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    ABSTRACT: Linguistic influences in mathematics have previously been explored through subtyping methodology and by taking advantage of the componential nature of mathematics and variations in language requirements that exist across tasks. The present longitudinal investigation aimed to examine the language requirements of mathematical tasks in young children aged 5-7 years. Initially, 256 children were screened for mathematics and reading difficulties (RDs) using standardized measures. Those scoring at or below the 35th percentile on either dimension were classified as having difficulty. From this screening, 115 children were allocated to each of the mathematical difficulty (MD; n = 26), MDRD (n = 32), RD (n = 22) and typically achieving (n = 35) subtypes. These children were tested at four time points, separated by 6 monthly intervals, on a battery of seven mathematical tasks. Growth curve analysis indicated that, in contrast to previous research on older children, young children with MD and MDRD had very similar patterns of development on all mathematical tasks. Overall, the subtype comparisons suggested that language played only a minor mediating role in most tasks, and this was secondary in importance to non-verbal skills. Correlational evidence suggested that children from the different subtypes could have been using different mixes of verbal and non-verbal strategies to solve the mathematical problems.
    Frontiers in Psychology 03/2015; 6:221. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00221
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    ABSTRACT: The number of children identified as having intellectual or developmental disability is rising worldwide and their education has been found wanting. It has been said that "they simply need better teaching." At the same time, there is an increasing evidence base that pedagogy that is based on the discipline of behaviour analysis offers the best prospect for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. On the basis of this evidence, it is proposed that behaviour analysis should be applied more broadly to improve teaching for all children with intellectual or developmental disability.
    Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 06/2012; 37(2):169-80. DOI:10.3109/13668250.2012.685705
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    ABSTRACT: The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) is a relatively new measure and to date has been validated in student samples in England and Scotland, and in population samples in Scotland. No data exist on the psychometric properties of the WEMWBS when used within a general population in Northern Ireland, a region that might be expected to differ in health and well-being given its troubled history. This paper represents the first attempt to assess mental well-being in Northern Ireland using this new questionnaire. Data came from the 2009/2010 Continuous Household Survey and analyses are based on the responses of 3355 people aged 16 years and over who completed the full WEMWBS. The results suggest that the data collected using the WEMWBS among a large-scale random sample of adults in Northern Ireland are comparable to those produced for adults in other parts of the UK. The findings from this study are important as any measure of mental well-being purported to have been validated for the UK needs to include Northern Ireland, given that region's recent history in terms of the civil conflict and its potential impact on the health and well-being of its population.
    Journal of Mental Health 06/2012; 21(3):257-63. DOI:10.3109/09638237.2012.670883
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    ABSTRACT: The early years of a child's life are extremely important in terms of development and growth. Children from a deprived family background are at greater risk of developmental problems and poor health. Parenting and the quality of the home environment can help boost young children's development and reduce the negative consequences of deprivation. The purpose of this review was to look at whether home-based parenting programmes, which aim to improve child development by showing parents how to provide a better quality home environment for their child, are effective in doing so. Seven randomised controlled trials (RCTs) met the inclusion criteria for this review. It was possible to combine the results from four of the seven studies, which showed that children who received the programme did not have better cognitive development than a control group. Socioemotional development was measured in three studies but we could not combine this data to help reach a conclusion about effectiveness. None of the studies measured adverse effects. The quality of the evidence in the studies was difficult to assess due to poor reporting. More high quality research is needed.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 12/2011; DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD008131.pub2
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    ABSTRACT: Almost without exception, research into the range and quality of childcare provision, and its correlates with children's development, comes from the perspective of adults. Parents, childcare workers, teachers and the general public have all been asked for their views on childcare. In contrast, there is a dearth of information on attitudes to childcare provision and its correlates from the perspective of the children themselves. A total of 3657 Primary 7 children, who are 10 or 11 years of age, completed the KIDSCREEN-27 health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measure along with questions on their childcare provision as part of an online survey carried out in schools. Most children receiving childcare from people other than their parents were completely happy with their care. Childcare was related to poorer HRQoL for girls on four of the five KIDSCREEN domains, although the effect sizes were small. For both boys and girls, there were statistically significant, although modest, correlations between happiness with childcare and scores on all five domains of the KIDSCREEN-27. Overall, the findings suggest that most children are happy with their care and that any differences between the HRQoL of those who are cared for by their parents and those who are not are small to moderate.
    Child Care Health and Development 06/2011; 38(2):244-50. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01254.x
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    ABSTRACT: A variety of cognitive, cultural, attitudinal and personality tests were administered to two unrelated samples of sixth-form arts and science specialists attending grammar schools in Northern Ireland. Scientists were found to perform better on the cognitive and cultural variables; to endorse theoretical and economic values and to have lower Neuroticism and higher Psychoticism scores. Arts specialists endorsed aesthetic and social values to a greater extent and religious values marginally when compared with scientists. The implications of these findings are discussed.
    05/2011; 53(2):222 - 233. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1983.tb02553.x
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    ABSTRACT: Previous factorial studies of attainment have been largely confined to a restricted range of subjects, and have not revealed a clear pattern of results. In the present study an analysis is made of the attainments of 173 boys in a balanced range of eleven subjects (English, French, Latin, history, geography, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry and biology) after a three-year grammar school course. In a centroid analysis the general factor proved to be by far the most important (accounting for about 40 per cent. of the total variance), while the signs of the bipolar factors indicated the linkage of (i) arithmetic, algebra and geometry (i.e., a mathematical factor) and (ii) physics, chemistry and biology (i.e., a scientific factor) as additional and separate group factors. Some evidence for the partial separation of history and geography from English, French and Latin was also seen. A subsequent group factor analysis confirmed the existence of the mathematical and scientific factors as being of roughly equal importance. The importance of the latter is probably related to the organized teaching of general science in the schools concerned.
    05/2011; 31(P3):241 - 248. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1961.tb01713.x
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    ABSTRACT: The capacity of 10-year-olds in coping with a mixed (double theme) text was examined. In a “distributed” version of the mixed text a story theme was used to carry an additional load of historical information which was evenly distributed throughout the narrative. In a second “consolidated” version of the mixed text the history material occurred en bloc midway through the story. Performance on the mixed texts was compared with that in a “separated” condition where the story and history information were presented in two separate texts. Recall of the history material was substantially better in the separated text condition than in either of the other two and recall of the story was poorer in the consolidated than in either of the other two conditions. The findings are interpreted in terms of the effects of attentional set and the extra processing demands incurred in disentangling two different themes in a mixed type text.
    05/2011; 56(3):286 - 293. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1986.tb03041.x
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    ABSTRACT: Differences in attainment in English and arithmetic between primary schools in mixed-language areas of Wales are studied with respect to differences in both intelligence and linguistic background. School attainments tended to increase with intelligence, though not regularly; and the school differences in intelligence did not account fully for the differences in attainment. Generally, the attainment of schools with pupils of a strongly Welsh background—i.e., bilingual pupils—was lower than that of other schools, this tendency being strong in English and slight in arithmetic. It is concluded that a bilingual environment may be regarded as an important factor with respect to primary-school differences of attainment in English which cannot be accounted for by intelligence.
    05/2011; 30(1):63 - 70. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1960.tb01522.x
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of co-education on attainment in examinations, as shown in the Northern Ireland Senior Certificate examination, were studied. Comparisons between co-educated and segregated boys and girls were made on the basis of success in gaining the Certificate, and marks in individual subjects. In general, co-educated boys seemed superior to segregated boys but co-educated girls tended to have lower marks than segregated girls. The possible influence on these results of age, I.Q., or social class, was considered; no conclusive evidence of the effect of these factors was found.
    05/2011; 31(P2):158 - 169. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1961.tb02928.x
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