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0685.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: gene-environment; serotonin transporter gene; 5HTTLPR; attachment; parent-infant interaction; parental bonding; maternal overprotection; close relationship; anxiety; avoidance
Online: 26 April 2021 (17:30:58 CEST)
Humans are evolutionary-driven to adult mating and conceive social expectations on the quality of their affiliations. The genetic susceptibility to adverse environments in critical periods can alter close relationships. The current research investigates how the promoter region of the Serotonin Transporter Gene (5-HTTLPR) and perceived caregiving behavior in childhood could influence the social expectations on close adult relationships. For this purpose, 5-HTTLPR data was collected from the buccal mucosa of 65 Italian individuals (33 males). The participants filled a) the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) to provide the levels of care and overprotection from mother and father, and b) the Experience in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R) to report the social expectations on the intimate relationship assessed in terms of anxiety and avoidance from the partner. An interaction effect between 5-HTTLPR and PBI dimensions on the ECR-R scores was hypothesized. Results confirmed that the interplay between the genetic groups and history of maternal overprotection predicted avoidance experienced in romantic relationships in adulthood. Moreover, both adult anxiety and avoidance felt in an intimate relationship were found to covary as a function of maternal overprotection. The present work proposes further evidence of the genetic and parental mechanisms regulating social expectations involved in close relationships.
Thu, 31 December 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0802.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: numerical cognition; fractional reasoning; fine motor ability; gesture
Online: 31 December 2020 (12:42:34 CET)
We investigated preschool-aged children’s understanding of early fractional tasks and how that performance correlates with fine motor skills and use of gestures while counting. Participants were 33 preschoolers aged 4 to 5 in two Southeastern public elementary schools. Children were tested individually in an interview-like setting. Mathematics tasks were presented in a paper and pencil format and the Grooved Pegboard test assessed fine motor skills. Finally, utilization of gestures was evaluated by taking a behavioral rating of the child’s hand morphology, accuracy of gestures, and synchrony of gestures and spoken word while performing a counting task. Results indicate performance on fractional reasoning tasks significantly predicts both fine motor ability and accuracy of gestures.
Wed, 18 November 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0468.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Early Intervention; Parent mediated intervention; Parental Training
Online: 18 November 2020 (11:04:07 CET)
The aim of this article is to analyze the evidence against the effectiveness of intervention programs based on the participation of parents of children with autism. To obtain the data, a systematic search was carried out in four databases (ProQuest-PsychArticles, ProQuest-ERIC, ProQuest-PubMed, and Scopus). These documents were refined under the inclusion/exclusion criteria and a total of 51 empirical studies were selected. They were classified, first, according to the function of the intervention objective and, later, by the methodology applied (19 studies based on comprehensive interventions, 11 focused on the nuclear symptoms of ASD, 12 focused on the promotion of positive parenting and 9 interactions focused on children play). Once all the documents have been analyzed, the evidence indicates scientific efficacy in most studies, mainly in those based on child development and the application of behavioral analysis principles. Also, the positive influence of parent participation in such programs was demonstrated.
Thu, 17 September 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0408.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: developmental theory; hierarchical complexity; modeling; measurement
Online: 17 September 2020 (12:29:16 CEST)
Imagination is more important than knowledge, but if intellect does not provide the needed logical structures, capacities for envisioning new possibilities are overly constrained. The sustainability problems we face today cannot be solved with the same kind of thinking that created them, but clarity on what counts as a new kind of thinking is sorely lacking. This article proposes methodical, model-based ways of heeding Bateson's warning about the negative consequences for the ecology of mind that follow from ignoring the contexts of relationships. Informed by S. L. Star's sense of boundary objects, a sequence of increasingly complex logical types distinguishes and interconnects qualitatively different kinds of thinking in ways that liberate imaginative new possibilities for life. The economy of thought instantiated at each level of complexity is only as meaningful, useful, beautiful, ethical, and efficient as the standards informing local adaptive improvisations. Standards mediating the general and specific, global and local, universally transcendent and embodied particulars enable meaningful negotiations, agreements, and communications. Attending to the differences between levels of discourse sets up new possibilities for creative and imaginative entrepreneurial approaches to viable, feasible, and desirable goals for measuring and managing sustainable development.
Sat, 5 September 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0131.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: Alcohol; Adolescence; Cognition; Drinking motives
Online: 5 September 2020 (08:18:57 CEST)
Increased motivation towards alcohol use and suboptimal behavioural control are suggested to predispose adolescents to Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs). Paradoxically however, most adolescent AUDs resolve over time without any formal intervention, suggesting adolescent resilience to AUDs. Importantly, studies directly comparing adolescent and adult alcohol use are largely missing. We therefore aimed to unravel the moderating role of age in the relation between alcohol use and motivational and control-related cognitive processes in 45 adolescent drinkers compared to 45 adults. The results showed that enhancement drinking motives and impulsivity related positively to alcohol use. Although enhancement drinking motives and impulsivity were higher in adolescents, the strength of the relation between these measures and alcohol use did not differ between age groups. None of the alcohol use-related motivational measures (i.e., craving, attentional bias, approach bias) and behavioral control measures (i.e., interference control, risky decision making, working-memory) were associated with alcohol use or differed between age groups. These findings support the role of impulsivity and affective sensitivity in adolescent drinking, but question the moderating role of age therein. The current study contributes towards understanding the role of age in the relation between alcohol use and cognition.
Thu, 3 September 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0056.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: COVID-19; Impacts; Nurturing Care; Early Childhood Development (ECD); Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health; Child Growth Development; Early Brain Development; Vulnerable Children and Families
Online: 3 September 2020 (04:54:37 CEST)
In Kenya, millions of children have limited access to nurturing care. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is anticipated that vulnerable children will bear the biggest brunt of the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic. This review aimed to deepen understanding of the effects of COVID-19 on nurturing care from conception to four years of age, a period where the care of children is often delivered through caregivers or other informal platforms. The review has drawn upon the empirical evidence from previous pandemics and epidemics, and anecdotal and emerging evidence from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Multifactorial impacts fall into five key domains: direct health; health and nutrition systems, economic, social and child protection, and child development and early learning. The review proposes program and policy strategies to guide the re-orientation of nurturing care, prevent the detrimental effects associated with deteriorating nurturing care environments, and support the optimal development of the youngest and most vulnerable children. These include the provision of cash transfers and essential supplies for vulnerable households, and strengthening of community-based platforms for nurturing care. Further research on COVID-19 and the ability of children’s ecology to provide nurturing care is needed, as is further testing of new ideas.
Wed, 5 August 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0115.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: screening; dementia; intellectual disability; early-onset; neuropsychology
Online: 5 August 2020 (08:17:40 CEST)
Background and Aims: Screening and assessment of cognitive changes in adults with Intellectual Disabilities, mainly Down Syndrome (DS), is crucial to offer appropriate services to their needs. We present a systematic review of the existing instruments assessing dementia, aiming to support researchers and clinicians’ best practice. Methods: Searches were carried out in the databases Web of Science; PubMed; PsycINFO in March 2019 and updated in May 2020. Studies were selected and examined if they: (1) focused on assessing age-related cognitive changes in person with ID; (2) included adults and/or older adults; (3) included scales and batteries for cognitive assessment. Results: Forty-eight cross-sectional studies and twenty-six longitudinal studies were selected representing a total sample of 5,851 participants (4,089 DS and 1,801 with other ID). In those studies, we found 38 scales, questionnaires, and inventories, and 14 batteries for assessing cognitive and behavioural changes in adults with DS and other ID. Conclusion: The most used instrument completed by an informant or carer was the Dementia Questionnaire for Learning Disabilities (DLD), and its previous versions. We discuss the strengths and limitations of the instruments and outline recommendations for future use.
Tue, 21 July 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0497.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: perception-action; affordances; falls; drowning; crawling; walking
Online: 21 July 2020 (14:04:36 CEST)
Infants’ avoidance of drop-offs has been described as an affordance learning that is not transferable between different locomotor postures. In addition, there is evidence that infants perceive and act similarly around real and water cliffs. This cross-sectional study investigated the effects of specific locomotor experiences on infants’ avoidance behaviour using the Real Cliff / Water Cliff paradigm. The experiments included 102 infants, 58 crawling, but pre-walking, infants (Mage= 11.57 months, SD = 1.65) with crawling experience ranging between 0.03 and 7.4 months (M = 2.16, SD = 1.71) and 44 walking infants (Mage = 14.82 months, SD = 1.99), with walking experience ranging between 0.13 and 5.2 months (M = 1.86, SD = 1.28). The association between crawling experience and crawlers’ avoidance of the real and water cliffs was confirmed. Importantly, crawling and total self-produced locomotor experience, and not walking experience, were associated with walkers’ avoidance behaviour on both cliffs. These results suggest that some degree of perceptual learning acquired through crawling experience was developmentally transferred to the walking posture. A longer duration of crawling experience facilitates a more rapid recalibration to the new walking capability. In addition, there was no difference in infants’ avoidance of falling on the real and the water cliff. However, infants explored the water cliff more than the real cliff, revealing more enticement to examine bodies of water than for drop-offs.
Thu, 16 July 2020
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: numerical cognition; zero; number status of zero; items based number representation
Online: 16 July 2020 (12:35:17 CEST)
While the knowledge about the development of understanding positive integers is rapidly growing, the development of understanding zero is not well-known. Here we tested several components of preschoolers’ understanding zero: whether they can use empty sets in numerical tasks, whether they can use empty sets soon after they understand the cardinality principle, whether they know what the word “zero” refers to, and whether they categorize zero as a number. The results show that preschoolers can handle empty sets in numerical tasks as soon as they understand the cardinality principle or even earlier, and some of them know that these sets are labeled as “zero.” However, they are unsure whether zero is a number. These results identify three components of knowledge about zero: operational knowledge, linguistic knowledge, and meta knowledge. To account for these results we propose that preschoolers might understand numbers as the properties of items or objects in a set. In this view, zero cannot be a number, because an empty set does not include any items, and the missing items cannot have any property, excluding also the number property. This model might explain why zero is handled correctly in numerical tasks, while it is not regarded to be a number.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0345.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: foetus; music perception; tempo; heart rate variability; ultrasound exam; APIB scale; habituation; sensitization
Online: 16 July 2020 (07:49:50 CEST)
Music perception in foetuses has been explored under different theoretical paradigms such as habituation, categorical perception, sound preferences and recall. This study investigated the temporal dimension of music perception through the habituation and sensitization paradigm. Foetuses of 41 pregnant women, mean gestational age of 34.7 weeks (±2.4), were observed during ultrasound exams. Foetuses’ reaction to two different tempos (Allegro vs Adagio) and sources (internal vs external) of music stimuli was registered by heart rate variability (HR) and motor response according to the Assessment of Preterm Infants Behaviour scale (APIB) by its factors of movement (MOV) and organization (ORG). A folkloric lullaby, sung and played live with a stringed instrument by a musician, was presented in three stages that were compared to baseline: 1) slow tempo (Adagio), 2) fast tempo (Allegro); and 3) now sung by mother at slow tempo (Adagio). Exploratory analyses showed that all factors increased from baseline to first stage. HR and ORG varied significantly among stages, with HR being the strongest factor. MOV merely detected change from baseline to first stage. ORG decreased for Allegro but increased for maternal Adagio, while HR decreased to near baseline values. ANOVA-repeated measures with gestational age as covariate showed that all measures were sensitive to first music presentation (Adagio), although only HR and ORG differed among stages. Considering estimated marginal means, adjusted for gestational age, HR presented a sensitization pattern throughout stages, but ORG kept habituating to external source and increased to maternal Adagio, suggesting foetal discrimination by sound source. We conclude that foetuses showed different behavioural and physiological responses to external versus internal sound source and musical tempo. The combined use of a behavioural scale (APIB) and HR in foetuses proved to be a valid multidimensional instrument.
Sun, 24 May 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0383.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: child speech; speech production; speech perception; learning; consonant age of acquisition
Online: 24 May 2020 (16:07:44 CEST)
Purpose: Perceptual learning and production practice are basic mechanisms that children depend on to acquire adult levels of speech accuracy. In this study, we examined perceptual learning and production practice as they contributed to changes in speech accuracy in three- and four-year-old children. Our primary focus was manipulating the order of perceptual learning and baseline production practice to better understand when and how these learning mechanisms interact. Method: Sixty-five typically-developing children between the ages of three and four were included in the study. Children were asked to produce CVCCVC nonwords like /bozjəm/ and /tʌvtʃəp/ that were described as the names of make-believe animals. All children completed two separate experimental blocks: a baseline block in which participants heard each nonword once and repeated it, and a test block in which the perceptual input frequency of each nonword varied between 1 and 10. Half of the participants completed a baseline-test order; half completed a test-baseline order. Results: Greater accuracy was observed for nonwords produced in the second experimental block, reflecting a production practice effect. Perceptual learning resulted in greater accuracy during the test for nonwords that participants heard 3 or more times. However, perceptual learning did not carry over to baseline productions in the test-baseline design, suggesting that it reflects a kind of temporary priming. Finally, a post hoc analysis suggested that the size of the production practice effect depended on the age of acquisition of the consonants that comprised the nonwords. Conclusions: The study provides new details about how perceptual learning and production practice interact with each other and with phonological aspects of the nonwords, resulting in complex effects on speech accuracy and learning of form-referent pairs. These findings may ultimately help speech-language pathologists maximize their clients’ improvement in therapy.
Tue, 17 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0273.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: bilingualism; mental-state-talk; socialization
Online: 17 March 2020 (09:10:04 CET)
Chinese-speaking parents are argued to use less cognitive mental-state-talk than their English-speaking counterparts due to their goals in socializing their children to follow an interdependence script. To extend this research, we investigated bilingual Mandarin-English Singaporean mothers who associate different functions for each language as prescribed by their government: English for school and Mandarin for in-group contexts. English and Mandarin maternal mental-state-talk from bilingual Mandarin-English mothers with their toddlers was examined. Mothers produced more cognitive terms in English than in Mandarin and more desire terms in Mandarin than in English. We show that mental-state-talk differs between bilingual parents’ languages, suggesting that mothers adjust their mental-state-talk to reflect each language’s function.
Wed, 4 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0045.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: children with leukemia; parents; health locus of control; depression; life perceptions
Online: 4 March 2020 (04:32:14 CET)
Health locus of control is the set of beliefs a person has about his or her personal influence on health. The current study aimed at identifying types of locus of control in parents of leukemia children and possible association with depressive symptomatology and current life perception. 104 parents were recruited at the Haematology-Oncologic Clinic of Padua post 1 month from the leukemia diagnosis. Participants were Caucasian with a mean age of 37.28 years (SD=5.89), mostly mothers (87.5%) and with a mean of 12.16 years of education (SD=3.82). After signing the informed consent, they filled in the Ladder of Life questionnaire, the BSI-18 and the Parents Health Locus Of Control (PHLOC). Paired-samples t-test (t= -14.42; df=103; p=0.0001) showed that parents of leukemia children were more inclined to have an external locus of control than an internal one. Hierarchical regression analysis model (R2=0.34; F=4.32; p=0.0001) identified health professional influence (ß= -0.28; p=0.004), current life perception (ß= -0.3; p=0.013) and future life perception (ß= -0.26; p=0.012) as significantly predictors on Parental depression. Improving trust in the medical staff care and parental life perceptions could be a preventive program to cope with parental depression symptomatology.
Tue, 31 December 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0413.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: infant cry; post-partum depression; acoustic analysis
Online: 31 December 2019 (15:55:20 CET)
Postpartum depression (PPD), a condition that affects up to the 15% of mothers in high-income countries, reduces attention toward the needs of the child and it is among the first causes of infanticide. PPD is usually identified using self-report measures and therefore the diagnosis may not always be valid. Previous studies highlighted the presence of significant differences in the acoustical properties of the vocalizations of children of depressed and healthy mothers. In this study, cry episodes of infants of depressed and non-depressed mothers are analyzed to investigate the possibility that a machine learning model can identify PPD in mothers from the acoustical properties of infants' vocalizations. Acoustic features (F0, F1-4, Intensity) are first extracted from recordings of crying infants, then novel cloud-based artificial intelligence models are employed to identify maternal depression versus non depression from estimated features. Trained model shows that commonly adopted acoustical features can be successfully used to individuate Post-Partum Depressed mothers with very high accuracy (89.5%).
Wed, 25 December 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0331.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: children; adolescents; leukaemia; in treatment; healthy peers; life perceptions; hope; psychological wellbeing; cognitive problems
Online: 25 December 2019 (03:21:27 CET)
There is still little research on psychological wellbeing, life satisfaction and reported problems in preadolescents and adolescents under therapy for leukaemia, and also little research comparing them with their healthy peers. The present study aims to analyse the life satisfaction, hope, psychological wellbeing and reported problems’ intensity in patients aged 8-18 during the first year of therapy, to identify those more at risk and to compare their reports with matched healthy peers. After the parental written consent signature, a battery of self-reported questionnaires was administered during hospitalisation or day hospital admissions post 6 months and post 12 months from the diagnosis. Younger patients (aged 8–13 years) were more at risk than older ones in their problems’ intensity and psychological symptoms; females and Acute Myeloid Leukaemia patients reported lower current life satisfaction perceptions; hope was associated with lower depression symptoms and mood problems. Healthy peers have a better perception of current life, but reported a lower hope score, more anxiety symptoms and more cognitive problems than patients. The first 6 months were more critical for patients’ psychological health. The clinical aim was to identify the patients more at risk in order to prepare ad hoc psychological interventions.
Thu, 19 December 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0262.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: adolescent; grit; non-cognitive skills; parent–child relationship; self-control
Online: 19 December 2019 (13:21:42 CET)
Background and Objectives: Non-cognitive skills (NCS) are vital components of a socially and financially successful life. They are developed through childhood education, family and school environments, and social settings. The aim of this study was to examine the associations between NCS and the parent–child relationship, mental health, and lifestyle at school and at home for adolescents. Materials and Methods: An internet-based survey was conducted with 1,566 mothers and their children (aged 14) in Japan. Survey items for the children included background (i.e., sociodemographic items, school achievements, and lifestyle), NCS (i.e., grit and self-control scales), and mental health, while their mothers provided social, financial, and educational information, and information on parent–child relationships, including descriptions of the fathers and the father–child relationship. Results: Parent–child relationships were mostly good (i.e., 90.9% for mothers and 75.6% for fathers), with bad relationships being less common (1.6% for mothers and 6.7% for fathers). Adolescent lifestyle parameters and mental health were significantly associated with grit and self-control. Adolescents with good parent–child relationships had significantly higher NCS scores regardless of the gender of the parent. Higher NCS scores were significantly associated with better parent–child relationships, more favorable lifestyles, and better mental health among adolescents. Conclusions: These findings imply that good parent–child relationships may aid in the development of adolescents’ NCS, thereby facilitating positive lifestyles at school and home.
Tue, 26 November 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0307.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: social cognition; social information processing; mother-child relationships; parenting style; kindergarten; social functioning
Online: 26 November 2019 (04:11:54 CET)
Children's ability to adjust to the social rules and expectations in the educational environment is of major concern to researchers and practitioners alike. Accordingly, the main purpose of the present study was to examine predictors of children's social functioning in kindergarten with a specific focus on (a) maternal factors; and, (b) children's social cognition. Using a multi-method (self-reports and direct assessments), multi-informant (child, mother, teacher) design, we collected data from 306 kindergarten children and their mothers tapping the mother's social cognitions (general and child-related) and parenting style, and children's social cognition (social information processing) and functioning in kindergarten. We found direct associations between the mother and child's social cognitions, between the mother's authoritarian parenting style and her child's less competent social cognition and behavior, and between the child's social cognition and social functioning. Finally, as hypothesized, we found a number of interesting mediated effects. Most notably, we found that the association between the mother's social cognition (her tendency to attribute hostile intent to unknown others) and the child's social cognition (his/her tendency to generate less competent responses) is fully mediated by the mother's higher levels of authoritarian parenting style. The important theoretical and clinical implications of our findings are discussed.
Tue, 19 November 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0220.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: younger schoolchildren; anxiety; psychocorrection; sociopsychological training; biological feedback; art-therapy
Online: 19 November 2019 (03:28:45 CET)
The purpose of our study is to determine the effectiveness of various types of psychocorrection measures: social and psychological training, a method of biological feedback and Sandplay for the indicators of childhood anxiety among younger schoolchildren. The study was conducted in the school of Magadan, North East of Russia (9-10 year old students, n = 43). We used a standardized method of Multidimensional Assessment of Child Anxiety which included 10 scales. The correction methods were used: socio-psychological training (SPT), biofeedback method (BFB), individual and group Sandplay. Students of group I (n = 12) participated only in the SPT. Students of group II (n = 11) participated in the SPT and underwent a course of training in self-regulation using the BFB method. In correction work with the students of group III (n = 20), the SPT, BFB, individual and group Sandplay were used. In group I, after the correction activities, a significant decrease in anxiety was observed in 3 of 10 scales (2, 6, 7; (p <0.05). In group II it was seen in 5 scales (1, 3, 6, 7, 8; p <0.05). In group III, a significant improvements took place in 7 scales (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10; p <0.01–p <0.05). The present study has shown the different efficacy of applying the remedial techniques separately and in combination. The use of methods in the complex enhances the impact on the types of the child anxiety.
Tue, 16 July 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0186.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: preschool; leukaemia; adaptive behaviour; developmental skills; healthy peers
Online: 16 July 2019 (06:04:09 CEST)
Early childhood is considered to be a period of rapid development, with the acquisition of abilities predicting future positive school competences. Motor, cognitive and social difficulties related to cancer therapies heavily impact the development of children with cancer. This study focused on two main aims: to assess the developmental pathways of preschool children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia one year post-treatment and to compare these abilities both with those of a control group of healthy peers and with Italian norms. Forty-four children and their families, recruited through the Haematology-Oncologic Clinic of the Department of Child and Woman Health (University of Padua), agreed to participate to this study. The children’s mean age was 4.52 years (SD = 0.94, range = 2.5-6 years), equally distributed by gender, all diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Matched healthy peers were recruited through paediatricians’ ambulatories. Each family was interviewed adopting the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales. Paired sample Wilcoxon tests revealed that children were reported to have significantly more developmental difficulties than their healthy peers. When compared with Italian norms they scored particularly low in verbal competence, social and coping skills. No significant association were found between treatment variables and developmental abilities. These findings suggest that the creation of specialized interventions both for parents and children may fill the possible delays in children’s development probably due to stress, lack of adequate stimulation or difficult adaptation.
Wed, 8 May 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0086.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: preschool; leukaemia; adaptive behaviour; developmental skills; healthy peers
Online: 8 May 2019 (09:39:26 CEST)
Early childhood is considered to be a period of rapid development, with the acquisition of abilities predicting future positive school competences. Motor, cognitive and social difficulties related to cancer therapies heavily impact the development of children with cancer. This study focused on two main aims: to assess the developmental pathways in preschool children with leukaemia one year post-treatment; and to compare these abilities with those of a control group of healthy peers. Forty-eight children and their families, recruited through the Haematology-Oncologic Clinic of the Department of Child and Woman Health (University of Padua), agreed to participate in this study. The children’s mean age was 4.36 years (SD = 1.07, range = 1.91–6 years), equally distributed by gender, most of whom were diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (N = 44). Matched healthy peers were recruited through paediatricians’ ambulatories. Each family was interviewed adopting the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales. Paired sample t-tests revealed that children, especially aged 42–72 months, were reported to have significantly more developmental difficulties than their healthy peers, particularly in verbal competence, social and coping skills and gross motor abilities. These findings suggest that the creation of specialized interventions for both parents and children may fill the possible delays in children’s development due to toxic therapies and their associated hospitalisation.
Mon, 22 April 2019
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: substance use; emotional intelligence; resilience; family functioning; adolescents
Online: 22 April 2019 (10:48:50 CEST)
The use of alcohol and tobacco is related to several variables which act as risk or protective factors, depending on the circumstances. The objectives of this study were to analyze the relationship between emotional intelligence, resilience and family functioning in adolescent use of alcohol and tobacco and to find emotional profiles for their use considering self-concept. The sample was made up of 317 high school students aged 13 to 18 who filled out the Brief Emotional Intelligence Inventory, the Resilience Scale for Adolescents, the APGAR Scale, the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire - Adolescents and the Five-Factor Self-Concept Questionnaire. The results revealed that emotional intelligence and resilience, specifically, stress management and family cohesion were significant in the group of nonusers. Family functioning acts as a predictor factor for onset of use of tobacco and alcohol. Positive expectancies about drinking alcohol were found to be a risk factor and the intrapersonal factor to be protective. Both stress management and family cohesion were protective factors against smoking. Furthermore, cluster analysis revealed emotional profiles for users of both substances based on self-concept. Finally, the importance of the direction of the relationship between the variables studied for intervention in this problem should be mentioned. Responsible use by improving adolescent decision-making is one of the results expected from this type of intervention.
Tue, 5 March 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0055.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: drug, impulsivity, sensation-seeking, peer conflict, adolescent.
Online: 5 March 2019 (11:29:30 CET)
(1) Background: The purpose of this study was therefore to analyze the predictive capacity of the three variables (impulsivity, sensation-seeking and drug use) in aggressors and victims of violence. (2) Methods: The design is cross-sectional quasi-experimental. A sample of 822 students aged 13 to 18 who had filled in an ad hoc questionnaire, the State Impulsivity Scale and the Sensation-Seeking Scale, was used for this. (3) Results: The results show that aggressors had high levels of gratification, automatism, attentional factor, disinhibition and susceptibility to boredom, and use alcohol and/or tobacco. The variables that could predict involvement as an aggressor in peer conflict are use of alcohol, smoking, high levels of gratification, automatism and attentional factors and a high degree of disinhibition and susceptibility to boredom. The disinhibition is the best predictor of aggressor. (4) Conclusions: Thus having available empirical evidence that facilitates detection of predictive variables for participation in violence is going to favor the design of effective education intervention for reducing risk behavior.
Mon, 4 February 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0026.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: children; adolescents; leukemia; in treatment; healthy peers; life perceptions; psychological wellbeing; reported problems
Online: 4 February 2019 (13:52:19 CET)
There is still little research on psychological wellbeing and reported problems in preadolescents and adolescents under therapy for leukemia, also comparing them with their healthy peers. The present study aims to analyze the life perceptions, psychological well-being and problems’ intensity in these patients during the first year of therapy and to compare these reports with those of matched healthy peers adopting a battery of self-report questionnaires. Mann-Whitney tests identified the younger patients more at risk than older ones in their problems’ intensity and psychological symptoms. Older patients resulted instead more vulnerable regarding past life perceptions. Wilcoxon test with 2 dependent samples analyses showed that: healthy peers have a better perception of current life and lower percentage of somatization symptoms than patients after 6-months post-diagnosis. On the other hand, healthy peers reported more problems dealing with impulsivity, mood, disorganization, concentration and memory than patients both at 6-months and 1-year from diagnosis. Healthy peers reported also more anxiety and depression symptoms than patients and worse past and future life perceptions than patients at 1-year from diagnosis. The clinical aim is to perform a psychological screening of preadolescents and adolescents in order to prepare ad hoc psychological interventions.
Thu, 3 January 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0026.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: children; adolescents; leukemia; in treatment; healthy peers; life perceptions, psychological wellbeing, reported problems
Online: 3 January 2019 (13:50:40 CET)
There is still little research on psychological wellbeing and reported problems in preadolescents and adolescents under therapy for leukemia, also comparing them with their healthy peers. The present study aims to analyze the life perceptions, psychological well-being and problems’ intensity in these patients during the first year of therapy and to compare these reports with those of matched healthy peers adopting a battery of self-report questionnaires. Adopting a series of Mann-Whitney tests, the younger patients resulted more at risk than older ones in their problems’ intensity and psychological symptoms. Older patients were instead more vulnerable regarding past life perceptions. Wilcoxon test with 2 dependent samples analyses showed that: healthy peers have a better perception of current life and lower percentage of somatization symptoms than patients after 6-months post-diagnosis. On the other hand, healthy peers reported more problems dealing with impulsivity, mood, disorganization, concentration and memory than patients both at 6-months and 1-year form diagnosis. Healthy peers reported also more anxiety and depression symptoms than patients and worse past and future life perceptions than patients at 1-year from diagnosis. The clinical aim is to perform a psychological screening of pre- and adolescents in order to prepare ad hoc psychologist interventions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0017.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: tobacco; alcohol; physical aggression; verbal aggression; impulsivity
Online: 3 January 2019 (12:27:20 CET)
The purpose of this study was to identify different adolescent profiles identified by their use tobacco/alcohol and violent behavior repertoires as well as to analyze the extent to which they show impulsivity traits. Participants were selected by cluster random sampling. There was a total of 822 high school students in the sample aged 13 to 18 years with a mean of 14.84 (SD=.87). A cluster analysis with the following variables was done to form the groups: Use of tobacco, Use of alcohol, Physical aggression, Verbal aggression, Anger and Hostility. Three groups of adolescents resulted from these five variables. The multivariate comparison demonstrated the existence of significant between-group differences, and individual analysis for each of the dependent variables (impulsivity dimensions) showed that the relationship was statistically significant in all cases. In conclusion, analysis of factors possibly associated with adolescent’s risk behavior makes possible and orients intervention in different stages of development for sustainable consumption in adolescents.
Mon, 24 December 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0271.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: family functioning; aggressive behavior; emotional intelligence; adolescent values
Online: 24 December 2018 (05:19:54 CET)
Aggressive behavior in adolescence is influenced by a diversity of individual, family and social variables. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between family functioning, emotional intelligence and values for development of different types of aggression, as well as to establish profiles according to the predictor variables of aggression. To do this, a sample of 317 high school students aged 13 to 18 were administered the Peer Conflict Scale, the Family Functionality Scale, the Brief Emotional Intelligence Inventory for Senior Citizens and the Values for Adolescent Development Scales. The study showed that stress management, positive adolescent development and family functioning predominated in nonaggressive subjects with higher scores than aggressors. There was also a negative relationship between the different types of aggression and emotional intelligence, positive values and family functioning. In addition, two different profiles were found. The first had low scores on all the variables, while the second profile had higher scores on all the variables except family functioning which was higher.
Fri, 9 November 2018
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0228.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: attachment; parent-child relationship; parenting; contextual (context-specific); sport; academic; hierarchical model
Online: 9 November 2018 (03:19:06 CET)
Bowlby’s (1969/1982) attachment theory has been employed as a broad and integrative framework to explore human wellness across a range of disciplines. Attachment theory has even been labelled one of the last surviving “grand theories” not to have been completely dismissed, replaced, or extensively reworked (e.g., Carr, 2012; Mercer, 2011). However, despite the ubiquitous nature of some of the theory’s fundamental tenets, there are always possibilities for new conceptual development, extension, and revision. In this paper, we critically explore the idea of “context-specific” attachment within parent-child relationships. We briefly outline critical assumptions and key areas of attachment and articulate potential rationale, conceptualisation, and relevance of contextual attachment.
Tue, 18 September 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0328.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: family violence; self-control; meta-analysis; adolescence
Online: 18 September 2018 (05:39:34 CEST)
Theoretical studies propose an association between family violence and low self-control in adolescence, yet empirical findings of this association are inconclusive. The aim of the present research was to systematically summarize available findings on the relation between family violence and self-control across adolescence. We included 27 studies with 143 effect sizes, representing more than 25,000 participants of eight countries from early to late adolescence. Applying a multi-level meta-analyses, taking dependency between effect sizes into account while retaining statistical power, we examined the magnitude and direction of the overall effect size. Additionally, we investigated whether theoretical moderators (e.g., age, gender, country), and methodological moderators (cross-sectional/longitudinal, informant) influenced the magnitude of the association between family violence and self-control. Our results revealed that family violence and self-control have a small to moderate significant negative association (r = -.191). This association did not vary across gender, country, and informants. The strength of the association, however, decreased with age and in longitudinal studies. This finding provides evidence that researchers and clinicians may expect low self-control in the wake of family violence, especially in early adolescence. Recommendations for future research in the area are discussed.
Thu, 9 August 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0180.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: personality; intelligence; development; cognition
Online: 9 August 2018 (08:25:45 CEST)
We present three studies which investigated the relations between cognition and personality from 7 to 20 years of age. All three studies showed that general cognitive ability and the general factor of personality are significantly related throughout this age span. This relation was expressed in several ways across studies. The first investigated developmental relations between three reasoning domains (inductive, deductive, and scientific) and Eysenck’s four personality dimensions in a longitudinal-sequential design where 260 participants received the cognitive tests three and the personality test two times, covering the span from 9-16 years. It was found that initial social likeability significantly shapes developmental momentum in cognition and vice-versa, especially in the 9 to 11 years period. The second study involved 438 participants from 7 to 17 years, tested twice on attention control, working memory, reasoning in different domains, and once by a Big Five Factors inventory. Extending the findings of the first, this study showed that progression in reasoning is affected negatively by conscientiousness and positively by openness, on top of attention control and working memory influences. The third study tested the relations between reasoning in several domains, the ability to evaluate one’s own cognitive performance, self-representation about the reasoning, the Big Five, and several aspects of emotional intelligence, from 9 to 20 years of age (N=247). Network, Hierarchical Network, and Structural Equation modeling showed that cognition and personality are mediated by the ability of self-knowing. Emotional intelligence was not an autonomous dimension. All dimensions but emotional intelligence influenced academic performance. A developmental model for mind-personality relations is proposed.
Mon, 16 April 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0216.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: autism, ASD, psychological evaluations, ATEC, Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist, MSEC, language delay, developmental disorder, language therapy
Online: 16 April 2018 (16:27:16 CEST)
Background: Mental synthesis is the conscious purposeful process of synthesizing a novel mental image from objects stored in memory. In our everyday use of language, we rely on mental synthesis to communicate an infinite number of images with a finite number of words. In typical children, the timeline of mental synthesis acquisition is highly correlated with an increasing vocabulary. Children with ASD, on the other hand, may learn hundreds of words but never acquire mental synthesis. In these individuals, tests assessing vocabulary comprehension may fail to demonstrate the profound deficit in mental synthesis and the resulting inability to understand flexible syntax and spatial prepositions. Objective: We developed a 20-question parent-reported evaluation tool designed to quantitatively assess mental synthesis ability and to serve as a complimentary scale for Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). Results: Internal reliability was good (Cronbach’s alpha > .9), and the MSEC exhibited adequate test-retest reliability after a three- and nine-months follow up period. The MSEC results positively correlated with the ATEC communication subscale, providing support for construct validity. Moreover, MSEC scores were significantly different for children of different ASD severity levels confirming the known groups validity. Conclusions: This study represents the first step toward the development of an instrument to measure mental synthesis in children with ASD. Although the current empirical evaluation demonstrated strong evidence of excellent psychometric properties, such as validity and reliability, additional studies should be performed to replicate these findings.
Tue, 13 February 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0092.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: idiographic approach; computerized adaptive practicing; intraindividual variation; cognitive development; mathematics
Online: 13 February 2018 (08:40:04 CET)
Molenaar’s manifesto on psychology as idiographic science brought the N = 1 times series perspective firmly to the attention of developmental scientists. The rich intraindividual variation in complex developmental processes requires the study of these processes at the level of the individual. Yet, the idiographic approach is all but easy in practical research. One major limitation is the collection of short interval times series of high quality data on developmental processes. In this paper we present a novel measurement approach to this problem. We developed an online practice and monitoring system which is now used by thousands of Dutch primary school children on a daily or weekly basis, providing a new window on cognitive development. We will introduce the origin of this new instrument, called Math Garden, explain its setup, and present and discuss ways to analyze children’s individual developmental pathways.
Fri, 12 January 2018
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0109.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: dyslexia; reading; magnocellular neurons; vision; hearing; phonology; sequencing; timing; temporal processing; transient; coloured filters; rhythm; music; omega 3s
Online: 12 January 2018 (07:15:33 CET)
Until the 1950s, developmental dyslexia was defined as a hereditary visual disability, selectively affecting reading without compromising oral or non-verbal reasoning skills. This changed radically after the development of the phonological theory of dyslexia; this not only ruled out any role for visual processing in its aetiology, but also cast doubt on the use of discrepancy between reading and reasoning skills as a criterion for diagnosing it. Here I argue that this theory is set at too high a cognitive level to be explanatory; we need to understand the pathophysiological visual and auditory mechanisms that cause children’s phonological problems. I discuss how the ‘magnocellular theory’ attempts to do this in terms of slowed and error prone temporal processing which leads to dyslexics’ defective visual and auditory sequencing when attempting to read. I attempt to deal with the criticisms of this theory and show how it leads to a number of successful ways of helping dyslexic children to overcome their reading difficulties.
Thu, 28 December 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0194.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: hikikomori; hidden youth; social withdrawal; health; hypertension; obesity; adolescent; physical health
Online: 28 December 2017 (07:53:05 CET)
To understand the health impacts of “hikikomori” lifestyle and to establish its first comprehensive health profile, a cross-sectional study was designed to measure how well the cases of hikikomori youths of Hong Kong were living, in terms of social, mental and physical aspects. This study involved 104 eligible participants at age 19.02 year-old who had completed the set of questionnaires and a series of anthropometric and physical health measurements. Despite SF36 score of 84.0 indicated good physical functioning in general, participants were lived sedentarily with high incidence of hypertension at 15.4% and prehypertension at 31.7%. Occurrence of hypertension in cases living as hikikomori >6 months was 3-times higher than those newly onset cases. The blood pressure levels were correlated with age and all obesity index parameters measured including waist circumference and body mass index. Half of the hypertensive cases involved the elevation of systolic blood pressure, which suggested higher odds of cardiovascular complications. Participants were mentally stable living with moderate levels of perceived stress and state anxiety, but borderline clinical depression. In conclusion, the hikikomori lifestyle could be a risk behavior that may harm the younger generation physically by promoting obesity and hypertension and probably other chronic illnesses.
Fri, 22 December 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0161.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: cognitive development; number; numerical cognitionindividual differences; variability
Online: 22 December 2017 (04:11:45 CET)
Some cognitive functions, shared by humans and certain animals, were acquired early in the course of phylogeny and, in humans, are operational in their primitive form shortly after birth. This is the case for the quantification of discrete objects. The further phylogenetic evolution of the human brain allows such functions to be reconstructed in a much more sophisticated way during child development. Certain functional characteristics of the brain (plasticity, multiple cognitive processes involved in the same response, interactions and substitution relationships between those processes) provide degrees of freedom that open up the possibility of different pathways of reconstruction. The within- and between-individual variability of these developmental pathways offers an original window on the dynamics of development. Here, I will illustrate this theoretical approach to cognitive development—which can be called “reconstructivist” and “pluralistic”—using children's construction of number as an example.
Fri, 6 October 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0047.v2
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: psychopathy; Machiavellianism; parental style; gender differences; socialization theories
Online: 6 October 2017 (15:23:37 CEST)
Recent findings support an association between childhood maltreatment and the presence of elevated psychopathic traits in adulthood. Using a community sample recruited online (N = 210), we sought to (1) confirm the relationship between childhood traumas and psychopathic traits, and (2) investigate the role of parenting styles in psychopathic traits. Consistent with our predictions, we found an association between all types of childhood traumas and disinhibition. Age and gender moderated the relations between psychopathic traits and childhood maltreatments. Parental rejection and overprotection were positively correlated with the presence of psychopathic traits, while parental emotional warmth was negative correlated. Although our results converge with previous findings, the strength of the correlations observed was not as compelling as in research on undergraduate students. We discuss the numerous interpretations for our findings, and highlight the limitations of research in the field of psychopathy and childhood trauma in the general population.
Fri, 25 August 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0087.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: numerical cognition; zero; number status of zero; items based number representation
Online: 25 August 2017 (12:28:23 CEST)
While the knowledge about the development of understanding positive integers is rapidly growing, the development of understanding zero is not well-known. Here we tested several components of preschoolers’ understanding zero: whether they can use empty sets in numerical tasks, whether they can use empty sets as soon as they understand the cardinality principle, whether they know what the word “zero” refers to, and whether they categorize zero as a number. The results show that preschoolers can handle empty sets in numerical tasks as soon as they understand the cardinality principle or even earlier, and some of them know that these sets are labeled as “zero.” However, they are unsure whether zero is a number. We argue that preschoolers might understand numbers as the properties of items or objects in a set. In this view, zero cannot be a number, because an empty set does not include any items, and the missing items cannot have any property, excluding also the number property. This model might explain why zero is handled correctly in numerical tasks, while it is not regarded to be a number.
Wed, 25 January 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0107.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: intelligence; development of intelligence; cognitive development; network models; factor models; psychometrics; latent variable models
Online: 25 January 2017 (03:14:34 CET)
Cronbach’s (1957) famous division of scientific psychology into two disciplines is still actual for the fields of cognition (general mechanisms) and intelligence (dimensionality of individual differences). The welcome integration of the two fields requires the construction of mechanistic models of cognition and cognitive development that explain key phenomena in individual differences research. In this paper we argue that network modeling is a promising approach to integrate the processes of cognitive development and (developing) intelligence into one unified theory. Network models are defined mathematically, describe mechanisms on the level of the individual, and are able to explain positive correlations among intelligence subtest scores - the empirical basis for the well-known g-factor - as well as more complex factorial structures. Links between network modeling, factor modeling and item response theory allow for a common metric, encompassing both discrete and continuous characteristics, for cognitive development and intelligence.
Thu, 13 October 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0047.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology Keywords: psychopathy; Machiavellianism; parental style; gender differences; socialization theories
Online: 13 October 2016 (05:25:48 CEST)
Psychopathy and Machiavellianism are two components of the Dark Triad including personality traits such as egoism, coldheartedness and deceitfulness. While psychopathy and Machiavellianism possess some etiological differences, prior investigations showed similarities regarding the onset of these personality traits, namely in the field of parental behavior. The present study investigated potential correlations between psychopathy and Machiavellianism traits in adulthood, alongside reports of parental behavior during childhood. A community sample from Hungary (N = 70) was recruited and completed the Machiavellian Personality Scale (MPS), the Mach-IV inventory (Mach-IV), the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (SRPS) and the Short-EMBU (s-EMBU). No strong correlations were found between parental behaviors and psychopathy or Machiavellianism. However, positive correlations were found between the Machiavellian measures and the measures of psychopathy by subtypes. Analysis of the gender differences between the psychopathy and Machiavellianism revealed a positive correlation for primary psychopathy and Machiavellianism for both gender, as well as a positive correlation between secondary psychopathy and Machiavellianism for males only. Results are explained in terms of gender differences in socialization. Further implications and limitations are discussed.
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