The ability to transfer learning across contexts is an adaptive skill that develops rapidly during early childhood. Learning from television is a specific instance of transfer of learning between a 2-Dimensional (2D) representation and a 3-Dimensional (3D) object. Understanding the conditions under which young children might accomplish this particular kind of transfer is important because by 2 years of age 90% of US children are viewing television on a daily basis. Recent research shows that children can imitate actions presented on television using the corresponding real-world objects, but this same research also shows that children learn less from television than they do from live demonstrations until they are at least 3 years old; termed the video deficit effect. At present, there is no coherent theory to account for the video deficit effect; how learning is disrupted by this change in context is poorly understood. The aims of the present review are (1) to review the conditions under which children transfer learning between 2D images and 3D objects during early childhood, and (2) to integrate developmental theories of memory processing into the transfer of learning from media literature using Hayne's (2004) developmental representational flexibility account. The review will conclude that studies on the transfer of learning between 2D and 3D sources have important theoretical implications for general developmental theories of cognitive development, and in particular the development of a flexible representational system, as well as policy implications for early education regarding the potential use and limitations of media as effective teaching tools during early childhood.
The medial temporal lobe memory system matures relatively early and supports rudimentary declarative memory in young infants. There is considerable development, however, in the memory processes that underlie declarative memory performance during infancy. Here we consider age-related changes in encoding, retention, and retrieval in the context of current knowledge about the brain systems that may underlie these memory processes. While changes in infants' encoding may be attributed to rapid myelination during the first year of life, improvements in long-term retention and flexible retrieval are likely due to the prolonged development of the dentate gyrus. Future studies combining measures of brain and behavior are critical in improving our understanding of how brain development drives memory development during infancy and early childhood.
A variety of developmental accounts of intentionality, arising from disparate theoretical perspectives, can now be found in the literature. This paper argues that this diversity is undermining the ability of developmental psychologists to construct a coherent developmental account of the capacity and that it would be more productive to pursue an integrated approach. To this end, the dominant theoretical positions on the development of intentionality are reviewed and evaluated: intentionality as goal-directedness, a result of parental scaffolding, an innate capacity for intersubjectivity, and behavioral object-directedness. Particular attention is given to comparing three key features of each position: the definition of intentionality adopted, the types of behaviors considered to be evidence of intentionality, and the proposed developmental sequence. The possibility of constructing an integrated approach based on these components is explored.
Although in recent years the developmental antecedents and clinical consequences of shame have received increased theoretical and research attention, little is yet known about shame's development after early childhood or its role in developmental psychopathology. This article reviews the literature on shame and on adolescence and suggests that attention to the role of shame in adolescent development is warranted for several reasons. Social-cognitive, physical, and interpersonal changes associated with adolescence may each be associated with normative increases in shame during adolescence. In addition, several lines of evidence converge to suggest that shame may be implicated in some of the important gender-related shifts in self-esteem and developmental psychopathology that occur over the adolescent years.
Fuzzy-trace theory explains risky decision making in children, adolescents, and adults, incorporating social and cultural factors as well as differences in impulsivity. Here, we provide an overview of the theory, including support for counterintuitive predictions (e.g., when adolescents "rationally" weigh costs and benefits, risk taking increases, but it decreases when the core gist of a decision is processed). Then, we delineate how emotion shapes adolescent risk taking-from encoding of representations of options, to retrieval of values/principles, to application of those values/principles to representations of options. Our review indicates that: (i) Gist representations often incorporate emotion including valence, arousal, feeling states, and discrete emotions; and (ii) Emotion determines whether gist or verbatim representations are processed. We recommend interventions to reduce unhealthy risk-taking that inculcate stable gist representations, enabling adolescents to identify quickly and automatically danger even when experiencing emotion, which differs sharply from traditional approaches emphasizing deliberation and precise analysis.
Though often discussed as though it were a discrete event, puberty comprises one segment of a larger developmental continuum and is notable for rapid transformation across a multitude of domains. Research suggests that an earlier rate of pubertal maturation in girls correlates with a number of detrimental outcomes compared with on-time or later maturation. The present review synthesizes the research on negative psychological sequelae of early pubertal timing in adolescent girls. Emphasis is on three theoretical perspectives by which precocious development is believed to affect the emergence of adverse outcomes: biological, psychosocial, and selection effects.
Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by suboptimal decisions and actions that give rise to an increased incidence of unintentional injuries and violence, alcohol and drug abuse, unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Traditional neurobiological and cognitive explanations for adolescent behavior have failed to account for the nonlinear changes in behavior observed during adolescence, relative to childhood and adulthood. This review provides a biologically plausible conceptualization of the neural mechanisms underlying these nonlinear changes in behavior, as a heightened responsiveness to incentives while impulse control is still relatively immature during this period. Recent human imaging and animal studies provide a biological basis for this view, suggesting differential development of limbic reward systems relative to top-down control systems during adolescence relative to childhood and adulthood. This developmental pattern may be exacerbated in those adolescents with a predisposition toward risk-taking, increasing the risk for poor outcomes.
This article proposes a framework for theory and research on risk-taking that is informed by developmental neuroscience. Two fundamental questions motivate this review. First, why does risk-taking increase between childhood and adolescence? Second, why does risk-taking decline between adolescence and adulthood? Risk-taking increases between childhood and adolescence as a result of changes around the time of puberty in the brain's socio-emotional system leading to increased reward-seeking, especially in the presence of peers, fueled mainly by a dramatic remodeling of the brain's dopaminergic system. Risk-taking declines between adolescence and adulthood because of changes in the brain's cognitive control system - changes which improve individuals' capacity for self-regulation. These changes occur across adolescence and young adulthood and are seen in structural and functional changes within the prefrontal cortex and its connections to other brain regions. The differing timetables of these changes make mid-adolescence a time of heightened vulnerability to risky and reckless behavior.
Executive function refers to the cognitive processes necessary for goal-directed cognition and behavior, which develop across childhood and adolescence. Recent experimental research indicates that both acute and chronic aerobic exercise promote children's executive function. Furthermore, there is tentative evidence that not all forms of aerobic exercise benefit executive function equally: Cognitively-engaging exercise appears to have a stronger effect than non-engaging exercise on children's executive function. This review discusses this evidence as well as the mechanisms that may underlie the association between exercise and executive function. Research from a variety of disciplines is covered, including developmental psychology, kinesiology, cognitive neuroscience, and biopsychology. Finally, these experimental findings are placed within the larger context of known links between action and cognition in infancy and early childhood, and the clinical and practical implications of this research are discussed.
Hunger, thirst and satiety have an enormous influence on cognition, behavior and development, yet we often take for granted that they are simply inborn or innate. Converging data and theory from both comparative and human domains, however, supports the conclusion that the phenomena hunger, thirst and satiety are not innate but rather emerge probabilistically as a function of experience during individual development. The metatheoretical perspective provided by developmental psychobiological systems theory provides a useful framework for organizing and synthesizing findings related to the development of the perception of hunger, thirst and satiety, or alimentary interoception. It is argued that neither developmental psychology nor the psychology of eating and drinking have adequately dealt with the ontogeny of alimentary interoception and that a more serious consideration of the species-typical developmental system of food and fluid intake and the many modifications that have been made therein is likely necessary for a full understanding of both alimentary and emotional development.
The study of visual attention in infants has used presentation of single simple stimuli, multi-dimensional stimuli, and complex dynamic video presentations. There are both continuities and discontinuities in the findings on attention and attentiveness to stimulus complexity. A continuity is a pattern of looking that is found in the early part of infancy that remains throughout adulthood. A discontinuity is an emerging sensitivity to the content of the information in the stimulus presentations and alterations in patterns of attention based upon stimulus comprehensibility. The current paper reviews some of these findings with particular application to complex video presentations.
The United States has made a significant effort and investment in STEM education, yet the size and the composition of the STEM workforce continues to fail to meet demand. It is thus important to understand the barriers and factors that influence individual educational and career choices. In this article, we conduct a literature review of the current knowledge surrounding individual and gender differences in STEM educational and career choices, using expectancy-value theory as a guiding framework. The overarching goal of this paper is to provide both a well-defined theoretical framework and complementary empirical evidence for linking specific sociocultural, contextual, biological, and psychological factors to individual and gender differences in STEM interests and choices. Knowledge gained through this review will eventually guide future research and interventions designed to enhance individual motivation and capacity to pursue STEM careers, particularly for females who are interested in STEM but may be constrained by misinformation or stereotypes.
The present paper gives an account of part of the stage theory of early child development of the French theorist Henri Wallon (1879-1962). Unlike his contemporary Jean Piaget, Wallon concentrated his efforts upon a description of the child's emotional development and the role emotions play in establishing the bond between child and caregiver. The description of Wallon's stage theory is preceded by biographical information and a presentation of his methodological views. It is argued that Wallon's theory is unique in its focus, exerted influence upon theorists such as Lev Vygotsky, and is basically compatible with modern insights about the nature of child development and the growth of intersubjectivity.
Research on factors that can affect the accuracy of children's autobiographical remembering has important implications for understanding the abilities of young witnesses to provide legal testimony. In this article, we review our own recent research on one factor that has much potential to induce errors in children's event recall, namely natural memory sharing conversations with peers and parents. Our studies provide compelling evidence that not only can the content of conversations about the past intrude into later memory but that such exchanges can prompt the generation of entirely false narratives that are more detailed than true accounts of experienced events. Further, our work show that deeper and more creative participation in memory sharing dialogues can boost the damaging effects of conversationally conveyed misinformation. Implications of this collection of findings for children's testimony are discussed.
With IVF, fertilization and the first development of the embryo take place outside the mother's body. This has raised questions about the physical and psychological development of IVF children. Does IVF lead to an increased risk of congenital defects or to retardation in the cognitive and motor development in the child? Does parents' strong desire for a child lead to overprotection or exaggerated expectations? Does the unusual conception history result in a deviant parent–child relationship? In this review, various studies concerning these questions are analyzed. The conclusion, based on the studies to date, is that no serious problems have arisen concerning either the physical or the psychological development of IVF children. On the contrary, there are indications of superior parental competence and warmth.
There is a long-held assumption that objects help bridge the gap between what children know and what they can (or are willing to) explain. In this review, we present research on the extent to which two types of objects used as props in investigative interviews of children, anatomical dolls and body (human figure) diagrams, actually help children report accurate information about autobiographical events. We explain why available research does not instill confidence that props are the best solution to interviewing challenges, and we consider practitioners' and policy-makers responses to this evidence. Finally, we discuss the types of developmental research that are necessary to advance the field of evidence-based interviewing of children.
In this article we critique two prominent theories of reasoning-mental logic and mental models-and argue that reasoning does not consist of either applying logical rules or constructing mental models. Instead, we propose an operational semantic theory of reasoning, according to which reasoning is based on children's operational understanding of key terms in a given problem. We then go on to consider an important recent developmental theory of reasoning, fuzzy-trace theory. In order to illustrate the view of reasoning proposed here we report a study of class inclusion. Dramatic differences in class inclusion performance were found as the result of linguistic context; performance was significantly higher when an explicit request for a subclass comparison preceded the class inclusion question as compared to a standard condition when the class inclusion question alone was asked. This was the case, however, only when the prior subclass comparison question referred to the same dimensions as the class inclusion question and not when irrelevant subclasses were referred to. Children's performance was also better when they sorted the materials into the supraordinate class as compared to the subclasses, but not when the experimenter sorted them for the child. These effects due to the operational and linguistic manipulations are discussed in terms of a general operational semantic theory of reasoning.
A hoary assumption of the law is that children are more prone to false-memory reports than adults, and hence, their testimony is less reliable than adults'. Since the 1980s, that assumption has been buttressed by numerous studies that detected declines in false memory between early childhood and young adulthood under controlled conditions. Fuzzy-trace theory predicted reversals of this standard developmental pattern in circumstances that are directly relevant to testimony because they involve using the gist of experience to remember events. That prediction has been investigated during the past decade, and a large number of experiments have been published in which false memories have indeed been found to increase between early childhood and young adulthood. Further, experimentation has tied age increases in false memory to improvements in children's memory for semantic gist. According to current scientific evidence, the principle that children's testimony is necessarily more infected with false memories than adults' and that, other things being equal, juries should regard adult's testimony as necessarily more faithful to actual events is untenable.
We draw upon data from a prospective, longitudinal study to evaluate the role of typically occurring variations in early experience on development from birth to adulthood. Such an evaluation is complex for both methodological and conceptual reasons. Methodological issues include the need to control for both later experience and potentially confounding third variables, such as IQ or temperament. Conceptual complexity derives from the fact that the effects of early experience can be both direct and indirect, can interact with other factors, and because whether an effect is found depends on what early experience and what outcomes are assessed. Even direct effects are probabilistic and are more in evidence with cumulative than with single measures. Often early experience has its effect indirectly by initiating a chain of events, by altering the organism in some way, and/or by promoting the impact of later experience. We provide examples where early experience is moderated and mediated by other factors and where it shows latent effects following developmental change. We illustrate developmental processes through which early experience has its effect and conclude that despite the complexity of development variations in early experience retain a vital place in the study of development.
Compared to skilled adult readers, children typically make more fixations that are longer in duration, shorter saccades, and more regressions, thus reading more slowly (Blythe & Joseph, 2011). Recent attempts to understand the reasons for these differences have discovered some similarities (e.g., children and adults target their saccades similarly; Joseph, Liversedge, Blythe, White, & Rayner, 2009) and some differences (e.g., children's fixation durations are more affected by lexical variables; Blythe, Liversedge, Joseph, White, & Rayner, 2009) that have yet to be explained. In this article, the E-Z Reader model of eye-movement control in reading (Reichle, 2011; Reichle, Pollatsek, Fisher, & Rayner, 1998) is used to simulate various eye-movement phenomena in adults vs. children in order to evaluate hypotheses about the concurrent development of reading skill and eye-movement behavior. These simulations suggest that the primary difference between children and adults is their rate of lexical processing, and that different rates of (post-lexical) language processing may also contribute to some phenomena (e.g., children's slower detection of semantic anomalies; Joseph et al., 2008). The theoretical implications of this hypothesis are discussed, including possible alternative accounts of these developmental changes, how reading skill and eye movements change across the entire lifespan (e.g., college-aged vs. older readers), and individual differences in reading ability.
The EEG mu rhythm, recorded from scalp regions overlying the sensorimotor cortex, appears to exhibit mirroring properties: It is reactive when performing an action and when observing another perform the same action. Recently, there has been an exponential increase in developmental mu rhythm research, partially due to the mu rhythm's potential role in our understanding of others' actions as well as a variety of other social and cognitive processes (e.g., imitation, theory of mind, language). Unfortunately, various methodological issues impede integrating these findings into a comprehensive theory of mu rhythm development. The present manuscript provides a review of the infant mu rhythm literature while focusing on current methodological problems that impede between study comparisons. By highlighting these issues and providing an in depth description and analysis we aim to heighten awareness and propose guidelines (when possible) that will promote rigorous infant mu rhythm research and facilitate between study comparisons. This paper is intended as a resource for developmental scientists, regardless of EEG expertise.
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.
From Piaget to the present, traditional and dual-process theories have predicted improvement in reasoning from childhood to adulthood, and improvement has been observed. However, developmental reversals-that reasoning biases emerge with development -have also been observed in a growing list of paradigms. We explain how fuzzy-trace theory predicts both improvement and developmental reversals in reasoning and decision making. Drawing on research on logical and quantitative reasoning, as well as on risky decision making in the laboratory and in life, we illustrate how the same small set of theoretical principles apply to typical neurodevelopment, encompassing childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, and to neurological conditions such as autism and Alzheimer's disease. For example, framing effects-that risk preferences shift when the same decisions are phrases in terms of gains versus losses-emerge in early adolescence as gist-based intuition develops. In autistic individuals, who rely less on gist-based intuition and more on verbatim-based analysis, framing biases are attenuated (i.e., they outperform typically developing control subjects). In adults, simple manipulations based on fuzzy-trace theory can make framing effects appear and disappear depending on whether gist-based intuition or verbatim-based analysis is induced. These theoretical principles are summarized and integrated in a new mathematical model that specifies how dual modes of reasoning combine to produce predictable variability in performance. In particular, we show how the most popular and extensively studied model of decision making-prospect theory-can be derived from fuzzy-trace theory by combining analytical (verbatim-based) and intuitive (gist-based) processes.
There are few topics that are more important than risk and rational decision making, as the contributions to this special issue attest. If we contemplate the risks and consequences of smoking, substance use, reckless driving, violent crime, and unprotected sex, we cannot help but conjure up an image of the stereotypical, irrational risk taker: the adolescent. Statistics confirm that adolescents and young adults are disproportionately responsible for carnage on the highway, new cases of HIV/AIDS, initiation of poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and unhealthy eating, and a host of other risk-taking behaviors that pose challenges for the law, public health, clinical psychology, and public policy (Reyna & Farley, 2006). Therefore, it is not surprising that the articles contained in this issue on risk and rational decision making focus on adolescence, which had been neglected until the recent flurry of work on this time of life.
Although the focus is on adolescence, and on the developmental differences between adolescents and other age groups, the implications of this body of work are far-reaching. Each contributor has articulated a theoretical framework that is guiding the science of risky behavior in new directions, albeit from varied perspectives (e.g., emphasizing cognitive, social, emotional, public health, or behavioral neuroscience approaches). The discussant, a distinguished legal scholar, has ably integrated the papers and identified key theoretical and policy implications. Theories of adult behavior must take account of these perspectives or leave themselves open to the obvious criticisms that they are (a) incomplete because they ignore the origins of behavior and (b) irrelevant because they ignore major causes of death and human suffering. Thus, this special issue provides an authoritative review of developmental research on risk and rational decision making, with fundamental implications for theories of reasoning, judgment, and decision making, especially neurobiological and dual-process theories.
Mechanisms that lead depressive symptoms to undermine parenting are poorly understood. This review examines cognitive, affective, and motivational processes thought to be responsible for the impact of depressive symptoms on parenting. We present a five-step, action-control model and review 152 studies relevant to 13 regulatory processes. Evidence suggests that depressive symptoms undermine parenting because they reduce child-oriented goals, undermine attention to child input, increase negative appraisals of children and parenting competence, activate low-positive and high-negative emotion, and increase positive evaluations of coercive parenting. Yet, this review reveals significant limitations in knowledge of these processes. Evidence that they mediate depression-parenting relations is scare; important processes remain unstudied; conceptions of regulation are undifferentiated; children’s contributions are largely unexamined; moderating variables are largely unexplored; and methods fail to capture the dynamics of processing input from children. Rigorous testing of such process models holds promise for clarifying the basis of depression-related parenting problems.
The aim of this article is to provide an overview and discussion of the literature from various areas of psychology on adolescent goal content and pursuit since the publication of Nurmi’s review in 1991. Ninety-four studies were identified which incorporated a measure of adolescent goal content/processes. We explore and discuss the theories employed in these studies, methods of goal measurement, and the findings presented in the studies. Adolescent goal content and pursuit appear to be influenced by various sociodemographic and psychological factors. In turn, goal content, goal pursuit and (un)successful goal attainment are related to adolescent behavior, health and well-being. Limitations and suggestions for further research are discussed.
In this article we respond to van Hoof's (1999) critique of the identity status paradigm. Our review and evaluation of the existing data on identity statuses lead us to be more optimistic than van Hoof about the convergent and discriminant validity of identity status measures, especially objective measures that provide continuous status scores as well as nominal status classifications. Our review of longitudinal studies revealed that among university students tested annually 3 or more times, change in status classifications is significantly more likely to be observed than stability. Moreover, virtually all longitudinal studies with university students indicate that status changes are more likely to be progressive rather than regressive in terms of the hypothesized identity status developmental sequence. However, considerable status regression and fluctuation is observed and we agree with van Hoof that it may no longer be useful to postulate an invariant sequence of identity status stages. Nonetheless, the data do indicate reliable status differences in self-regulatory control processes including ego development, social-cognitive processing orientations, cognitive complexity, self-integration, moral development, and so on. Consequently, we conclude that a useful strategy, at least with university students, may be to focus on the social-cognitive processes that underpin identity statuses and to conceptualize these identity orientations as different styles of dealing with the demands, challenges, and opportunities afforded by institutionalized moratoria, such as a university context. Two lines of recent research inspired by this conceptualization are discussed.
A dynamic model of cognitive growth, proposed by van Geert, has been extended in three different directions. (A) A term has been added to take into account external driving forces, that is, exposure to material to be learned. (B) A method has been developed to apply the model to cross-sectional studies. (C) Using ideas of Item Response Theory, a procedure has been developed to use the model to scale tests of cognitive abilities that consist of questions of varying difficulty. The model we use is an attempt to understand cognitive growth as the result of two driving forces: namely, the autocatalytic force proposed by van Geert that is due to processes internal to the person, while the other force is an external force and due to exposure to the material to be learned. Using the model, it is possible to derive a distribution function, g(d;t), that gives the fraction of correct responses by examinees of age t to questions of difficulty d. The model is tested by fitting the theoretical distribution function with the observed distribution of scores obtained by the testing of a large group of children ages 2 to 15 years on a Stanford–Binet test.
This paper reviews and integrates research knowledge about the impact of different forms of child maltreatment-physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. Both the short-term impact on the child and the long-term impact on the adolescent and adult are considered. A developmental perspective guides the review. Research studies on these forms of child maltreatment which meet certain criteria (e.g., an appropriate comparison group) are reviewed with the aim of understanding how the experience of child abuse or neglect interferes with development at the time it is experienced and how it may affect the resolution of later developmental processes or tasks as the individual goes through adolescence and then adulthood. Evidence about the role of other mediating factors such as gender and other individual difference variables, characteristics of maltreatment, and family environment is also presented. Gaps in knowledge are noted, and recommendations are made for future research.
Previous etiological models of child abuse are reviewed, with particular emphasis on the current social interactional analysis. It is argued that while this model accounts for the documented correlates of abuse, it fails to provide a plausible mechanism for explaining the rapid acceleration from low- to high-intensity punitive behavior characteristic of abusive episodes. Drawing from research on interpersonal aggression by Berkowitz, Zillmann, and other social psychologists, a model is developed in which an arousal-mediated respondent component is added to the current instrumentally based punitive processes. Implications of this improved analysis for treatment and prevention are considered.
Teenage parenthood is believed to cause special problems for both the young mother and her children. In this review, individual differences in the expression of parenting by different-aged mothers are explored in light of two questions: How do parenting practices originate, and how do parental practices affect the young child's social, physical, and cognitive development? Approaches to the study of teenage pregnancy are considered. Then, the prevalence of teenage pregnancy is explored. Next, research on teenage parenting practices, on the likely antecedents of parenting practices, and on outcomes of teenage motherhood for the child is reviewed. Finally, problems in methodology and with the interpretation of findings about teenage parenting are discussed. Social and economic disadvantages and teenage parenting often cooccur; most studies have not separated out the relative effects of the two, making interpretation of the outcomes of teenage parenting difficult. In addition, most studies focus on the prototypic teenage mother (black, urban, poor, unmarried), making generalizations to other groups difficult. The major outcome findings may be summarized as follows. First, intellectual differences in children born to teenage and older childbearers become more pronounced as children develop. Small differences are seen in studies in the preschool years and larger differences are found by the elementary school years. Adolescents of early childbearers are not doing as well in school as adolescents of older childbearers. Second, behavior differences as a function of age of childbearing are more likely to be seen in the early years than intellectual differences. Problems appear in activity levels, hostility, and undercontrol of behavior. Third, boys are more affected by teenage childbearing than are girls, at least in the early years.
This review provides a comprehensive examination of the longitudinal research on the preschool prediction of later academic achievement. A total of 74 studies published from 1973 to 1986 are considered with respect to both their methodological features and their substantive findings. Effective predictors were found to span cognitive, verbal, and perceptual/perceptual-motor areas of functioning in the preschool child, as well as behavioral and demographic factors. Predictive relationships varied according to the specific area of criterion performance assessed and the grade level when evaluated, and also in terms of when the initial testing was obtained. Overall, the research has succeeded in identifying a general set of preschool measures that should allow a gross discrimination of children who are likely to fall at the extremes of academic ability in early elementary school grades. More attention must be given to selected methodological issues if better discrimination is to be achieved. These are outlined, and the incorporation of a theoretical framework based on neurodevelopmental concepts is discussed.
This paper provides a review and an integration of findings on the effects of parenting styles and maternal employment on children′s academic achievement. A model is presented in which it is argued that maternal employment status has little, if any, direct effect on children′s academic achievement. Instead, maternal employment is hypothesized to affect parenting styles which in turn affect children′s academic achievement. Parenting style is thus seen as mediating the effect of maternal employment on children′s academic achievement. The parenting-styles-as-mediator approach can account for some of the inconsistencies in the maternal employment literature. It is concluded that researchers interested in the effect of maternal employment should pay more attention to parenting styles and employ multivariate designs to assess moderating variables.
Early acceleration of students in mathematics (in the form of early access to formal abstract algebra) has been a controversial educational issue. The current study examined the rate of growth in mathematics achievement of accelerated gifted, honors, and regular students across the entire secondary years (Grades 7–12), in comparison to their non-accelerated counterparts. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, hierarchical linear models showed that early acceleration had little advantage among gifted students, small advantage among honors students, but large advantage among regular students. Equity issues, especially gender, racial, and socioeconomic equities, are not a concern once regular students were accelerated, but there are serious concerns about racial gaps among honors students and both gender and racial gaps among gifted students once they were accelerated. Schools played an important role in early acceleration, with school context rather than school climate affecting accelerated students. Students, particularly regular students, having high achievement and attending schools with high average achievement were advantageous in early acceleration. Overall, early acceleration of students in mathematics benefits regular students significantly in terms of growth in mathematics achievement.
Student religious groups often request permission to meet on public school property on the same basis as other voluntary student groups. Are schools required, permitted, or forbidden to allow this? Excluding voluntary religious groups infringes on students' First Amendment freedoms of religion, expression, and association; permitting religious meetings, however, may be perceived as government endorsement of religion and thus may also violate the First Amendment. At the core of this legal dilemma is an empirical question: At what age are students mature enough to distinguish voluntary student groups from required or school-endorsed activities? Research on the development of reasoning suggests that adolescents can generally grasp abstract distinctions of this sort but children under age 11 or 12 typically cannot. It is proposed that public secondary schools should be required to allow equal access for student religious groups but that public elementary schools are constitutionally forbidden to do so. Further research is necessary, however, to evaluate this tentative conclusion more directly. Additional discussion addresses broader considerations regarding the psychological meaning of religious neutrality and the use of empirical evidence in resolving legal issues.
We concur withMoshman (1990) that in public high schools there should be unimpeded religious freedom if an empirical assessment shows students have the proficiency to evaluate and freely choose religious systems and practices and to discern attempts by authorities to establish a religion. We differ with Moshman,however, regarding (a) the relative importance of a school's ethical, moral and political climate in influencing the exercise of free religious and political choice; (b) his focus on religious over political freedoms; (c) what kinds of proficiencies need to be assessed; (d) how to assess these proficiencies; (e) his claim that that the reasoning ability of high school and college students is similar; and (f) the manner in which decisions permitting religious clubs in high schools should be made. Reasoning proficiency must be assessed in high school, as well as post-high school, populations of students, teachers, and administrators using a social perspective-taking task with establishment of a religion content. A school's institutional atmosphere must be assessed.
Historically, infants and very young children were thought incapable of explicit memory. As a result of changes in theoretical perspective and methodological developments, this assumption was challenged in the latter part of the 20th century. Substantial progress was made in describing age-related changes in explicit memory in the first two years of life. These developments permitted the first steps toward construction of a neuro-developmental account of the changes. By considering the timing and course of development of the neural substrate responsible for explicit memory we are able to bring greater specificity to the question “what develops?” Thus far, behavioral and electrophysiological methods (event-related potentials: ERPs) have revealed both individual and age-related variability in encoding and in consolidation and storage processes; the variability is systematically related to variability in long-term explicit memory. Suggestions are made for additional research to further our understanding of relations between brain and behavioral development in the first years of life.
Conditional (if-then) reasoning is one of the key components of logical reasoning. Studies examining the way that children and adults make conditional inferences have shown that while there are some clear developmental patterns, there is also a great deal of variation in performance due to factors such as problem content. Such variation is difficult to model without an explicit process model. In the following we propose a variant of mental model theory (Johnson-Laird, 1983) that can explain much of the empirical data. This model suggests that the development of conditional reasoning can be explained, at least partly, by such factors as the capacity of working memory, the range of knowledge available to a reasoner and his/her ability to access this knowledge on-line.
Identifying the sources of memories (e.g., who carried out an action, whether an event happened or was suggested, and when an instance of a repeated event occurred) is an important skill in providing accurate accounts of events in forensic investigations. Sensitivity to the nature and development of children’s source-monitoring skills can inform interviewing practices. Five perspectives addressing alternate aspects of the development of children’s source monitoring are outlined (source-monitoring theory, fuzzy-trace theory, schema theory, the person-based perspective, and the mental-state reasoning model). Six main areas of empirical research stemming from these theories are then discussed with emphasis on how the findings relate to the forensic arena: the similarity of sources, the identity of the agent, prospective processing, the relation of source monitoring to other cognitive skills, metacognitive understanding, and the stringency of source-monitoring decisions. The research reviewed is used to address two main applications to forensic investigations: (a) expectations of child witnesses and (b) interviewing protocols.
We sought to boost school achievement by creating an intervention that would develop practical intelligence for school in middle-school students. Researchers worked with teachers in Connecticut and Massachusetts schools over a 2-year period. Teachers were trained to deliver a five-part program developed to inculcate practical intelligence by emphasizing five sources of metacognitive awareness: knowing why, knowing self, knowing differences, knowing process, and revisiting. A broad range of assessments was administered in a pre–post design both to the children receiving the practical intelligence program and to matched control children. We found that the program successfully enhanced both practical and academic skills in each of the target skill areas (reading, writing, homework, and test-taking) in children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds attending diverse types of schools. These results are discussed in terms of the acquisition of cognitive and metacognitive insights during adolescence and the promise such insights hold for enhancing adolescent achievement over and above traditional g-based approaches to learning. Finally, we discuss trade-offs between ecologically based and laboratory-based interventions.
In this article we present a theoretical analysis of the nature and development of children's achievement task values. Our approach builds on traditional expectancy-value theory and also on a model of achievement choice developed by Eccles and her colleagues. We discuss different theoretical components of achievement values and present empirical evidence for these components. Existing work on how children's achievement values change across the elementary and secondary school years is reviewed, and hypotheses are provided for how the components of achievement values become differentiated across the school years. We discuss the work on achievement goals from the perspective of how children's achievement values could influence their goals. Suggestions are made for revising and expanding Eccles and her colleagues' expectancy-value model of achievement choice.
Although outstanding creativity has been viewed as an acquired expertise, creative development might operate differently than occurs in sports, games, and music performance. To test the creative-expertise hypothesis, the careers of 59 classical composers were examined according to the differential aesthetic success of their 911 operas. The potential predictors were seven measures of domain-relevant experience: cumulative years (since first operas, first compositions, and first lessons) and cumulative products (genre-specific operas, all operas, all vocal compositions, and all compositions). The nonmonotonic longitudinal trends and the relative explanatory power of the expertise-acquisition measures indicate that complex specialization (“overtraining”) and versatility (“cross-training”) effects may determine creative development across the life span. The broader implications of the findings are then discussed.
A theory of knowledge acquisition in the development of verbal concepts is presented. The theory is divided into three subtheories. The first specifies the information processes asserted to be central to the development of verbal concepts. The second subtheory specifies the informational cues upon which these processes operate. The third subtheory specifies variables that moderate the use of the proposed processes on the proposed cues. Each of these subtheories is described, and it is shown how the subtheories apply to the acquisition of verbal concepts. Following this description, a model of mental representation is described and proposed as the model that is built up by the knowledge-acquisition processes posited by the theory. Then, the loci of development in the theory are discussed. Finally, the theory is briefly compared to other theories, and some conclusions about acquisition of verbal knowledge are drawn.
It is suggested that the dominance of observational methods in child language research with very young children has limited progress in understanding the language acquisition process. Evidence is presented that, contrary to popular belief, naturalistic methods do not guarantee ecological validity, nor are they free of task biases. Furthermore, observational studies do not necessarily provide better measures of linguistic competence than do more structured methods. Instead, it is argued that new insights from cognitive developmental research are applicable in studying language production in children younger than 3 years. A number of structured techniques are reviewed that have been used or could be used to study language production. It is concluded that a combination of methods is necessary in order to disentangle and control the many variables that enter into the language acquisition process.
This paper traces the development of manual manipulative ability in the infant's interaction with objects. Using both observations and archival data, it identifies a sequence of 10 stages and argues that at each stage, the responsiveness potential of objects is determined (and limited) by the infant's current manual manipulative ability. As this ability develops, the infant learns new patterns of manipulation that allow it to expand its realms of perceived control. The acquisition of perceptions of control over objects emerges via the infant's experience of contingent responses to its manual manipulation of objects. Responsiveness is not viewed as a characteristic that is intrinsic to the object but as a potential that depends on the infant's stage of manual manipulation. The sequence of stages of manual manipulation, which has not been previously identified, underlies the infant's changing pattern of interest in manipulable objects in the first year.
The conventional view among developmental psychologists is that television viewing does not contribute to a young viewer's language acquisition. That assumption is challenged. Evidence is presented that suggests that children can learn about language as they view television: (1) From age 2, children attend to television and view in an active, purposeful manner. (2) Some programs present dialogue in an attention-getting, content-redundant context. (3) Children can learn word meanings when viewing. (4) Children draw upon television as a source of verbal routines for their own play interactions.
Although it is generally acknowledged that decrements in long-term memory play an important role in the decline of everyday cognitive functioning in adulthood, problems have arisen in localizing the source of these memory deficits. In this article we address three of the methodological and measurement issues that have led to difficulties in interpreting research on adulthood developmental differences in acquisition and long-term retention. Specifically, these issues are stages-of-learning confounds, failures to separate storage and retrieval processes, and failures to separate forgetting from other factors that influence long-term retention tests. A general framework is presented in which each of these problems is dealt with. This model is subsequently applied to an experiment that examined the acquisition and long-term retention of pictures and words in associative memory in both young and old adults. The major findings were that (a) the picture-word manipulation had asymmetrical effects on acquisition and retention, (b) these asymmetries were different for the young and old adults, and (c) the locus (storage/retrieval) of age differences was different at acquisition than at retention. These results strongly suggest that the rules governing acquisition and forgetting are different, not only within age groups, but also across developmental levels in adulthood. More importantly, because the locus of developmental differences was different for acquisition and forgetting, it may be that different mechanisms underly the processing deficits experienced by the elderly when acquiring information than when trying to retain that information over extended periods of time.
Developmental psychologists traditionally have conceived of childhood primarily as a time of positive change, or gain, and old age primarily as a time of negative change, or loss. Life-span developmental psychologists recently have challenged these assumptions, asserting that gains and losses are ubiquitous across the life span. While generally supporting this assertion, we suggest that the relation between developmental gains and losses needs to be considered in more depth. Even life-span developmentalists seem to have assumed that gains and losses are causally related, and that the direction of causality is determined by age. In this paper, we review previous considerations of gains and losses. Then, we show that losses during early life are not necessarily responses to gains, and that gains during later life are not necessarily responses to losses. Finally we suggest criteria and methods for assessing four alternative models (unrelated phenomenon, spurious phenomenon, suppression, and compensation) relevant to the causality and directionality of the relation between developmental gains and losses.
In this paper we review current definitions and measurement approaches used to assess individual differences in children’s temperament. We review the neural bases of temperamental reactivity and self-regulation and propose that these constructs provide a framework for examining individual differences and developmental change in emotion–cognition interactions across development. Studies are reviewed in which some well-documented contextual effects on the expression of temperament can be interpreted in terms of the influence of biological and non-biological factors on CNS functioning. We conclude with ideas regarding future directions for the study of individual differences and developmental change in cognition–emotion interactions as they are shaped throughout development.