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Children differ in their environmental sensitivity (ES), which can be measured observationally or by self-report questionnaire. A parent-report scale represents an important tool for investigating ES in younger children but has to be psychometrically robust and valid. In the current multistudy, we validated the parent-report version of the Highly Sensitive Child (HSC-PR) scale in Italian children, evaluating its factorial structure (Study 1, N = 1,857, 6.2 years, age range: 2.6–14 years) through a multigroup Confirmatory Factory Analysis in preschoolers (n = 1,066, 4.2 years) and school-age children (n = 791, 8.8 years). We then investigated the HSC-PR relationship with established temperament traits (Study 2, N = 327, 4.3 years), before exploring whether the scale moderates the effects of parenting stress on children’s emotion regulation (Study 3, N = 112, 6.5 years). We found support for a bi-factor structure in both groups, though in preschoolers minor adaptations were suggested for one item. Importantly, the HSC-PR did not fully overlap with common temperament traits and moderated the effects of parenting stress on children emotion regulation. To conclude, the HSC-PR performs well and appears to capture ES in children.
Patients with an equivalent clinical background may show unexpected interindividual differences in their outcome. The cognitive reserve (CR) model has been proposed to account for such discrepancies, but its role after acquired severe injuries is still being debated. We hypothesize that inappropriate investigative methods might have been used when dealing with severe patients, which have very likely reduced the possibility of observing meaningful influences in recovery from severe traumas.
To overcome this issue, the potential neuroprotective role of CR was investigated, considering a wider spectrum of clinical symptoms ranging from low-level brain stem functions necessary for life to more complex motor and cognitive skills. In the present study, data from 50 severe patients, 20 suffering from post-anoxic encephalopathy (PAE) and 30 with traumatic brain injury (TBI), were collected and retrospectively analyzed.
We found that CR, diagnosis, time of hospitalization, and their interaction had an effect on the clinical indexes. When the predictive power of CR was investigated by means of two machine learning classifier algorithms, CR, together with age, emerged as the strongest factor in discriminating between patients who reached or did not reach successful recovery.
Overall, the present study highlights a possible role of CR in shaping the recovery of severe patients suffering from either PAE or TBI. The practical implications underlying the need to routinely considered CR in the clinical practice are discussed.
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