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Definition

Baker, C. (2014) African American Fathers' Contributions to Children's Early Academic Achievement: Evidence from Two-Parent Families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Research Findings: This study utilized a large sample ("N" = 750) of 2-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to examine the contributions of African American fathers' home literacy involvement, play activities, and caregiving at 24 months to children's reading and math achievement in preschool. After family characteristics and child characteristics were controlled for, both mother and father characteristics predicted child achievement. Mother age predicted math achievement but not reading. Furthermore, even after mother predictors were entered into the hierarchical regressions, fathers' education and home literacy involvement also significantly predicted achievement. African American fathers who engaged in more frequent shared book reading, telling stories, singing songs, and provided more children's books in their homes at 24 months had children with better reading and math scores in preschool. Practice or Policy: These findings support growing evidence that fathers contribute to child development. Implications for research on early academic achievement in ethnically diverse samples are discussed.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
25
Page/s:
19-35
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Physical play
  • Play with Father
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:

Barrett, E. et al. (2014) Exposure to prenatal life events stress is associated with masculinized play behavior in girls (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Previous research has shown that prenatal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals can alter children's neurodevelopment, including sex-typed behavior, and that it can do so in different ways in males and females. Non-chemical exposures, including psychosocial stress, may disrupt the prenatal hormonal milieu as well. To date, only one published study has prospectively examined the relationship between exposure to prenatal stress and gender-specific play behavior during childhood, finding masculinized play behavior in girls who experienced high prenatal life events stress, but no associations in boys. Here we examine this question in a second prospective cohort from the Study for Future Families. Pregnant women completed questionnaires on stressful life events during pregnancy, and those who reported one or more events were considered "stressed". Families were recontacted several years later (mean age of index child: 4.9 years), and mothers completed a questionnaire including the validated Preschool Activities Inventory (PSAI), which measures sexually dimorphic play behavior. In sex-stratified analyses, after adjusting for child's age, parental attitudes toward gender-atypical play, age and sex of siblings, and other relevant covariates, girls (n=72) exposed to prenatal life events stress had higher scores on the PSAI masculine sub-scale (β=3.48, p=0.006) and showed a trend toward higher (more masculine) composite scores (β=2.63, p=0.08). By contrast, in males (n=74), there was a trend toward an association between prenatal stress and higher PSAI feminine sub-scale scores (β=2.23, p=0.10), but no association with masculine or composite scores. These data confirm previous findings in humans and animal models suggesting that prenatal stress is a non-chemical endocrine disruptor that may have androgenic effects on female fetuses and anti-androgenic effects on male fetuses.

Date:
January 2014
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
41
Page/s:
20-27
Keyword/s:
Synonyms:
  • Longitudinal
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Becker, B. (2014) How Often Do You Play with Your Child? The Influence of Parents' Cultural Capital on the Frequency of Familial Activities from Age Three to Six (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Many studies have demonstrated a positive association between familial activities (e.g. reading to the child) and children's development in different domains. It is also well-known that social and ethnic differences exist regarding the frequencies of such activities. However, the mechanism behind these differences is less clear. This article analyses the role of parents' cultural capital as a mediating factor between families' social and ethnic background and the frequency of stimulating familial activities in early childhood. Using the data from the German longitudinal study "Preschool Education and Educational Careers among Migrant Children", it is shown that parents' cultural capital completely mediates the effect of mother's education and part of the ethnic origin effect. Additional longitudinal analyses reveal that the influence of parents' cultural capital changes over time and is most pronounced at the earliest measurement.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2014
Volume:
22
Page/s:
4-13
Synonyms:
  • Games with rules
  • Longitudinal
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play with Mother
  • Socio-economic background
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Bernier, A. et al. (2010) From External Regulation to Self-Regulation: Early Parenting Precursors of Young Children’s Executive Functioning (Journal Article)

Abstract:

In keeping with proposals emphasizing the role of early experience in infant brain development, this study investigated the prospective links between quality of parent–infant interactions and subsequent child executive functioning (EF), including working memory, impulse control, and set shifting. Maternal sensitivity, mind-mindedness and autonomy support were assessed when children were 12 to 15 months old (N = 80). Child EF was assessed at 18 and 26 months. All three parenting dimensions were found to relate to child EF. Autonomy support was the strongest predictor of EF at each age, independent of general cognitive ability and maternal education. These findings add to previous results on child stress-response systems in suggesting that parent–child relationships may play an important role in children’s developing self-regulatory capacities.

Date:
January 2010
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
81
Page/s:
326-339
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Longitudinal
  • Parent/Guardian play
  • Play with other adult
  • Self-regulation
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Blair, C. et al. (2007) Relating Effortful Control, Executive Function, and False Belief Understanding to Emerging Math and Literacy Ability in Kindergarten (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study examined the role of self-regulation in emerging academic ability in one hundred and forty-one 3- to 5-year-old children from low-income homes. Measures of effortful control, false belief understanding, and the inhibitory control and attention-shifting aspects of executive function in preschool were related to measures of math and literacy ability in kindergarten. Results indicated that the various aspects of child self-regulation accounted for unique variance in the academic outcomes independent of general intelligence and that the inhibitory control aspect of executive function was a prominent correlate of both early math and reading ability. Findings suggest that curricula designed to improve self-regulation skills as well as enhance early academic abilities may be most effective in helping children succeed in school.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2007
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
78
Page/s:
647-663
Synonyms:
  • Academic outcomes
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Literacy
  • Longitudinal
  • Numeracy
  • Pre-academic skills
  • Socio-economic background
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Elias, C. et al. (2002) Self-regulation in young children: Is there a role for sociodramatic play? (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study tested Vygotsky’s assumption that sociodramatic play in early childhood contributes importantly to the development of self-regulation. It also explored whether the link between sociodramatic play and self-regulation differs for impulsive and nonimpulsive preschoolers. In a short-term longitudinal design, 51 middle-income 3- and 4-year-olds were observed in their preschool classrooms. Naturalistic observations of total dramatic play, complex sociodramatic (CSD) play, and solitary dramatic play and of self-regulation in two classroom contexts—clean-up periods and group circle time—were gathered at Time 1, in the fall of the school year. To assess development of self-regulation, clean-up and circle time observations were repeated at Time 2, in late winter and early spring. CSD play predicted development of self-regulation during clean-up periods, whereas solitary dramatic play was negatively correlated with improvement in clean-up performance. The CSD play/improved self-regulation relationship was particularly strong for high-impulsive children, nil for low-impulsive children. Findings are consistent with Vygotsky’s theory and suggest that sociodramatic experiences may be especially advantageous for impulsive children, who are behind their peers in self-regulatory development.

Date:
January 2002
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
17
Page/s:
216-238
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Language
  • Longitudinal
  • Peers play
  • Pretend play
  • Self-regulation
  • Solitary play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Hughes, C. et al. (2009) How do families help or hinder the emergence of early executive function? (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This chapter describes longitudinal findings from a socially diverse sample of 125 British children seen at ages two and four. Four models of social influence on executive function are tested, using multiple measures of family life as well as comprehensive assessments of children's executive functions. Our results confirm the importance of maternal scaffolding for young children's executive functions, but they also suggest positive effects of observational learning and adverse effects of disorganized and unpredictable family life; however, no support was found for an association between executive function and general positive characteristics of family interactions.

Date:
January 2009
Volume:
2009
Page/s:
35-50
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Longitudinal
  • Self-regulation
  • Socio-economic background
  • Executive function
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Kimbro, R. et al. (2011) Young children in urban areas: Links among neighborhood characteristics, weight status, outdoor play, and television watching (Journal Article)

Abstract:
Date:
January 2011
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
72
Page/s:
668-676
Synonyms:
  • Longitudinal
  • Outdoor play
  • Physical health
  • Physical play
  • Socio-economic background
  • Well-being outcomes
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

Lindsey, E. et al. (2013) Pretend and Physical Play: Links to Preschoolers' Affective Social Competence (Journal Article)

Abstract:

This study investigated different forms of pretend and physical play as predictors of preschool children's affective social competence (ASC). Data were collected from 122 preschool children (57 boys, 65 girls; 86 European American, 9 African American, 17 Hispanic, and 10 other ethnicity) over a 2-year period. Children participated in emotion knowledge interviews, mothers rated children's emotion regulation skill, and observations were conducted of children's emotional expressiveness with peers in both Years 1 and 2. Naturalistic observations of children's peer play behavior were conducted to assess the proportion of time children spend in pretend and physical play in Year 1. Analyses revealed that sociodramatic play predicted children's emotional expressiveness, emotion knowledge, and emotion regulation 1 year later, after controlling for Year 1 ASC skills. Rough-and-tumble play predicted children's emotional expressiveness and emotion regulation 1 year later, whereas exercise play predicted only emotion regulation. Some associations between sociodramatic play and rough-and-tumble play and children's ASC were moderated by gender.

Date:
January 2013
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
59
Page/s:
330-360
Synonyms:
  • Affective behaviour
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Longitudinal
  • Physical play
  • Pretend play
  • Social play
  • Social-emotional
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline:

McCune, L. et al. (2015) Dynamic systems in semiotic development: The transition to reference (Journal Article)

Abstract:

Semiotic development involves the development of at least two different kinds of meaning: intersubjective and representational. By attending to these two kinds of meaning we are able to predict one of the major transitions in early childhood: the transition to reference. From a dynamic systems perspective we track essential developments which, when all have reached critical values, prompt the transition to referential word production and/or comprehension in the first half of the second year of life. We present the background of the four variables included in the model: (a) representational play, (b) vocalization ability, (c) gesture, and (d) developments in autonomic vocalization culminating in communicative grunts. We further demonstrate their efficacy in predicting the transition in a longitudinal sample of 10 children. Additional study is needed to confirm the role of these developments and to extend the approach to languages other than English and more advanced levels of semiotic development.

Author/s:
Date:
January 2015
Publisher or Journal:
Volume:
36
Page/s:
161-170
Synonyms:
  • Developmental outcomes
  • Exploratory play
  • Language
  • Longitudinal
  • Semiotic play
  • Symbolic play
Relevant age group/s:
Research discipline: