[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this review is to present a new perspective on children's development of transfer of learning. The focus is on transfer of the effectiveness of a skill (i.e., improved performance), rather than just the transfer of the skill (e.g., a strategy) itself. Specifically, we examined the role of strategy utilization deficiencies, along with cognitive capacity, in the transfer of a memory strategy and, especially, strategy effectiveness (increased recall). Executive functions, metacognition, and mindset were considered as mechanisms that can both facilitate and hinder transfer of strategy effectiveness. Implications for theorizing about both transfer and utilization deficiencies were discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine test-retest reliability and internal consistency of the Children's Social Desirability Short (CSD-S) scale, consisting of 14 items from the Children's Social Desirability scale.
The previously validated CSD-S scale was classroom administered to 97 fourth-grade children (80% African American; 76% low socioeconomic status) in 2 sessions a month apart. Each classroom administration lasted approximately 5 minutes.
The CSD-S scale showed acceptable levels of test-retest reliability (0.70) and internal consistency (.82 and .85 for the first and second administrations, respectively). Reliability was adequate within subgroups of gender, socioeconomic status, academic achievement, and body mass index percentile. Levels of social desirability did not differ across subgroups.
Social desirability bias is a potential source of systematic response error in children's self-report assessments of nutrition and health-related behaviors. The CSD-S scale may be used with diverse groups of children to reliably and efficiently assess social desirability bias.
Journal of nutrition education and behavior. 01/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Children who are less fit reportedly have lower performance on tests of cognitive control and differences in brain function. This study examined the effect of an exercise intervention on brain function during two cognitive control tasks in overweight children. Design and Methods: Participants included 43 unfit, overweight (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) children 8-11 years old, who were randomly divided into either an aerobic exercise (n=24) or attention control group (n=19). Each group was offered a separate instructor-led after-school program every school day for 8 months. Before and after the program, all children performed two cognitive control tasks during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): antisaccade and flanker. Results: Compared to the control group, the exercise group decreased activation in several regions supporting antisaccade performance, including precentral gyrus and posterior parietal cortex, and increased activation in several regions supporting flanker performance, including anterior cingulate and superior frontal gyrus. Conclusions: Exercise may differentially impact these two task conditions, or the paradigms in which cognitive control tasks were presented may be sensitive to distinct types of brain activation that show different effects of exercise. In sum, exercise appears to alter efficiency or flexible modulation of neural circuitry supporting cognitive control in overweight children.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study tested the effect of aerobic exercise training on executive function in overweight children. Ninety-four sedentary, overweight but otherwise healthy children (mean age = 9.2 years, body mass index ? 85th percentile) were randomized to a low-dose (20 min/day exercise), high-dose (40 min/day exercise), or control condition. Exercise sessions met 5 days/week for 15 weeks. The Cognitive Assessment System (CAS), a standardized test of cognitive processes, was administered individually before and following intervention. Analysis of covariance on posttest scores revealed effects on executive function. Group differences emerged for the CAS Planning scale (p = .03). Planning scores for the high-dose group were significantly greater than those of the control group. Exercise may prove to be a simple, yet important, method of enhancing aspects of children's mental functioning that are central to cognitive and social development.
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 01/2013; 78(5):510-519.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three studies examined whether strategy utilization deficiencies emerge during transfer to two tasks that differ superficially from the main task but have the same underlying structural logic. In Experiment 1, children aged 4, 4½, and 5 spontaneously produced selective attention strategies (or were prompted to do so) on a selective memory task. Although children of all ages transferred this strategy, recall declined on the transfer tasks, a pattern indicating a “transfer utilization deficiency.” This pattern appeared whether children were initially strategic or became strategic after prompts. Individual and trial-by-trial analyses showed asynchronies between changes in strategic behavior and recall (e.g., increased strategy production but decreased recall), which indicate a utilization deficiency. Experiment 2 demonstrated this pattern in spontaneously strategic 4-year-olds, and, by systematically varying task order, eliminated the possibility that transfer tasks were simply more difficult. Experiment 3 eliminated the role of boredom or fatigue for spontaneously strategic 4- and 5-year-olds. Transfer tasks may generate uncertainty about whether and how to apply a strategy, leading to resource-demanding self-monitoring and thus utilization deficiencies.
Cognitive Development 12/2012; 28(1):76–93. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined age-related changes in complex executive function (EF) in a large, representative sample (N = 2,036) aged 5 to 17 using the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS; Naglieri & Das, 1997a). Relations between complex EF and academic achievement were examined on a sub-sample (N = 1,395) given the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement-Revised (Woodcock & Johnson, 1989). Performance on the three complex EF tasks improved until at least age 15, although improvement slowed with increasing age and varied some across tasks. Moreover, the different developmental patterns in the correlations between completion time and accuracy provide clues to developmental processes. Examination of individual achievement subtests clarified the specific aspects of academic performance most related to complex EF. Finally, the correlation between complex EF and academic achievement varied across ages, but the developmental pattern of the strength of these correlations was remarkably similar for overall math and reading achievement, suggesting a domain-general relation between complex EF and academic achievement.
Learning and Individual Differences 08/2011; 21(4):327-336. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This experiment tested the hypothesis that exercise would improve executive function.
Sedentary, overweight 7- to 11-year-old children (N = 171, 56% girls, 61% Black, M ± SD age = 9.3 ± 1.0 years, body mass index [BMI] = 26 ± 4.6 kg/m², BMI z-score = 2.1 ± 0.4) were randomized to 13 ± 1.6 weeks of an exercise program (20 or 40 min/day), or a control condition.
Blinded, standardized psychological evaluations (Cognitive Assessment System and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III) assessed cognition and academic achievement. Functional MRI measured brain activity during executive function tasks. Results: Intent to treat analysis revealed dose-response benefits of exercise on executive function and mathematics achievement. Preliminary evidence of increased bilateral prefrontal cortex activity and reduced bilateral posterior parietal cortex activity attributable to exercise was also observed.
Consistent with results obtained in older adults, a specific improvement on executive function and brain activation changes attributable to exercise were observed. The cognitive and achievement results add evidence of dose-response and extend experimental evidence into childhood. This study provides information on an educational outcome. Besides its importance for maintaining weight and reducing health risks during a childhood obesity epidemic, physical activity may prove to be a simple, important method of enhancing aspects of children's mental functioning that are central to cognitive development. This information may persuade educators to implement vigorous physical activity.
Health Psychology 01/2011; 30(1):91-8. · 3.95 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review article examines theoretical and methodological issues in the construction of a developmental perspective on executive function (EF) in childhood and adolescence. Unlike most reviews of EF, which focus on preschoolers, this review focuses on studies that include large age ranges. It outlines the development of the foundational components of EF-inhibition, working memory, and shifting. Cognitive and neurophysiological assessments show that although EF emerges during the first few years of life, it continues to strengthen significantly throughout childhood and adolescence. The components vary somewhat in their developmental trajectories. The article relates the findings to long-standing issues of development (e.g., developmental sequences, trajectories, and processes) and suggests research needed for constructing a developmental framework encompassing early childhood through adolescence.
Child Development 11/2010; 81(6):1641-60. · 4.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research and theorizing on executive function (EF) in childhood has been disproportionately focused on preschool age children. This review paper outlines the importance of examining EF throughout childhood, and even across the lifespan. First, examining EF in older children can address the question of whether EF is a unitary construct. The relations among the EF components, particularly as they are recruited for complex tasks, appear to change over the course of development. Second, much of the development of EF, especially working memory, shifting, and planning, occurs after age 5. Third, important applications of EF research concern the role of school-age children's EF in various aspects of school performance, as well as social functioning and emotional control. Future research needs to examine a more complete developmental span, from early childhood through late adulthood, in order to address developmental issues adequately.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies that examine the effects of exercise on children's intelligence, cognition, or academic achievement were reviewed and results were discussed in light of (a) contemporary cognitive theory development directed toward exercise, (b) recent research demonstrating the salutary effects of exercise on adults' cognitive functioning, and (c) studies conducted with animals that have linked physical activity to changes in neurological development and behavior. Similar to adults, exercise facilitates children's executive function (i.e., processes required to select, organize, and properly initiate goal-directed actions). Exercise may prove to be a simple, yet important, method of enhancing those aspects of children's mental functioning central to cognitive development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study tested the effect of aerobic exercise training on executive function in overweight children. Ninety-four sedentary, overweight but otherwise healthy children (mean age = 9.2 years, body mass index 85th percentile) were randomized to a low-dose (20 min/day exercise), high-dose (40 min/day exercise), or control condition. Exercise sessions met 5 days/week for 15 weeks. The Cognitive Assessment System (CAS), a standardized test of cognitive processes, was administered individually before and following intervention. Analysis of covariance on posttest scores revealed effects on executive function. Group differences emerged for the CAS Planning scale (p = .03). Planning scores for the high-dose group were significantly greater than those of the control group. Exercise may prove to be a simple, yet important, method of enhancing aspects of children's mental functioning that are central to cognitive and social development.
Research quarterly for exercise and sport 01/2008; 78(5):510-9. · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This pilot study investigated body mass index (BMI; calculated as kg/m(2)), sex, interview protocol, and children's accuracy for reporting kilocalories. Forty 4th-grade children (20 low-BMI: >or=5th and <50th percentiles, 10 boys, 15 African American; 20 high-BMI: >or=85th percentile, 10 boys, 15 African American) were observed eating school meals (breakfast, lunch) and interviewed either that evening about the prior 24 hours or the next morning about the previous day, with 10 low-BMI (5 boys) and 10 high-BMI (5 boys) children per interview protocol. Five kilocalorie variables were analyzed using separate four-factor (BMI group, sex, race, interview protocol) analyses of variance. No effects were found for reported or matched kilocalories. More kilocalories were observed (P<0.02) and omitted (P<0.05) by high-BMI than low-BMI children. For intruded kilocalories, means were smaller (better) for high-BMI girls than high-BMI boys, but larger for low-BMI girls than low-BMI boys (interaction P<0.04); low-BMI girls intruded the most while high-BMI girls intruded the least. For interview protocol, omitted and intruded kilocalories were higher (worse), although not significantly so (P values <0.11), for interviews about the previous day than the prior 24 hours. These results illuminate relations of BMI, sex, interview protocol, and children's reporting accuracy, and are consistent with results concerning BMI and sex from studies with adults.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 11/2006; 106(10):1656-62. · 3.80 Impact Factor