Child Development

Published by Wiley

Online ISSN: 1467-8624


Print ISSN: 0009-3920


The Effects of Different Modes of Verbalization 011 the Recognition of Object Detail in Pictures
  • Article

January 1978


72 Reads


The effects of different modes of verbalization on recognition memory of object detail were examined in first- and third-grade children and adults. The results indicated that both age of the subject and the type of verbalization used during initial picture viewing influenced recognition accuracy for object detail. When compared to nonverbal viewing groups, only specific types of verbalization increased recognition accuracy for third-grade and adult subjects. None of the modes of verbalization was effective in increasing first-grade recognition scores. The results indicate that general statements concerning the facilitating or inhibiting influence of verbalization on recognition memory must be qualified. In addition, the results showed that developmental differences in recognition accuracy are contingent upon the type of strategy used during the encoding process.

Development of Adolescents' Self-Perceptions, Values, and Task Perceptions According to Gender and Domain in 7th- through 11th-Grade Australian Students

September 2004


751 Reads

Latent growth models estimated developmental trajectories for adolescents' math and English self-perceptions (perceived talent, success expectancies), values (intrinsic, utility) and task perceptions (task difficulty, effort required). A longitudinal cohort-sequential study included 1,323 participants spanning Grades 7 to 11, with Occasion 1 mean ages 13.19, 12.36, and 14.41, respectively, for Cohorts 1, 2, and 3. Self-perceptions and values declined through adolescence, and ratings about difficulty and effort required increased. Gender differences favored boys for math and girls for English, with little evidence for gender intensification or gender convergence hypotheses. Explanations reference socialization and social-cognitive developmental theories and features of the curricula, with domain-specific patterns implying domain-specific explanations. Existing research is extended by modeling a broadened set of social-cognitive constructs within the Australian context.

Increasing Steps in Recall of Events: Factors Facilitating Immediate and Long-Term Memory in 13.5- and 16.5-Month-Old Children

September 1993


69 Reads

Children late in the second year of life show patterns of event recall similar to those of older children: (a) well-ordered immediate and delayed recall, and (b) facilitation of recall by familiarity and by enabling relations. We used elicited imitation to test whether the patterns extend to children early in the second year. In Experiment 1, 13.5- and 16.5-month-olds accurately recalled familiar and novel 2-act sequences immediately and after a 1-week delay. For 16.5-month-olds, recall was facilitated by familiarity and by enabling relations; for 13.5-month-olds, only enabling relations facilitated recall. In Experiment 2, verbal cues were used to test immediate and 1-week delayed recall of 3-act sequences. For both ages, recall was facilitated by familiarity and by enabling relations. Experiment 3 verified that the verbal information served to cue recall of previously experienced events, not to "suggest" sequences that could be performed. Together the results demonstrate that children as young as 13 months can recall specific events after a delay. They also suggest development in sensitivity to factors that facilitate recall.

Genetic change and continuity from 14 to 20 months: The Mac Arthur Longitudinal Twin Study. Child Development, 64, 1354-1376

November 1993


56 Reads






Genetic change as well as continuity was investigated within the domains of temperament, emotion, and cognition/language for 200 pairs of twins assessed at 14 and 20 months of age in the laboratory and home. The second year of life is marked by change rather than continuity: correlations from 14 to 20 months averaged about .30 for observational measures of temperament and emotion, about .40 for language measures, and about .50 for mental development. 2 types of genetic change were examined: changes in the magnitude of genetic influence (heritability) and genetic contributions to change from 14 to 20 months. In general, heritability estimates were similar at 14 and 20 months. Evidence for genetic influence on change from 14 to 20 months emerged for several measures, implying that heritability cannot be equated with stability. Analyses of continuity indicated that genetic factors are largely responsible for continuity from 14 to 20 months.

Figure 1: The relation between effect size and allele frequency for detecting associations. Note. GWA = genome-wide association. Adapted from McCarthy et al. (2008).
Child Development and Molecular Genetics: 14 Years Later
  • Literature Review
  • Full-text available

March 2012


672 Reads

Fourteen years ago, the first article on molecular genetics was published in this journal: Child Development, Molecular Genetics, andWhat to Do With Genes Once They Are Found (R. Plomin & M. Rutter, 1998). The goal of the article was to outline what developmentalists can do with genes once they are found. These new directions for developmental research are still relevant today. The problem lies with the phrase "once they are found": It has been much more difficult than expected to identify genes responsible for the heritability of complex traits and common disorders, the so-called missing heritability problem. The present article considers reasons for the missing heritability problem and possible solutions.

Mental Spatial Transformations in 14- and 16-Month-Old Infants: Effects of Action and Observational Experience

May 2013


100 Reads

Infants' ability to mentally track the orientation of an object during a hidden rotation was investigated (N = 28 in each experiment). A toy on a turntable was fully covered and then rotated 90°. When revealed, the toy had turned with the turntable (probable event), remained at its starting orientation (improbable event in Experiment 1), or turned to the opposite side (improbable event in Experiment 2). Results demonstrated a developmental progression between 14 and 16 months of age in infants' sensitivity to spatial object relations and their ability to track the orientation of an object during hidden rotation. Experiment 3 showed that 14-month-olds' performance improved with hands-on training, highlighting the role of action experience in cognitive development.

Intrapersonal and maternal correlates of aggression, conflict, and externalizing problems in toddlers. Child Development, 69, 1614-1629

January 1999


231 Reads

Research has shown that 2-year-olds engage in peer-directed aggression and initiation of conflict. However, there has been little consideration of the factors associated with variability in toddlers' aggression. One hundred and four toddlers (52 females) were observed for 35 min of free play with a same-sex peer, with both mothers present. Experience in early out-of-home care was not related to aggression. Toddlers' observed and mother-rated dysregulated temperament, and mothers' use of warmth and negative dominance during interactions with their children, were used to predict toddlers' aggression and maternal ratings of externalizing difficulties. Boys were observed to be more aggressive than girls. Regression analyses showed that, after controlling for main effects, the interaction of child gender, temperament, and maternal negative dominance predicted both outcomes. Observed aggression and mother-reported externalizing problems were associated significantly with dysregulated temperament only for boys with mothers who demonstrated relatively high levels of negative dominance.

Overt and Covert Verbal Problem-Solving Strategies: Developmental Trends in Use, Awareness, and Relations With Task Performance in Children Aged 5 to 17

December 2003


661 Reads

Age-related changes in children's use, self report, and awareness of verbal problem-solving strategies (private speech) and strategy effectiveness were explored with a large (N = 2,156) cross-sectional sample of children aged 5 to 17. Children's verbal strategies moved from overt, to partially covert, to fully covert forms with age. Self-reports of verbal strategy use were accurate yet incomplete. Awareness of children's use of verbal strategies was low and increased with age. Although verbal strategies were associated with competence among the youngest children, self-talk was unrelated to task performance for older children, suggesting considerable persistence over time of a relatively ineffective strategy. Awareness was not a prerequisite for children's verbal strategy use but was positively associated with strategy effectiveness among those who talked.

Scarborough, H. S. Very early language deficits in dyslexic children. Child Dev. 61, 1728-1743

January 1991


257 Reads

At 2 1/2 years of age, children who later developed reading disabilities were deficient in the length, syntactic complexity, and pronunciation accuracy of their spoken language, but not in lexical or speech discrimination skills. As 3-year-olds, these children began to show deficits in receptive vocabulary and object-naming abilities, and as 5-year-olds they exhibited weaknesses in object-naming, phonemic awareness, and letter-sound knowledge that have characterized kindergartners who became poor readers in other studies. These late preschool differences were related to subsequent reading status as well as to prior language skills, but early syntactic proficiency nevertheless accounted for some unique variance in grade 2 achievement when differences at age 5 were statistically controlled. The language deficits of dyslexic children were unrelated to maternal reading ability and were not observed in children from dyslexic families who became normal readers. The implications of the results for etiological issues are discussed.

Being Mimicked Increases Prosocial Behavior in 18-Month-Old Infants

March 2013


563 Reads

Most previous research on imitation in infancy has focused on infants' learning of instrumental actions on objects. This study focused instead on the more social side of imitation, testing whether being mimicked increases prosocial behavior in infants, as it does in adults (van Baaren, Holland, Kawakami, & van Knippenberg, 2004). Eighteen-month-old infants (N = 48) were either mimicked or not by an experimenter; then either that experimenter or a different adult needed help. Infants who had previously been mimicked were significantly more likely to help both adults than infants who had not been mimicked. Thus, even in infancy, mimicry has positive social consequences: It promotes a general prosocial orientation toward others.

Figure 1: Schematic drawing of the events shown in the first two and last two familiarization trials in the left–right condition of Experiment 1.
Figure 3: Schematic drawing of the transparent- and opaque-cover test events in the true-belief condition of Experiment 1.
Figure 4: Mean looking times at the test events in the false- and true-belief conditions of Experiment 1, in the false- and no-key conditions of Experiment 2, and in the ignorance condition of Experiment 3. Error bars represent standard errors.
Figure 5: Schematic drawing of the final phases of the correct- and incorrect-cover test events in the transparent- and opaque-covers ignorance conditions of Experiment 3.
Which Penguin Is This? Attributing False Beliefs About Object Identity at 18 Months

July 2009


196 Reads

Recent research has shown that infants as young as 13 months can attribute false beliefs to agents, suggesting that the psychological-reasoning subsystem necessary for attributing reality-incongruent informational states (Subsystem-2, SS2) is operational in infancy. The present research asked whether 18-month-olds' false-belief reasoning extends to false beliefs about object identity. Infants watched events involving an agent and 2 toy penguins; 1 penguin could be disassembled (2-piece penguin) and 1 could not (1-piece penguin). Infants realized that outdated contextual information could lead the agent to falsely believe she was facing the 1-piece rather than the 2-piece penguin, suggesting that 18-month-olds can attribute false beliefs about the identity of objects and providing new evidence for SS2 reasoning in the 2nd year of life.

Figure 1: Sample object and picture.
Modeling Referential Actions in 6- to 18-Month-Old Infants: A Precursor to Symbolic Understanding

December 2004


112 Reads

Social precursors to symbolic understanding of pictures were examined with 100 infants ages 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 months. Adults demonstrated 1 of 2 stances toward pictures and objects (contemplative or manipulative), and then gave items to infants for exploration. For pictures, older infants (12, 15, and 18 months) emulated the adult's actions following both types of demonstration trials. For objects, infants did not emulate actions following either stance at any age. The findings suggest that infants enlist their imitative learning skills in the context of learning the conventions of action on pictorial symbols. The data are interpreted as pointing to the importance of social learning in developing an understanding of the referential function of pictorial symbols.

Getting There Faster: 18- and 24-Month-Old Infants' Use of Function Words to Determine Reference

March 2006


251 Reads

Infants of 18 and 24 months acquiring English were tested in a preferential looking task on their ability to detect ungrammaticalities caused by manipulating a single function word in sentences. Infants heard grammatical sentences in which the determiner the preceded a target noun, as well as three ungrammatical conditions in which the was either dropped, replaced by a nonsense function word (el), or replaced by an alternate English function word (and). Both the 18- and 24-month-old infants oriented faster and more accurately to a visual target following grammatical sentences. The results suggest that by 18 months of age, infants use their knowledge of determiners in sentence computation and in establishing reference.

Figure 1: Predicted mean trajectories of quadratic growth in vocabulary from 18 to 30 months for children in the typically developing (dark line) and late-talking (grey line) groups.
Figure 3: Predicted mean trajectories of quadratic growth in vocabulary from 18 to 30 months as a function of typically developing (dark lines) and late-talking (grey lines) group and higher (+1 SD, solid lines) or lower (−1 SD, dashed lines) mean accuracy scores at 18 months.
Individual Differences in Lexical Processing at 18 Months Predict Vocabulary Growth in Typically Developing and Late-Talking Toddlers

December 2011


298 Reads

Using online measures of familiar word recognition in the looking-while-listening procedure, this prospective longitudinal study revealed robust links between processing efficiency and vocabulary growth from 18 to 30 months in children classified as typically developing (n = 46) and as "late talkers" (n = 36) at 18 months. Those late talkers who were more efficient in word recognition at 18 months were also more likely to "bloom," showing more accelerated vocabulary growth over the following year, compared with late talkers less efficient in early speech processing. Such findings support the emerging view that early differences in processing efficiency evident in infancy have cascading consequences for later learning and may be continuous with individual differences in language proficiency observed in older children and adults.

Do Novel Words Facilitate 18-Month-Olds’ Spatial Categorization?

November 2007


55 Reads

Eighteen-month-olds' spatial categorization was tested when hearing a novel spatial word. Infants formed an abstract categorical representation of support (i.e., placing 1 object on another) when hearing a novel spatial particle during habituation but not when viewing the events in silence. Infants with a productive spatial vocabulary did not discriminate the support relation when hearing the same novel word as a count noun. However, infants who were not yet producing spatial words did attend to the support relation when presented with the novel count noun. The results indicate that 18-month-olds can use a novel particle (possibly assisted by a familiar verb) to facilitate their spatial categorization but that the specificity of this effect varies with infants' acquisition of spatial language.

Transported to Van Diemen's Land: The Boys of the Frances Charlotte (1832) and Lord Goderich (1841)

September 1985


20 Reads

From the logs of ships transporting convicts from Great Britain to Australia in the early nineteenth century, records of 2 ships carrying juveniles have been transcribed. Data on the backgrounds of the boys and height data are presented and analyzed. Comparisons are made with nineteenth- and twentieth-century data sets. Caution is expressed about limitations of the data, which constitute a sample stratified by age whose differences in means are sometimes anomalous.

Adolescent heterosexual interest in 1942 and 1963

January 1966


19 Reads

A sociometric questionnaire identical to that responded to in 1942 by 337 boys and 363 girls in grades 6 9 and 12 of six schools was administered in 1963 to 1034 boys and 1027 girls in grades 6 through 12 of four of the same schools. A reliably greater proportion of 1963 adolescents made cross-sex choices as compared to those in 1942 (five of six comparisons were reliable; three at the .05 two at the 01. levels. There were no reliable differences over time in proportions chosen by the opposite sex nor in the proportions chosen by no one. (authors)

American Conceptions of Infant Development from 1955 to 1984: What the Experts Are Telling Parents

March 1990


18 Reads

The efforts of the child development movement to understand development and the factors influencing it have been the basis of 2 interrelated tasks: the scientific study of children, and the dissemination of this knowledge to parents. Content analysis is used to assess the extent to which psychological theories and research about infants have been communicated to parents from 1955 to 1984 in 2 popular publications, the Infant Care manual and Parents magazine. Results indicated that there is not a singular relation between what experts know and what is communicated to parents. Information reflecting scientific advances about the biological components of infant development (perception, cognition, and temperament) have been most accurately communicated to parents, whereas discussions of the mother-infant relationship, child care, feeding, and fathers appeared to be related to the broader cultural context and demographic changes over the past thirty years. This study reveals an interaction between science and culture in our theories of infant development and child rearing.

Does Maternal Responding Imply Reduced Infant Crying? A Critique of the 1972 Bell and Ainsworth Report

January 1978


28 Reads

An examination was made of the published rank correlations (p's) from which Bell and Ainsworth concluded that mothers who responded more consistently and promptly to their infants' crying in earlier quarters of the first year had infants who cried less often and long in later quarters of that year. Technical limitations critically restrict interpretations of those p's: (a) intercorrelations were of intrinsically contingent measures; (b) the overlapping, dependent intercorrelations were correlated within and between matrices, with unknown Type I error levels; and (c) there were no statistical controls for likely antecedent and concurrent determinants of the 2 outcome-variable sets. Apart from these technical concerns, Bell and Ainsworth's assumption that maternal responding to crying is the inverse of maternal ignoring of crying and their main conclusions from the between-quarter correlations that depended on it were questioned on the bases of (a) the defined independence between the maternal responding and ignoring variables, (b) the positive within-quarter pattern of correlation between them, and (c) the failure to present between-quarter correlations between maternal responding and infant crying. At the same time, Bell and Ainsworth's data were remote from the level of detail required by an operant-learning account (to which, nevertheless, many have referred them). Under such a learning account, various outcomes would be plausible, including the outcome Bell and Ainsworth emphasized. It was concluded that Bell and Ainsworth's main conclusion, that maternal responding implied a reduction in infant crying, was not supported by their data.

Body Size and Form of Black and White Female Youths Measured during 1974-1975 at Columbia, South Carolina

July 1976


13 Reads

From original data at age 13 years on 386 North American females (201 black and 185 white), statistics are presented for 10 somatic variables. The 2 ethnic groups yield similar means for standing height, arm girth, and leg girth; the black females, contrasted with their white peers, are shorter in sitting height, longer in lower limb height, and narrower in hip width. The Columbia subjects are compared with black and white females studied in North America several decades ago, and with black and white females studied recently in other parts of North America and in Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Lesser Antilles.

Concordance of Visual and Manipulative Responses to Novel and Familiar Stimuli: A Reply to Rubenstein (1974)

April 1975


10 Reads

Rubenstein's failure to find evidence for the previously suggested lack of concordance between visual and manipulative responses to novel and familiar stimuli in 6-month-old infants is discussed. It is shown that a lack of concordance is not specific to the use of 1 measure of manipulative behavior, and other possible explanations for the discrepancy in findings are examined. A 2-stage development of responsiveness to familiarity-novelty in infancy remains the most plausible account.

The Coordination of Manipulation and Visual Fixation: A Response to Schaffer (1975)

October 1976


13 Reads

The present study was conducted to clarify the issues raised by Schaffer and Rubenstein about perceptual-motor integration in 6-month-old infants. The visual and motor responses to novel and familiar stimuli were measured in 12 6-month-old infants, using new measures of integration and concordance. The results indicate that the infants' responses to the stimuli were both integrated and concordant. Schaffer's conclusions, which are based on studies that show changes from 6 to 9 months of age, are discussed in light of the findings of the present study.

Effects of early linguistic experience on speech discrimination by infants: a critique of Eiler, Gavin, and Wilson (1979)

April 1980


20 Reads

In a recent report in this journal, Eilers, Gavin, and Wilson (1979) presented discrimination data obtained from 2 groups of infants exposed to different language-learning environments. The results showed differences in voice onset time (VOT) discrimination between Spanish and English infants, suggesting an effect of early linguistic experience. A critique of this study indicates that such conclusions about the effects of early experience on speech perception are unwarranted on both methodological and conceptual grounds. Methodological flaws include the absence of reliable statistical analyses and the failure to guard against experimenter bias effects. Conceptual flaws involve the erroneous interpretation of failures to discriminate certain selected speech contrasts. Inferences concerning the developmental course of speech perception in young infants based on the results of the Eilers et al. study need to be interpreted cautiously in light of these serious criticisms.

Sex Differences in Moral Reasoning: Response to Walker's (1984) Conclusion That There Are None

May 1986


36 Reads

Data from the Family Socialization and Developmental Competence Project are used to probe Walker's conclusion that there are no sex differences in moral reasoning. Ordinal and nominal nonparametric statistics result in a complex but theoretically meaningful network of relationships among sex, educational level, and Kohlberg stage score level, with the presence and direction of sex differences in stage score level dependent on educational level. The effects on stage score level of educational level and working status are also shown to differ for men and women. Reasons are considered for not accepting Walker's dismissal of studies that use (a) a pre-1983 scoring manual, or (b) fail to control for education. The problems presented to Kohlberg's theory by the significant relationship between educational and stage score levels in the general population are discussed, particularly as these apply to the postconventional level of moral reasoning.

Which Homes? A Response to Scarr and McCartney (1988)

May 1989


19 Reads

Scarr and McCartney's (1988) Bermudian study shows the futility of using the Verbal Interaction Project's Mother-Child Home Program (MCHP) to prevent later educational disadvantage in preschoolers who are not at risk for such disadvantage. Recently published research is cited to support a conclusion that poverty alone does not predict school disadvantage so much as poor parents frequently having low motivation and less than high school graduation, unlike the Bermudian sample. Significant positive school effects through eighth grade are noted to have occurred when the MCHP was used with Massachusetts preschoolers who were socioeconomically at risk for educational disadvantage and thus were of lower SES than the advantaged Bermudian children. Methodological issues are also discussed.

The Legacy of Child Development's 1990 Special Issue on Minority Children: An Editorial Retrospective

September 2006


57 Reads

Sixteen years have passed since the publication of Child Development's Special Issue on Minority Children. It is suggested that the most critical legacy of the special issue is the conceptual and ideological zeitgeist it fostered. The issue set culture and ecological context in the foreground of analyses, advanced a cultural-variant perspective, and further discredited the deficit perspective that long dominated the study of ethnic minority children and families. The special issue is also significant for its role in shaping post-1990 research agenda. In addition, it underscored the need for more nuanced articulations of what cultural or ethnic characteristics are of special relevance for understanding specific domains of development and the need for well-crafted methodological tools with which to test these ideas.

Developmental Theories for the 1990s: Development and Individual Differences

March 1992


99 Reads

Understanding both typical human development and indivdual differences within the same theoretical framework has been difficult because the 2 orientations arise from different philosophical traditions. It is argued that an evolutionary perspective can unite the study of both species-typical development and individual variation. Research on determininants of development from many perspectives can be understood within an evolutionary framework in which organism and environment combine to produce development. Species-normal genes and environments and indidividual variations in genes and environments both affect personality, social, and intellectual development. These domains are used as examples to integrate theories of normal development and individual differences. Within the usual samples of European, North American, and developed Asian countries, the results of family and twin studies show that environments within the normal species range are crucial to normal development. Given a wide range of environmental opportunities and emotional supports, however, most children in these societies grow up to be individually different based on their individual genotypes. Understanding the ways in which genes and environments work together helps developmentalists to identify children in need of intervention and to tailor interventions to their particular needs.

L. A. Stories: Aggression in Preschoolers' Spontaneous Narratives After the Riots of 1992

March 1996


81 Reads

64 inner-city preschoolers' spontaneous story narratives that were examined directly after the Los Angeles riots of 1992 were compared with narratives told by a matched comparison group of 128 children living in other U.S. cities who had no direct exposure to the riots. Narratives were coded for length, complexity, overall thematic content, character behavior in the stories, number of aggressive words, and story outcome. Children were given language and pre-academic skill assessments, their classroom behavior was observed and teachers rated children's social competence. Results indicated that there were significant group differences in the story narratives. Children who were directly exposed to the riots told more narratives with aggressive thematic content, aggressive words, unfriendly figures who engaged in physical aggression, and mastery of situations with aggression than did the comparison group of children who had no direct exposure to the riots. The findings suggest that children's narratives reflected their exposure to the violence and their expression of that experience.

The Effects of the 1999 Turkish Earthquake on Young Children: Analyzing Traumatized Children’s Completion of Short Stories

July 2010


560 Reads

The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine whether projective techniques could identify long-term consequences among children stemming from exposure to a traumatic event. The first group of children (n = 53; 26 female, 27 male) experienced 2 major earthquakes at age 7, 3 months apart, in Turkey, while a similarly matched control group (n = 50; 25 female, 25 male) did not. Both groups of children (current age: 9) completed a series of short stories related to disastrous events. Results indicated that the traumatized group evinced a range of trauma-related symptoms 2 years after experiencing the earthquakes.

Wakefulness (Not Sleep) Promotes Generalization of Word Learning in 2.5‐Year‐Old Children

August 2013


124 Reads

Sleep enhances generalization in adults, but this has not been examined in toddlers. This study examined the impact of napping versus wakefulness on the generalization of word learning in toddlers when the contextual background changes during learning. Thirty 2.5-year-old children (M = 32.94, SE = 0.46) learned labels for novel categories of objects, presented on different contextual backgrounds, and were tested on their ability to generalize the labels to new exemplars after a 4-hr delay with or without a nap. The results demonstrated that only children who did not nap were able to generalize learning. These findings have critical implications for the functions of sleep versus wakefulness in generalization, implicating a role for forgetting during wakefulness in generalization.

Developmental Trajectories of Sex-Typed Behavior in Boys and Girls: A Longitudinal General Population Study of Children Aged 2.5-8 Years

September 2008


600 Reads

The stability of sex-typed behavior from the preschool to the middle school years was examined. The Preschool Activities Inventory, a measure of within-sex variation in sex-typed behavior, was completed by the primary caregiver when the child was 2.5, 3.5, and 5 years, and a modified version, the Child Activities Inventory, was completed by the child at age 8. The investigation involved a general population sample of 2,726 boys and 2,775 girls. Sex-typed behavior increased through the preschool years, and those children who were the most sex typed at age 2.5 were still the most sex typed at age 5, with those children who showed the highest levels of sex-typed behavior during the preschool years continuing to do so at age 8.

Neighborhood and Family Influences on Educational Attainment: Results from the Ontario Child Health Study Follow-Up 2001

January 2007


94 Reads

This study uses multilevel models to examine longitudinal associations between contextual influences (neighborhood and family) assessed in 1983 in a cohort of 2,355 children, 4-16 years of age, and educational attainment in 2001. Variation in educational attainment in 2001 attributable to between-neighborhood and between-family differences was 8.17% and 36.88%, respectively. The final model explained 33.64% of the variance in educational attainment, with unique variances of 14.53% for neighborhood and family-level variables combined versus 10.94% for child-level variables. Among the neighborhood and family-level variables, indicators of status (5.29%) versus parental capacity/family process (4.03%) made comparable predictions to attainment while children from economically disadvantaged families did not benefit educationally from living in more affluent areas.

Environmental Correlates of Mental Growth: Prediction from the Family Setting at 21 Months

July 1967


7 Reads

The relation of the early family setting to mental growth from 21 months to 30 years is the focus of this report. Family variables were rated on the basis of parental interviews and observations. Test performance showed increasing correlations with evidences of parental ability, maternal concern, energy, and worrisomeness, and the concern of both parents with achievement. The son's IQ was higher with a close mother-son relation and with the father's occupational success and satisfaction. The daughter's test performance was positively related to father's friendliness to his daughter and to parental compatibility. These findings suggest a marked sex difference in the relevant affectional milieu as well as the importance of able, concerned parents and an activating mother to accelerated cognitive development.

Regression and Reorganization of Intonation Between 6 and 23 Months

March 2006


90 Reads

The purpose of this study was to describe the pattern in which English-speaking children acquire intonation. A second goal was to account for emerging intonation from a theoretical perspective. Six groups of 10 children each between the ages of 6 and 23 months participated in individual play sessions with their mothers and an experimenter. Pitch contours were acoustically analyzed in monosyllabic utterances produced by each child. The observed nonlinear shape of intonation development suggested a linguistically based pattern of regression and reorganization. However, the precocious expression of intonation in the youngest infants also pointed to the role of physiological universals and emotional experience. It is concluded that children's early intonation reflects biological, affective, and linguistic influences.

Continuity and Discontinuity in Maternal Sensitivity at 6, 24, and 42 Months in a High-Risk Sample

May 1989


252 Reads

Continuity and discontinuity in maternal sensitivity from 6 and 24 months to 42 months were examined in a sample of 135 disadvantaged mothers and their firstborn children. Sensitivity at 6 and 24 months accounted for 18% of the variance in 42-month maternal sensitivity for boys, 14% for girls. Discontinuity was examined using residual scores. Less maternal sensitivity than predicted was related to stressful environmental and child characteristics for both boys and girls, while greater sensitivity than predicted was related to mothers' experiences of emotional support, girls' positive individual characteristics, and boys who were seen as unengaged.

Stepping Stones to Others’ Minds: Maternal Talk Relates to Child Mental State Language and Emotion Understanding at 15, 24, and 33 Months

March 2008


865 Reads

This continuation of a previous study (Taumoepeau & Ruffman, 2006) examined the longitudinal relation between maternal mental state talk to 15- and 24-month-olds and their later mental state language and emotion understanding (N= 74). The previous study found that maternal talk about the child's desires to 15-month-old children uniquely predicted children's mental state language and emotion task performance at 24 months. In the present study, at 24 months of age, mothers' reference to others' thoughts and knowledge was the most consistent predictor of children's later mental state language at 33 months. Vygotsky's zone of proximal development provides a framework within which maternal talk, first, about the child's desires and then about others' thoughts and knowledge scaffolds children's social understanding.

Attention Distribution in the 24-Month-Old Child: Variations in Complexity and Incongruity of the Human Form

July 1971


14 Reads

Attentional distribution was studied as a means of observing schema formation and development. Fixation time, heart rate, activity, vocalization, and smiling indicated that a schema for the human form is not fully developed by 2 years of age. Complexity, defined as number of elements, was effective in influencing attentional distribution.

Change in Atypical Maternal Behavior Predicts Change in Attachment Disorganization From 12 to 24 Months in a High-Risk Sample

May 2007


60 Reads

This longitudinal study examined links between disorganization and atypical maternal behavior at 12 and 24 months in 71 adolescent mother-child dyads. Organized attachment and maternal not disrupted behavior were more stable than disorganization and disrupted behavior, respectively. At both ages, disorganization and maternal disrupted behavior were significantly correlated. Change in atypical maternal behavior predicted change in disorganization across time. The results provide substantial support for extant theories linking anomalous maternal behavior to the development of disorganized attachment. The Interesting-but-Scary paradigm, introduced in this study, promises to be a useful tool for assessing attachment and maternal behavior in toddlerhood.

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