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We developed the Long-term Early Development Research (LEADER) project to investigate the development of children with CHD and/or after cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Both populations are at risk for delays in motor, cognitive, and language development. However, few studies to date have investigated the longitudinal development in these children.
To establish a clinical research unit, we planned three studies: a cross-sectional study in children after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (LEADER-REA Pilot Study), a longitudinal study in children after cardiopulmonary resuscitation, with a focus on evaluating various biomarkers as predictors for developmental outcome (LEADER-CPR study), and a longitudinal study in children with ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, or transposition of the great arteries after cardiac surgery (LEADER-CHD study).
Implementation of all three LEADER studies was successful and study protocols were conducted as planned. Findings from the LEADER-REA Pilot study have been recently published and data collection for both prospective trials is ongoing. Descriptive analysis of the first 20 assessments of the LEADER-CHD study showed no severe deficits in overall cognitive, motor, and language developments in the children.
Children with CHD and/or after cardiopulmonary resuscitation are at risk for developmental delay. Therefore, a detailed developmental assessment is necessary as a pre-requisite for individual developmental support. Our LEADER project has been shown to be feasible in a clinical setting and is the first step towards the establishment of a clinical research unit in our clinic with a focus on longitudinal research.
We outline a dual systems approach to temporal cognition, which distinguishes between two cognitive systems for dealing with how things unfold over time – a temporal updating system and a temporal reasoning system – of which the former is both phylogenetically and ontogenetically more primitive than the latter, and which are at work alongside each other in adult human cognition. We describe the main features of each of the two systems, the types of behavior the more primitive temporal updating system can support, and the respects in which it is more limited than the temporal reasoning system. We then use the distinction between the two systems to interpret findings in comparative and developmental psychology, arguing that animals operate only with a temporal updating system and that children start out doing so too, before gradually becoming capable of thinking and reasoning about time. After this, we turn to adult human cognition and suggest that our account can also shed light on a specific feature of our everyday thinking about time that has been the subject of debate in the philosophy of time, which consists in a tendency to think about the nature of time itself in a way that appears ultimately self-contradictory. We conclude by considering the topic of intertemporal choice, and argue that drawing the distinction between temporal updating and temporal reasoning is also useful in the context of characterising two distinct mechanisms for delaying gratification.
Evidence suggests that cultural experiences and learning multiple languages have measurable effects on children's development of executive function (EF). However, the precise impact of how bilingualism and culture contribute to observed effects remains inconclusive. The present study aims to investigate how these factors shape the development of early EF constructs longitudinally, between monolingual and bilingual children at ages 3, 3½ and 4 years, with a set of EF tasks that are uniquely relevant to the effects of bilingualism and cultural practices. We hypothesize that the effects of bilingualism and cultural backgrounds (i.e., Eastern) are based on different, though related, cognitive control processes associated with different EF constructs. Results revealed a significant bilingualism effect on cognitive control processes measuring selective attention, switching, and inhibition; while an effect of culture was most pronounced on behavioral regulation/response inhibition. Contributions of bilingualism and cultural experiences on individual EF constructs across development are discussed.
More than 200 million children aged <5 years fail to reach their full cognitive potential, and children born as twins are particularly at risk. In this article, we review studies that examined differences in the neurodevelopmental outcomes of twins compared to singletons. We searched the Medline database for articles on twins, singletons, neuro, and cognitive development. We also inspected bibliographies of relevant publications to identify related articles from 2011 to 2017. Our search criteria yielded 162 studies, 8 of which met the inclusion criteria. Of the eight studies examined, four were prospective follow-up studies, three were cross-sectional studies, and one was a randomized controlled trial. Five of these studies were carried out in developed countries, and they found no statistically significant difference in neurodevelopmental outcomes among twins and singletons. However, two of the three studies carried out in developing countries found a difference with singletons having significantly higher academic ratings than twins. Studies in which neurodevelopmental outcomes were measured early in life (1–5 years) showed no significant twin–singleton differences, while those in which it was measured later in life showed mixed twin–singleton differences. Overall, these studies may have been underpowered and may not have been optimally designed and implemented. There is need for studies with adequate sample sizes, good design, and optimal measurement of all relevant covariates in order to resolve the conflicting reports in the literature.
Differences between verbal and non-verbal cognitive development from childhood to adulthood may differentiate between those with and without psychotic symptoms and affective symptoms in later life. However, there has been no study exploring this in a population-based cohort.
The sample was drawn from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, and consisted of 2384 study members with self-reported psychotic experiences and affective symptoms at the age of 53 years, and with complete cognitive data at the ages of 8 and 15 years. The association between verbal and non-verbal cognition at age 8 years and relative developmental lag from age 8 to 15 years, and both adult outcomes were tested with the covariates adjusted, and mutually adjusted for verbal and non-verbal cognition.
Those with psychotic experiences [thought interference (n = 433), strange experience (n = 296), hallucination (n = 88)] had lower cognition at both the ages of 8 and 15 years in both verbal and non-verbal domains. After mutual adjustment, lower verbal cognition at age 8 years and greater verbal developmental lag were associated with higher likelihood of psychotic experiences within individuals, whereas there was no association between non-verbal cognition and any psychotic experience. In contrast, those with case-level affective symptoms (n = 453) had lower non-verbal cognition at age 15 years, and greater developmental lag in the non-verbal domain. After adjustment, lower non-verbal cognition at age 8 years and greater non-verbal developmental lag were associated with higher risk of case-level affective symptoms within individuals.
These results suggest that cognitive profiles in childhood and adolescence differentiate psychiatric disease spectra.
To examine the child outcomes at 18-months post-birth of a population cohort of women with antenatal depressed mood, half of whom were randomly chosen to receive perinatal home visits from community health workers during pregnancy.
Pregnant women in 24 neighbourhoods (98% participation) were randomised by neighbourhood to: (1) standard clinic care (SC; 12 neighbourhoods; n = 594) or (2) the Philani Intervention Program, a home visiting intervention plus standard care (12 neighbourhoods; n = 644). The physical and cognitive outcomes of children of mothers with antenatally depressed mood (Edinburg Perinatal Depression Scale >13) in the intervention condition were compared at 18-months post-birth to children of mothers without depressed mood in pregnancy in both conditions.
More than a third of mothers had heightened levels of antenatal depressed mood (35%), similar across conditions. Antenatal depressed mood was significantly associated with being a mother living with HIV, using alcohol and food insecurity. At 18-months, the overall cognitive and motor scale scores on the Bayley Scales of Development were similar. However, 10.3% fewer children of mothers with antenatal depressed mood in the intervention condition had cognitive scores on the Bayley Scales that were less than 85 (i.e., s.d. = 2 lower than normal) compared with children of mothers with antenatal depressed mood in the SC condition. Intervention children of mothers with antenatal depressed mood were also significantly less likely to be undernourished (Weight-for-Age Z-scores < −2).
Cognitive development and child growth among children born to mothers with antenatal depressed mood can be improved by mentor mother home visitors, probably resulting from better parenting and care received early in life.
Previous findings have been mixed regarding the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms and child cognitive development. The objective of this study was to systematically review relevant literature and to perform a meta-analysis.
Three electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO) were searched. Initial screening was conducted independently by two reviewers. Studies selected for detailed review were read in full and included based on a set of criteria. Data from selected studies were abstracted onto a standardized form. Meta-analysis using the inverse variance approach and random-effects models was conducted.
The univariate analysis of 14 studies revealed that maternal depressive symptoms are related to lower cognitive scores among children aged ⩽56 months (Cohen's d = −0.25, 95% CI −0.39 to −0.12). The synthesis of studies controlling for confounding variables showed that the mean cognitive score for children 6–8 weeks post-partum whose mothers had high depressive symptoms during the first few weeks postpartum was approximately 4.2 units lower on the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID) compared with children with non-symptomatic mothers (B̂ = −4.17, 95% CI −8.01 to −0.32).
The results indicated that maternal depressive symptoms are related to lower cognitive scores in early infancy, after adjusting for confounding factors. An integrated approach for supporting child cognitive development may include program efforts that promote maternal mental health in addition to family economic wellbeing, responsive caregiving, and child nutrition.
The aim of this study was to assess the economic benefits of improved cognitive development related to being breast-fed. Breast-feeding rates were assessed in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Educational attainment was assessed at age 16 years with higher attainment defined as gaining five General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) passes at a high grade. The economic benefit of being breast-fed was calculated in a decision model using a child’s educational attainment and the corresponding expected value of average income in later life. There was a positive association between being breast-fed and achieving higher educational attainment, which remained significant, after adjustment for possible confounders: being breast-fed <6 months yielded an OR of 1·30 (95 % CI 1·13, 1·51) and for ≥6 months yielded an OR of 1·72 (95 % CI 1·46, 2·05), compared with never breast-fed children. On the basis of UK income statistics, the present value of lifetime gross income was calculated to be £67 500 higher for children achieving 5 high-grade GCSE passes compared with not achieving this. Therefore, the economic benefit of being breast-fed <6 months would be £4208 and that for ≥6 months would be £8799/child. The model shows that the increased educational attainment associated with being breast-fed has a positive economic benefit for society, even from small improvements in breast-feeding rates. Within a total UK birth cohort of 800 000/year an increase by 1 % in breast-feeding rates would be worth >£33·6 million over the working life of the cohort. Therefore, breast-feeding promotion is likely to be highly cost-effective and policymakers should take this into consideration.
Despite being the cornerstone of behaviour change interventions, a review of the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) highlights that younger populations have been excluded in the development of this model. It is not surprising then that interventions underpinned by the TTM have not been shown to be effective when applied to younger populations. Cognitive development was proposed to account for this age discrepancy. One such construct, adolescent egocentrism comprising of the imaginary audience and the personal fable was explored in relation to both unhealthy behaviour participation and behavioural change. It appeared plausible that the cognitive distortions associated with this construct could affect individuals’ utilisation of those cognitive processes of change proposed by the TTM as being necessary for successful behaviour change. This may provide a fertile avenue for future behaviour change research, extending the interventional scope of the TTM.
Questions about the development of multiple birth infants have accompanied an increase in their rate. Multiple birth has been associated with preterm birth and a higher incidence of disability than for singletons. The possible influence of birth order (first vs. second born), gender, and birthweight were considered at 4 years in 56 twins (28 pairs) who weighed less than 1500 grams at birth. Gender and birth order differences did not produce significont results in the cognitive, language, behaviour, and motor areas assessed. However, some significant findings in these areas were revealed when children < 1000 and ≥ 1000 grams were compared. The lighter weight group performed less well than the heavier group on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, in Abstract/Visual Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Test Composite. Furthermore, results were significantly lower for Fine Motor and Motor Standard Score (Motor Skills Domain of the Vineland Behavior Scales) and for Quality of Language and Intelligibility of Speech. Twins < 1000 grams birthweight need close educational surveillance prior to school entry.
Thirty-four 4 to 6-year-old Malay–English bilinguals (both balanced and dominant) characterized as low SES on income and parental education were tested on the child-Attentional Network Task (ANT) (Rueda, Rothbart, McCandliss, Saccomanno & Posner, 2004) measuring executive attention. Although SES measures fell below the Singapore median, Malay children's performance on the child-ANT remained high when compared to other age-matched monolingual and bilingual children previously tested with the child-ANT (Yang, Yang & Lust, 2011), and Chinese–English Singaporean bilinguals (Yang, Yang & Kang, 2014). None of the three SES measures – father's and mother's education, and income – significantly correlated with child-ANT components. Regression analyses confirmed that none of the SES measures significantly predicted performance on the child-ANT. Both balanced and dominant bilinguals displayed high executive control. We consider the possibility that cultural variations, (e.g., simultaneous and pervasiveness of bilingualism in Singapore, or pervasive code-switching), may ameliorate potential negative effects of SES on executive control development.
Studies have highlighted the role of early Executive Functioning (EF) interventions with regard to preventing behavioral and mental health problems. In this sense, interventions to promote EF have been developed and tested; however, in Latin America, evidence of early EF-related interventions is still limited. We developed a program for EF promotion in children and applied it to first-grade students. Sixty-eight six-year-old children and their five teachers were divided into an experimental group (EG) and a control group (CG). EG teachers administered the Intervention Program for Self-regulation and Executive Functions in a classroom context. The results of the ANCOVAs showed that children in the EG had significantly better performance in measures of cognitive flexibility (Trail Making Test for Preschoolers; p = .05), attention (Cancellation Attention Test – errors in the Part 3; p = .027), inhibition (Simon Task – interference score in the part 1; p = .008 and interference reaction time in the part 2; p = .010), and planning (CHEXI - planning scale; p = .041) than those in the CG. The results show that EF can be promoted using classroom intervention in public schools. These results expand previous findings for Latin America.
The purpose of the study was to investigate whether an intervention which focused on enhancing the quality of the mother-infant relationship would prevent the development of postnatal depression (PND) and the associated impairments in parenting and adverse effects on child development.
Recent meta-analyses indicate modest preventive effects of psychological treatments for women vulnerable to the development of PND. However, given the strong evidence for an impact of PND on the quality of the mother–infant relationship and child development, it is notable that there are limited data on the impact of preventive interventions on these outcomes. This is clearly a question that requires research attention. Accordingly, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) was conducted of such a preventive intervention.
A large sample of pregnant women was screened to identify those at risk of PND. In an RCT 91 were randomly assigned to receive the index intervention from research health visitors, and 99 were assigned to a control group who received normal care. In an adjacent area 76 women at risk of PND received the index intervention from trained National Health Service (NHS) health visitors. The index intervention involved 11 home visits, two antenatally and nine postnatally. They were supportive in nature, with specific measures to enhance maternal sensitivity to infant communicative signals, including items from the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale. Independent assessments were made at 8 weeks, 18 weeks, and 12 and 18 months postpartum. Assessments were made of maternal mood, maternal sensitivity in mother–infant engagement, and infant behaviour problems, attachment and cognition.
The RCT revealed that the index intervention had no impact on maternal mood, the quality of the maternal parenting behaviours, or infant outcome, although there were suggestions, on some self-report measures, that those with a lower level of antenatal risk experienced benefit. This was also the case for the intervention delivered by trained NHS health visitors. The findings indicate that the approach investigated to preventing PND and its associated problems cannot be recommended.
Thirty-four English–Malay bilinguals of between four and six years of age (both balanced and dominant) characterized as low socioeconomic status (SES) on income and parental education were tested on the child-Attentional Network Task (child-ANT; Rueda, Fan, McCandliss, Halparin, Gruber, Lercari & Posner, 2004) measuring executive attention. Although SES measures fell below the Singapore median, Malay children's performance on the child-ANT remained high when compared to other age-matched monolingual and bilingual children previously tested with the child-ANT (Yang, Yang & Lust, 2011), and English–Chinese Singaporean bilinguals (Kang, 2009). None of the three SES measures – father's and mother's education, and income, significantly correlated with child-ANT components. Regression analyses confirmed that none of the SES measures significantly predicted performance on the child-ANT. Caregiver reports suggested that both balanced and dominant bilinguals displayed high executive control. We consider the possibility that cultural variations – simultaneous and pervasiveness of bilingualism in Singapore, or pervasive code-switching – may ameliorate potential negative effects of SES on executive control development.
This review highlights the strengths of Geoffrey Saxe's latest book on cultural development of mathematical ideas. His research was undertaken in a remote area of Papua New Guinea. This book is important for it brings together Saxe's critical thinking on genetic development within the field of cognitive psychology as it relates to mathematics. This is an important contribution to ethnomathematics.
The Russian School Twin Registry (RSTR) was established in 2012, supported by a grant from the Government of the Russian Federation. The main aim of the registry is to contribute to Progress in Education through Gene-Environment Studies (PROGRESS). The formation of the registry is ongoing and it is expected that most schools in the Russian Federation (approximately 50,000 schools) will contribute data to the registry. With a total of 13.7 million students in Grades 1–11 (ages 7–18), the potential number of twin pairs exceeds 100,000. Apart from the large sample size and its representative nature, the RSTR has one unique feature: in collaboration with the International Advisory Committee to the Registry, genetically sensitive cross-cultural investigations are planned, aided by the use of the common assessment instruments. Other strengths of the registry include the assessment of a large sample of non-twin school children, including those studying in the same classes as the twins in the registry. It is hoped that the RSTR will provide an important research platform for national and international educationally relevant research.
To assess the nutritional adequacy of Seychellois children in relation to nutrients reported to be important for cognitive development.
Dietary intakes were assessed by 4 d weighed food diaries and analysed using dietary analysis software (WISP version 3·0; Tinuviel Software, UK). Individual nutrient intakes were adjusted to usual intakes and, in order to investigate adequacy, were compared with the UK Estimated Average Requirements for children aged 4–6 years.
Children 5 years old were followed up as part of the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study (SCDNS), located in the high-fish-consuming population of Mahé, Republic of Seychelles.
Analysis was carried out on a sample of 229 children (118 boys, 111 girls).
Children consumed a diet of which fortified cereal and milk products contributed the most to nutrient intakes. The majority (≥80 %) of children met requirements for several nutrients important for child development including Fe, folate and Se. Adjusted dietary intakes of Cu, Zn, iodine, niacin and vitamin A were below the Estimated Average Requirement or Recommended Nutrient Intake. Mean adjusted energy intakes (boys 4769 kJ/d (1139·84 kcal/d), girls 4759 kJ/d (1137·43 kcal/d)) were lower than the estimated energy requirement (boys 5104 kJ/d (1220 kcal/d), girls 5042 kJ/d (1205 kcal/d)) for 88 % of boys and 86 % of girls.
Nutrition was adequate for most children within the SCDNS cohort. Low intakes of some nutrients (including Zn, niacin and vitamin A) could reflect nutritional database inaccuracies, but may require further investigation. The study provides valuable information on the adequacy of intakes of nutrients which could affect the growth and development of Seychellois children.
Early nutrition affects both the short-term and longer-term health and development of preterm infants. This chapter discusses the important differences in nutrient requirements in preterm infants compared with those in infants born at term. It provides the practicalities of meeting these requirements during the early postpartum period and following discharge. Despite greater appreciation of the importance of adequate nutrition for outcome in preterm infants and the existence of specific nutritional recommendations, it is widely recognized that these infants often exhibit suboptimal growth, which may persist for some time after hospital discharge and which may have adverse consequences for cognitive outcome. The use of breast milk is associated with a reduction in the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and systemic infection and is associated with improved cognitive outcome, lower blood pressure, and more favorable plasma lipid profile during childhood and adolescence.
Studies investigating the impact of postnatal depression on later child cognitive functioning report mixed results. Some show ongoing effects of depression in the first postnatal year, others show no lasting adverse effects, yet others report effects only when the depression is chronic and coupled with additional risks to development such as low socioeconomic status. This study examined the impact of depression in the first postnatal year and subsequent episodes between one and four years postpartum in a sample of 92 mothers and their four year old children from a relatively high socioeconomic group. Children were administered the WPPSI-R at four years of age. Findings revealed only modest effects. Compared to those whose mothers were not depressed, children whose mothers were diagnosed with depression in the first postnatal year had lower verbal IQ scores, but there were no differences on the performance scale. There were also no differences between children whose mothers recovered after one year and those whose mothers experienced further depression between one and four years. Effects were similar for boys and girls.