We examined the relative contribution of decoding, topic knowledge, and strategic processing to the comprehension of social science text in a sample of Norwegian junior high school students. Additionally, we examined the interaction of topic knowledge with strategic processing on students' text comprehension, and whether poor word-level skill could be effectively compensated for by higher-level processing involving knowledge or strategies. Multiple regression analysis indicated that students' prior knowledge about the topic of the text contributed most to their comprehension. Students' reported use of organization and monitoring strategies contributed less but still significantly to text comprehension, as did their word decoding skills. However, no interaction between topic knowledge and strategic processing was found. Analyses of variance and post-hoc comparison tests, supplemented by a descriptive analysis, suggested that the coexistence of poor decoding skill and good text comprehension may be related to much topic knowledge, good strategy use, or both.
The fundamental premise of this paper is that subjects deal with stimulus information when performing psychophysical judgments. The coding strategy employed to manipulate this information depends upon the particular experimental procedure, which leads to unique psychophysical functions. Different methods impose different memory constraints upon the subject, thus producing a variety of sensitivity measures for the same stimulus attribute.
Ekornås, B., Lundervold, A. J., Tjus, T. & Heimann, M. (2010). Anxiety disorders in 8–11-year-old children: Motor skill performance and self-perception of competence. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 51, 271–277.
This study investigates motor skill performance and self-perceived competence in children with anxiety disorders compared with children without psychiatric disorders. Motor skills and self-perception were assessed in 329 children aged 8 to 11 years, from the Bergen Child Study. The Kiddie-SADS PL diagnostic interview was employed to define a group of children with an anxiety disorder without comorbid diagnosis, and a control group (no diagnosis) matched according to gender, age, and full-scale IQ. Children in the anxiety disorder group displayed impaired motor skills and poor self-perceived peer acceptance and physical competence compared with the control group. Two-thirds of the anxious boys scored on the Motor Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) as having motor problems. The present study demonstrated impaired motor skills in boys with “pure” anxiety disorders. Anxious children also perceived themselves as being less accepted by peers and less competent in physical activities compared with children in the control group.
The aim of this paper was to investigate whether psychosocial functioning in adulthood (e.g., friends support, cohabitation, community connectedness and work satisfaction) could be predicted by mental health, subjective well-being, social relations and behavior problems in adolescence, and whether gender was a moderator in these associations. Data were obtained from a major population-based Norwegian study, the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT), in which 517 men and 819 women completed an extensive self-report questionnaires at baseline (mean age 14.4 years) and at follow-up (mean age 26.9 years). Community connectedness as well as work satisfaction were predicted by subjective well-being. Cohabitation was predicted by male gender and frequency of meeting friends in adolescence, and friends support was predicted by frequency of meeting friends. Gender had a minor effect as a moderator. Frequency of meeting friends and subjective well-being seemed to be the strongest adolescent predictors of psychosocial functioning in young adulthood. These findings may have implications both for prevention and intervention in adolescence, as well as for future research.
The cohort in the present longitudinal research program consisted of 873 children in an entire school grade, in a Swedish community. The present results showed a main effect of birth weight; low birth weight (LBW) children had lower school performance and intelligence-test (IQ) scores at age 13 than did normal birth weight (NBW) children irrespective of parental SES. Second, there was no significant main effect of gestational age (GA) on scholastic performance and IQ-test scores. Third, there was a significant main effect of the combination of birth weight and GA on scholastic performance and IQ-test scores. The LBW children born at term (38-40 pregnancy weeks; pw) had significantly lower scores and school grades as compared to the control group while the LBW children born with short gestational age (34-37 pw) and with very short gestational age (less than 34 pw) had significantly lower scores and marks in fewer areas of academic attainment.
This study examined whether offspring's perception of parental frequency of alcohol use and restrictiveness towards offspring's alcohol use could be used as a substitute for parental self-reports. Offspring's perception were compared with parents' self-reported alcohol use and restrictiveness in ability to predict offspring's own alcohol use. Respondents were 924 offspring, 642 fathers and 729 mothers. Correlations between fathers' and mothers' self-reported frequency of drinking alcohol and offspring's report of parental frequency of drinking alcohol ranged from 0.55 to 0.70. Fathers' and mothers' self-reported alcohol use and restrictiveness explained less than two per cent of the variance in their offspring's alcohol use in regression analyses, while offspring's perception of parental drinking frequency and restrictiveness explained about eight per cent of the variance in offspring's alcohol use. These results represent a challenge to studies of young adolescents which interpret offspring's reports of parents' alcohol use as a surrogate measure of parents' self-reported alcohol use.
An adaptation of a Norwegian modified short version of Christiansen & Goldman's Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire for Adolescents (AEQ-A) was examined in this survey. Subjects were 924 Norwegian seventh graders, with an average age of 13.3 years. From the original 90 items, 27 items representing all seven original scales were used in this study. Factor analysis did not create any preferred new factor solution compared to Christiansen & Goldman's original factors. Internal consistency of the seven AEQ-A scales ranged from 0.37 to 0.72 on Cronbach's alpha. All seven AEQ-A scales correlated significantly with self-reported alcohol use as was expected, and this study also replicated the relative importance of the social enhancement scale. This was the first study using AEQ-A in a non-English-speaking culture. The generalizability of alcohol outcome expectancies was strongly supported.
The present study indicates that the Norwegian version of AEQ-A possesses a level of concurrent validity and internal reliability that is acceptable compared to the original scales, and can serve as a useful instrument in behavioral research on alcohol use among Norwegian adolescents in the years to come.
Viborg, N., Wångby-Lundh, M., Lundh, L.-G. & Johnsson P. (2012). Eating-related problems among 13-15 year old Swedish adolescents: Frequency and stability over a one-year period. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 401–406.
The frequency of eating-related problems in young adolescents, and their stability over a one-year period, was studied by the RiBED-8 (Risk Behaviours related to Eating Disorders, 8 items) in a community sample of 13–15 year old adolescents who took part in a prospective study with a 2-wave longitudinal design. The RiBED-8 was found to have good reliability and construct validity among the girls, although it did not show equally convincing psychometric properties among boys. With a cut-off of at least three critical answers on the RiBED-8, 28.5–31.0% of the girls were seen as risk cases for the development of eating disorder. Of those girls who were risk cases at Time 1, a majority (68.8%) remained so at Time 2; of those girls who were not risk cases at Time 1, 16.1% became risk cases at Time 2. It is suggested that the RiBED-8 is a brief, easily administered instrument that may be potentially useful in screening for eating-related problems among girls.
Härnqvist, K. Relative changes in intelligence from 13 to 18. I. Background and methodology. Scand. J. Psychol., 1968, 9, 50–64.—A ten-percent sample of the Swedish school population born in 1948 took an intelligence test at the age of 13. The male part was tested again at 18 in connection with enrolment for military service in 1966. Complete test scores are available for 4616 men. The data were used to investigate relative changes in intelligence connected with differences in education and home background. In this report the theoretical and statistical bases for such comparisons are analyzed. In part II the results are reported.
The psychometric properties of the Swedish self-report version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ-s), and the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems as measured by the SDQ-s, were studied in 14 to 15-year-old adolescents. The psychometric properties were found to be similar to those found in other language versions, in terms of similar factor structure and acceptable test-retest stability, but low internal consistencies for some of the subscales. There was evidence of good convergent and discriminant validity. The results with regard to gender differences replicated previous findings in other countries, the girls reporting more emotional symptoms and more prosocial behavior, and the boys reporting more conduct problems and tending to report more peer problems. It is concluded that the results are in favor of using the Swedish SDQ-s as a screening instrument for adolescents, despite the low internal consistencies of some of its subscales.
Heimann, M., Nordqvist, E., Rudner, M., Johansson, M. & Lindgren M. (2013). Associative learning measured with ERP predicts deferred imitation using a strict observation only design in 14 to15 month old children. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 54, 33–40.
Deferred imitation (DI) is an established procedure for behavioral measurement of early declarative-like memories in infancy and previous work has indicated a link between this type of memory and brain potentials in infants. The present study compared infants’ memory performance in this paradigm with electrophysiological indices of associative learning. Thirty children (M = 14.5 months) participated, of which 15 (8 boys) had acceptable event-related potentials (ERP) recordings that could be included in the final analysis. Deferred imitation was measured with an observation-only procedure using three actions and a 30 min delay. ERP was recorded with a high-density electrode net (128 electrodes) during associative learning. Change scores based on Nc, a middle latency component associated with attentional processes, predicted deferred imitation performance. Thus, associative learning measured with ERP predicts deferred imitation using a strict observation only design in 14 to15 month old children.
The objective of the paper is to explore bottom-up auditory and top-down cognitive processing abilities as part of long-term outcome assessment of preterm birth. Fifty-five adolescents (age 13-15) born with very low birth weight (VLBW) were compared to 80 matched controls born to term, using three consonant-vowel dichotic listening (DL) instruction conditions (non-forced, forced-right and forced-left). DL scores were correlated with cortical gray matter thickness derived from T1-weighted structural MRI volumes using FreeSurfer to examine group differences also in the neural correlates of higher cognitive processes. While showing normal bottom-up processing, VLBW adolescents displayed impaired top-down controlled conflict processing related to significant cortical thickness differences in left superior temporal gryus and anterior cingulate cortex. Preterm birth with VLBW induces fundamental changes in brain function and structure posing a risk for long-term neurocognitive impairments. Deficits emerge in situations of increasing cognitive conflict and can be related to measures of executive functions as well as morphology.
There is evidence that young people are at high risk of developing gambling disorders. The prevalence and correlates of gambling among youth therefore merit closer study. During spring 2004, a sample of 1,351 boys and girls (aged 16-19 years) from 151 high-school classes (clusters) participated in an internet survey about gambling. The response rate was 69.8%. The instruments used in the survey were the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and the Massachusetts Adolescent Gambling Screen, in addition to questions about demography. Controlling for the design effect, the estimated prevalence rate was 2.5% for pathological gambling and 1.9% for problem gambling. In all, 7.3% of the boys and 0.6% of the girls fulfilled the criteria for pathological or problem gambling. The results of item analysis of the DSM-IV subscale of MAGS provide support for differential item functioning between boys and girls. A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that gender (male: OR = 9.09), depression (OR = 9.23), alcohol abuse (OR = 3.62), and dissociation (OR = 1.96) were related to problem and pathological gambling. These results support the view that gambling disorders are best understood as part of an addictive behavior spectrum (Jacobs, 2000).
To describe the development of words and sentences in Swedish children 16-28 months old, 900 parental reports on 336 children were analyzed. Subjects were randomly selected from the national birth register, and there was a response rate of 88%. The assessments were made using the Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory—words and sentences (SECDI—w&s).
Age-based norms for productive vocabulary, pragmatic skills, grammar skills, and maximum length of utterance (MaxLU) were determined. We describe the development of feedback morphemes, semantic categories, and single words and tasks. Correlation across measures was significant, and especially strong between vocabulary size and grammar skills. Optimized positive predictive values were high for 25 to 28 month predictions (71%-88%), and vocabulary scores were found to be of particular predictive importance. No significant gender differences were detected. The clinical relevance of the instrument is discussed.
A Danish translation of the Cattell's 16PF has been used in studies evaluating the effects of prenatal drug exposure. This paper reports a psychometric analysis of the 16PF and Eysenck's EPQ based on a sample of 558 young Danes. Many 16PF scales had unacceptable psychometric properties (as indicated by coefficient alpha and item--total score correlations), but more satisfactory results were obtained with the EPQ N and E scales. A factor analysis of all 16PF and EPQ scales suggested a six factor solution that roughly corresponds to the second-order factor structure obtained by Krug and Johns (1986). It is concluded that the second-order factor structure should be the basis of interpretation of the 16PF in both practical and research contexts.
The use of the Internet has increased considerably during the last few years, and there are also some clinical observations that some people 'get hooked', and develop an Internet addiction. An epidemiological study was performed in a representative sample of the Norwegian youth population (N= 3,237; response rate 45.2%). The proportion not using Internet was only 4.9%, while 35.8% were non-frequent users, and 49.6% (1,591) were frequent (weekly) users. They used the Internet on the mean 4.3 hours a week. A mean of 1.98% (boys 2.42%, girls 1.51%) could be described as having an 'Internet addiction' according to the criteria in the Diagnostic Questionnaire of Young (1998), and an additional 8.68% (in sum 10.66) were considered to have an at-risk Internet use (boys 9.21%, girls 8.13%). If these proportions were calculated on individuals who used the Internet frequently, 4.02% fulfilled 5 criteria, and an additional 17.66% 3-4 criteria, giving quite high figures of problematic Internet use (in sum 21.68). The different diagnostic criteria gave a broad range of affirmative answers (from 0.4% to 27.9%). The results have important implications for further studies of prevalence, implementation of preventive measures, and the development of treatment approaches for Internet addiction.
Variation in communicative skills, defined as gestures, vocabulary comprehension and vocabulary production, was examined as a function of gender, birth order, childcare and socioeconomic status (SES) in 1,019 18-month-old children. The children were recruited at their regular check-up at a number of randomly selected Child Health Care centers in a Swedish county. The participation rate was 88%. The children were assessed by their mothers using a short version of the Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventories. The results demonstrate significant effects of gender and birth order on vocabulary comprehension and vocabulary production. Girls scored higher than boys and first-born children scored higher than later-born children. Type of childcare (family care, care at home and day-care centers) interacted with gender and birth order on vocabulary production and indicated that family care is not as advantageous as care at home or at day-care centers. SES had no effect on children's communicative skills at this age.
Twenty-three empirical studies published between 1978 and 2000 on nonclinical children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers were reviewed (one Belgian/Dutch, one Danish, three British, and 18 North American). Twenty reported on offspring of lesbian mothers, and three on offspring of gay fathers. The studies encompassed a total of 615 offspring (age range 1.5-44 years) of lesbian mothers or gay fathers and 387 controls, who were assessed by psychological tests, questionnaires or interviews. Seven types of outcomes were found to be typical: emotional functioning, sexual preference, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, and cognitive functioning. Children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not systematically differ from other children on any of the outcomes. The studies indicate that children raised by lesbian women do not experience adverse outcomes compared with other children. The same holds for children raised by gay men, but more studies should be done.
This paper presents Icelandic norms for the widely used pictorial stimuli of Snodgrass and Vanderwart (1980). Norms are presented for name agreement, familiarity, imageability, rated and objective age-of-acquisition (AoA) of vocabulary, and word frequency. The ratings were collected from 103 adult participants while the objective AoA values were collected from 279 children, 2.5-11 years of age. The present norms are in many respects similar to those already collected for other language groups indicating that the stimuli will be useful for further psychological studies in Iceland. The rated AoA values show a high correlation with objective AoA (r = 0.718) thus confirming previous studies conducted with English speaking participants that rated AoA is a relatively valid measure of objective AoA. However, word frequency and familiarity are more closely correlated with rated AoA than with objective AoA indicating that these factors play some role in the ratings. Objective AoA norms are therefore to be preferred in studies of cognitive processes.
The purpose of the study was to investigate cultural changes in a Norwegian airline company over a time span of 10 years. A questionnaire including parameters characterizing culture was administered to air crews in 1986 (n = 137) and in 1996 (n = 50). The performance part of a simulator study in 1996 indicated a significant reduction in operational failures compared with the 1986 study. The data further demonstrated significant changes in cultural variables, such as reduced Dominance and Masculinity, and improved Social climate and Communication. The direction of change in scores on the cultural variables corresponded with the principles on which the remedial actions were based.