Timo Ahonen

Timo Ahonen
University of Jyväskylä | JYU · Department of Psychology

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143
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (143)
Article
We examined whether learning experiences (value of success, mastery experience) and task properties (challenge) are related to early adolescents’ (n = 190, median age = 12) emotional responses and psychophysiological states (autonomic nervous system, ANS) in achievement situations in an ambulatory laboratory. They completed four achievement tasks (...
Article
Studies have found math anxiety and achievement to be related from the beginning of formal schooling, but the knowledge regarding the direction of the relationship is vague. The purpose of the present study was to study this relationship. We investigated math anxiety from two points of view: trait and state anxiety. In the first substudy, we invest...
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Our purpose was to study the frequency of behavioral-emotional problems among children identified with a learning disability (LD). The data comprised 579 Finnish children (8–15 years) with reading disability (RD-only), math disability (MD-only), or both (RDMD) assessed at a specialized clinic between 1985 and 2017. We analyzed percentages of childr...
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This paper reviews the observations of the Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia (JLD). The JLD is a prospective family risk study in which the development of children with familial risk for dyslexia (N = 108) due to parental dyslexia and controls without dyslexia risk (N = 92) were followed from birth to adulthood. The JLD revealed that the lik...
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A youth’s ability to adapt during educational transitions has long-term, positive impacts on their academic achievement and mental health. Although supportive relationships with parents, peers, and teachers are protective factors associated with successful educational transitions, little is known about the reciprocal link between the quality of the...
Article
This study aimed to examine associations between motivation, emotion, and task performance in simulated achievement situations. A group of sixth grade students (n = 190) completed an achievement task. Situational information on task value, success expectations, emotions, effort, task performance, and causal attributions was collected and informatio...
Article
This study examined the role of learning difficulties in academic emotions and achievement across the transition to lower secondary school among 848 Finnish adolescents. Reading difficulties (RD) and math difficulties (MD) were identified based on test scores in Grade 6 and 7. Students with difficulties were identified as having resolving, emerging...
Article
Background: Academic buoyancy refers to students' ability to come through ordinary challenges they face in the academic context, and it can positively contribute to students' beliefs and behaviours in learning situations. Although buoyancy has been found to be related to positive academic outcomes, previous studies have not examined how buoyancy i...
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Background: Early identification of children with motor difficulties, such as developmental coordination disorder (DCD), is essential. At present only a fraction of children with DCD are identified. The purpose of the study was to systematically review the literature from 1994 to 2017 on observational screening tools and to evaluate the validity,...
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The aim of this study was to examine the situational associations of reading-related task values and efficacy beliefs with achievement emotions, and whether these associations are moderated by reading difficulties (RD). The sample comprised 128 Finnish sixth-grade students (66 with no reading difficulties [No RD], 31 with mild reading difficulties...
Article
Cognitive assessment in natural group settings facilitates data collection, but poses threats to the validity. In this study, tablet‐based WM tasks, the Counting Span and Reading Span were used in predicting 12‐year‐old children's (N=837) scholastic skills and fluid intelligence in a classroom with environmental noise. WM tasks had excellent intern...
Article
The present study examined to what extent sixth-grade students’ academic buoyancy and temperament contributed to their school-related stress. A total of 845 students rated their school-related stress at the beginning and end of the school year and their academic buoyancy at the beginning of the year. Parents rated students’ effortful control and ne...
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The purpose of this study is to examine differences in parenting styles between mothers of children with type 1 diabetes and mothers of healthy children and to explore relationships between parenting styles and glycemic control of children with diabetes. Mothers of 63 children with diabetes and mothers of 83 children without diabetes reported their...
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This follow-up study aimed at a better understanding of the associations of reading disability (RD) with adult-age psychosocial well-being. We compared adult-age psychosocial well-being in 48 individuals (20–39 years) with documented childhood RD but without comorbid disabilities to 37 matched controls. The associations of psychosocial well-being w...
Article
This study examined the role of adolescents' (n = 190) temperament in their emotional reactions in achievement situations. Adolescents rated their temperament (i.e., surgency/extraversion, negative affectivity, effortful control) and completed achievement tasks in Grade 6. They also reported their emotions before and during challenging and non-chal...
Article
We developed a computerized audiovisual training programme for school-aged children with specific language impairment (SLI) to improve their phonological skills. The programme included various tasks requiring phonological decisions. Spoken words, pictures, letters and written syllables were used as training material. Spoken words were presented eit...
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Shyness, feelings of uneasiness or hesitation when faced with a novel or unfamiliar social situation, in early childhood has been found to be a risk factor for social difficulties later in life. When combined with fitting parenting, however, outcomes of shyness can be less detrimental. The present study examined the joint effects of children’s shyn...
Article
We studied the impact of diverse subtypes of learning disabilities (LD) on adult-age mental health, education, and employment by comparing the LD group (n = 430) with a matched control group without a known history of LD (n = 2,149). The clinical archived data were merged with lifelong register data on sickness allowances/disability pensions grante...
Article
We investigated the associations of cardiometabolic risk factors with academic achievement and whether motor performance, cardiorespiratory fitness, physical activity, or sedentary behaviour mediated these associations. Altogether 175 children 6–8 years-of-age participated in the study. We assessed body fat percentage (BF%), waist circumference, in...
Article
We examined the prevalence of comorbidity of dysfluent reading and math skills longitudinally in a representative sample (N = 1,928) and the stability of comorbid and single difficulties from first to fourth grades. The findings indicated that half the children who showed very low performance in one skill also evidenced low or very low performance...
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PurposePoor diet quality may impair academic achievement in children, but such evidence is limited. Therefore, we investigated the associations of healthy diet in Grade 1 assessed by Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS), Baltic Sea Diet Score (BSDS), and Finnish Children Healthy Eating Index (FCHEI) with academic achievement in Grades 1–3 in children. Me...
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The present study examined adolescents’ and mothers’ temperament types and their roles in the socioemotional functioning of early adolescents. A total of 869 sixth-grade students and 668 mothers participated in the study. The students rated their temperament and socioemotional functioning and the mothers rated their own temperament. Latent profile...
Article
The present study examined gender gap in Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) Reading and mediators of the gender gap in a Finnish sample (n = 1,309). We examined whether the gender gap in PISA Reading performance can be understood via the effects of reading fluency, achievement behaviour (mastery orientation and task-avoidant behavi...
Book
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Varhaiskasvatukseen keskittyvän valtakunnallisen Ilo kasvaa liikkuen -ohjelman kehittelytyössä tehtiin aloite Varhaiskasvatuksen liikunnan suositusten (Sosiaali- ja terveysministeriön oppaita 2005:17) päivittämisestä. Päivittämisen lähtökohtana oli erityisesti uusimman tutkimusperustaisen tieteellisen tiedon kokoaminen ja niiden pohjalta varhaisvuo...
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This study explored the double-deficit hypothesis (DDH) in a transparent orthography (Finnish) and extended the view from reading disabilities to comorbidity of learning-related problems in math and attention. Children referred for evaluation of learning disabilities in second through sixth grade (N = 205) were divided into four groups based on rap...
Article
This study examined the role of temperament, prereading skills, and age at school entry in the development of Finnish children's task avoidance. Teachers rated the task-avoidant behavior of 198 participants in kindergarten and twice in Grades 2 and 3. Parents rated the children's temperament at age 3 and children's prereading skills were measured a...
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We examined the associations between 5-year-old children's private speech, behavioural self-regulation, and cognitive abilities. Behavioural self-regulation was assessed using parental and preschool teacher questionnaires. Cognitive abilities (i.e., language, inhibition, planning and fluency, and memory) were assessed with neurocognitive tests, and...
Conference Paper
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Aim: Despite the fact that DCD is so common, teachers lack tools to identify children who have motor learning problems. The Motor Observation Questionnaire for Teachers (MOQ-T) is an observational questionnaire for teachers developed in the Netherlands. The culture and language adaptation into Finnish was carried out and psychometric properties of...
Article
Few studies have focused on the psychological adjustment of pre-adolescent children with type 1 diabetes. This study examined psychosocial functioning in nine and 10-year-old children with early-onset type 1 diabetes, and their mothers, and associations between psychosocial functioning and diabetes management. The mothers of 63 children with early-...
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GraphoGame (GG) is originally a technology-based intervention method for supporting children with reading difficulties. It is now known that children who face problems in reading acquisition have difficulties in learning to differentiate and manipulate speech sounds and consequently, in connecting these sounds to corresponding letters. GG was devel...
Article
This study examined cross-lagged associations between positive teacher and peer relations and academic skill development. Reading and math skills were tested among 625 students in kindergarten and Grade 4. Teacher reports of positive affect toward each student and classmate reports of peer acceptance were gathered in Grades 1-3. The results showed,...
Article
The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) is a computer-assessed test battery widely use in different populations. The internal consistency and 1-year stability of CANTAB tests were examined in school-age children. Two hundred-thirty children (57% girls) from five schools in the Jyväskylä school district in Finland participat...
Article
Abstract The literature related to people with borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) was systematically reviewed in order to summarize the present knowledge. Database searches yielded 1,726 citations, and 49 studies were included in the review. People with BIF face a variety of hardships in life, including neurocognitive, social, and mental hea...
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This longitudinal study compares developmental changes in psychosocial functioning during the transition into school of children with and without dyslexia. In addition, it examines the effects of gender and family risk for dyslexia in terms of the associations between dyslexia and psychosocial functioning. Children's psychosocial functioning (socia...
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Low levels of physical activity among children have raised concerns over the effects of a physically inactive lifestyle, not only on physical health but also on cognitive prerequisites of learning. This study examined how objectively measured and self-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior are associated with cognitive functions in schoo...
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Background Social withdrawal in early childhood is a risk factor for later socioemotional difficulties. This study examined the joint effects of children's social withdrawal and mothers' and fathers' parenting styles on children's socioemotional development. Based on diatheses-stress, vantage sensitivity, and differential susceptibility models, soc...
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Purpose: In this article, the authors examine the developmental continuity from prelinguistic communication to kindergarten age in language and working memory capacity. Method: Following work outlining 6 groups of children with different trajectories of early communication development (ECD; Määttä, Laakso, Tolvanen, Ahonen, & Aro, 2012), the aut...
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Lapset, joilla on motorisen oppimisen vaikeuksia, tulisi seuloa tuen piiriin mahdollisimman varhain. Kouluissa lasten motorisiin vaikeuksiin puututaan kuitenkin hyvin harvoin, vaikka tiedetään motoristen taitojen yhteydet lapsen kokonaiskehitykseen. Opettajilla on käytössään hyvin niukasti välineitä, joilla he voisivat arvioida lasten toimintakykyä...
Article
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We examined the nature of and factors related to adolescents’ reading difficulties in a highly transparent orthography. We compared word, pseudoword, and text reading speed and accuracy, rapid naming (RAN) and phonological processing between poor readers (n = 80) and normally developing readers (n = 189). Reading problems were manifested in reading...
Article
This study examined the role of reading disability (RD) risk and environmental protective factors in reading fluency in grade 4. The sample consisted of 538 Finnish-speaking students. Kindergarten measures included the students’ risk for RD based on poor achievement in phonological awareness and letter knowledge as well as information on the three...
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The aim of this longitudinal study was to build a model of the predictive values (poor phonological awareness, low letter knowledge, and slow naming speed) of spelling in 3 contrasting reading groups: a regular and a computer-assisted remedial intervention and mainstream instruction. The participants were 7-year-old Finnish school beginners (N = 16...
Article
Purpose: This study aimed to determine the relationships between objectively measured and self-reported physical activity, sedentary behavior, and academic performance in Finnish children. Methods: Two hundred and seventy-seven children from five schools in the Jyväskylä school district in Finland (58% of the 475 eligible students, mean age = 12...
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Repeated reading of infrequent syllables has been shown to increase reading speed at the word level in a transparent orthography. This study confirms these results with a computer-based training method and extends them by comparing the training effects of short syllables and long frequent and infrequent syllables, controlling for rapid automatized...
Conference Paper
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Introduction: The purpose of this study is to develop an observational screening tool of motor learning problems for teachers to support their educational work to enhance all children’s motor learning. However, basic information about available and suitable methods for this purpose is lacking. Therefore, as the first step of the developmental proce...
Article
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The global epidemic of obesity and physical inactivity may have detrimental implications for young people's cognitive function and academic achievement. This prospective study investigated whether childhood motor function predicts later academic achievement via physical activity, fitness, and obesity. The study sample included 8,061 children from t...
Article
This study examined the role of a supportive classroom climate, class size, and length of teaching experience as protective factors against children's peer rejection. A total of 376 children were assessed in kindergarten for risk for reading disabilities (RD) and rated by their teachers on socially withdrawn and disruptive behaviors. The grade 1 me...
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Purpose: The effect of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on the perception of audiovisual speech in children with and without developmental language disorder (DLD) was investigated by varying the noise level and the sound intensity of acoustic speech. The main hypotheses were that the McGurk effect (in which incongruent visual speech alters the audi...
Article
The study aimed to assess the effects of diabetes-related risk factors, especially severe hypoglycaemia,on the academic skills of children with early-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). The study comprised 63 children with T1DM (31 females, 32 males; mean age 9 y 11 mo,SD 4 mo) and 92 comparison children without diabetes (40 females, 52 males;me...
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This study focused on developmental trajectories of prelinguistic communication skills and their connections to later parent-reported language difficulties. The participants represent a subset of a community-based sample of 508 children. Data include parent reports of prelinguistic communication skills at 12, 15, 18, and 21 months and language diff...
Article
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity evidence based on internal structure of the Play Assessment for Group Settings (PAGS). The study was conducted in day care centres by comparing observations of the free play performance of two groups of children: those with specific language impairments (SLIs) (n=55) and those with typical lang...
Article
The aim of this study was to examine the connection between balance problems and reading speed in children with and without a familial risk of dyslexia by controlling for the effects of attention, hyperactivity, and cognitive and motor functioning. The prevalence of balance problems was studied in 94 children (48 females, 46 males) with a familial...
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Test-taking behaviors (i.e., task focus, maintenance of attention, and cooperation) affect children's cognitive test performance, and, thus, it is critical to take test-taking behavior into account when drawing conclusions and making recommendations. Prior studies have evaluated test-taking behaviors at the end of the assessment; the present study...
Article
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The aim of the longitudinal study was to investigate whether a computer application designed for remedial reading training can enhance letter knowledge, reading accuracy, fluency, and spelling of at-risk children. The participants, 7-year-old Finnish school beginners (N=166), were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: (a) regular remedial reading intervention...
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This prospective longitudinal study investigates whether suspected motor problems and low preference for active play in childhood are associated with physical inactivity and low cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescence. The study sample consisted of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC 1986) composed of 5,767 children whose parents responde...
Article
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The aim of the longitudinal intervention study was to build a model of predictive values of reading fluency in three contrastive reading groups: remedial and computer-assisted remedial reading intervention, and mainstream instruction, to identify the most effective type of intervention for children with different profiles of compromised pre-reading...
Article
Närhi, V., Lehto-Salo, P., Ahonen, T. & Marttunen, M. (2010). Neuropsychological subgroups of adolescents with conduct disorder. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 51, 278–284. In group-level studies adolescents with conduct disorder (CD) have been found to have deficiencies in verbal and executive functions. Teichner and Golden (2000) addressed t...