Monday, 30 May 2016

Blog: Fathers' rough and tumble play

Author: Jennifer StGeorge
Original paper:  Comparing Fathers' Physical and Toy Play and Links to Child Behaviour: An Exploratory Study

The background of research in rough and tumble play is in evolutionary science and ethology, where scientists studied mammals’ behaviours and play. The evidence from these studies gave clear criteria for physical interactions that were intended as play and not aggression: play behaviour in rats provides one of the clearest illustrations of these behaviours. When fighting, rats target the rump and belly of their opponent, but when play-fighting they target only the nape of the neck, clearly signalling the lack of aggressive intent. Rats are also observed to wrestle by pinning one another to the ground and to voluntarily reverse roles so that the dominated opponent can become dominant (Pellis & Pellis, 2007).

In humans, research on rough and tumble play has focused largely on children in the playground, and with similar results: Smith (2010) summarises that rough and tumble play can be distinguished from aggression by the mutual laughter and smiles of the partners, the self-restraint of physical contact, and often by the continuing social relations between partners after the play.

It is interesting therefore to consider rough and tumble play between father and child, where some parameters are entirely different to the peer-peer play.  For example, the child’s opponent is now clearly stronger than the child, which is not how young children choose their play partners (Humphreys & Smith, 1987). So for the child to want to engage in an obviously uneven match, there must be some other motivation; according to interviews with mothers and fathers (Fletcher, May, StGeorge, Morgan, Lubans, 2011; StGeorge & Fletcher, unpublished), it’s the connection between father and child: rough and tumble between dad and child is intimate and relational and builds a bond of trust and warmth between father and child.

Additionally, in peer-peer play fighting, the play is implicitly regulated by the ongoing willingness of the partners to participate. However, in father-child play, the role of regulation is clearer – if the child uses too much force, then most fathers will explicitly correct the child’s behaviours. Given these differences, we would expect to see positive outcomes for children’s social and emotional skills, and ultimately less aggression in children, boys and girls, who experience pleasurable, vigorous and competitive physical interaction with dad.

(Video may be used for educational purposes only)

Author keywords: father–child interaction, rough-and-tumble play, strengths and difficulties, self-regulation, social-emotional competence
DOI: 10.1002/icd.1958

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Five-Month-old Infants' Discrimination of Visual–Tactile Synchronous Facial Stimulation

M. L. Filippetti (Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London, and Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkeck College University of London)
T. Farroni (Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione, Universita degli Studi di Padova, and Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkeck College University of London)

M. H. Johnson (Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkeck College University of London)

Paper Highlights
  • Multisensory information is crucial in the context of self-awareness;
  • We investigated 5-month-old infants discrimination of  visual-tactile synchronous and asynchronous stimulation applied to faces;
  • During the first 5 months of life, infants seek redundant multisensory information in order to specify the bodily-self.
Author keywords: multisensory perception, body perception, face processing, infancy, self

DOI: 10.1002/icd.1977

Developmental Risk and Goodness of Fit in the Mother–Child Relationship: Links to Parenting Stress and Children's Behaviour Problems

Rebecca P. Newland (Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Bradley/Hasbro Children's Research Center, E.P. Bradley Hospital)

Keith A. Crnic (Department of Psychology, Arizona State University)

Paper Highlights

  • Child developmental risk influences mother-child goodness of fit processes across the preschool period. 
  • Goodness of fit between maternal scaffolding and child activity level affects later parenting stress and child behavior problems.
  • Effective maternal scaffolding may be most important for children at developmental risk who exhibit high activity levels.
Author keywords: behaviour problems, child development, developmental psychopathology, early childhood, parent–child relationships, parenting stress

DOI: 10.1002/icd.1980

Empathy-Related Responding in Chinese Toddlers: Factorial Structure and Cognitive Contributors

Heqing Huang (Department of Psychology and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, and College of Early Childhood Education, Capital Normal University)
Yanjie Su (Department of Psychology and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University)
Jian Jin (Department of Psychology and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University)

Paper Highlights

  • Different components of empathy were identified in Chinese toddlers.
  • The independent effects of shared representation, self/other awareness and inhibitory control in the development of empathy.
  • The joint effects of three cognitive factors in the development of empathy.

Author keywords: empathy, representation, self/other awareness, inhibitory control

Link to article
DOI: 10.1002/icd.1983

Monday, 16 May 2016

Blog: Knowing When Things Happened

Author: Connie Tang
Paper: Young Children's Reports of When Events Occurred: Do Event Type and Assessment Method Matter?

Young children go through life experiencing personally meaningful events as well as learning various knowledge about living. So long as children have developed a sense of self and are able to form autobiographical memories, they also begin to pay attention to the context of their memories. For example, when young children receive presents, they not only remember what the present was, they may also remember who gave them the present, where they received the present, and when this exciting event happened. 

The same process should also apply to children learning something new. Our research aimed to investigate whether young children recognize when they experienced physical events the same way as they experienced learning events. We also wanted to know if the way we ask children about when things happened influenced their answers.

In two experiments, we worked with 3- to 5-year-old preschoolers from a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic background. Across both experiments, children learned novel animal facts and body movements over a one-week span. They also colored novel animal posters and posed for photographs while displaying novel body movements. The same children then answered two types of time questions regarding the various physical and learning events: The first question type assessed children’s understanding of time points (e.g., the question of “Which did you color before today?”), and the second question type examined children’s understanding of time periods (e.g., the question of “Which did you learn a longer time ago?”).

Overall, we found young children report when they experienced physical events similarly as they experienced learning events. However, the way we asked children about when things happened affected their performance: Children were more accurate answering questions assessing time periods, and they were less accurate responding to questions assessing time points. 

Author keywords: young childre, episodic memory, knowledge acquisition, metacognition
DOI: 10.1002/icd.1963

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Research Article: Constructing Interaction: The Development of Gaze Dynamics

Iris Nomikou (Paderborn University)
Giuseppe Leonardi (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Faculty of Modern Languages and Literatures)
Karharina J. Rohlfing (Paderborn University)
Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi (Institute of Psychology Polish Academy of Sciences)

Paper Highlights

  • This paper contributes to the understanding of how infant and parent dynamically adapt to each through mutual attention over the course of the first year.
  • The paper uses innovative methods of data analysis to address the structure of interactions.

Author keywords: temporal dynamics, gaze development, cross-recurrence, mother-infant interaction

Link to article
DOI: 10.1002/icd.1975

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Research Article: More than Just the Breadwinner: The Effects of Fathers' Parenting Stress on Children's Language and Cognitive Development

Tamesha Harewood (Michigan State University)
Claire D. Vallotton (Michigan State University)
Holly Brophy-Herb (Michigan State University)

Paper Highlights

  • Fathers’ parenting stress affects children’s language and cognitive development from the second to third year of life.
  • Fathers’ parenting stress is especially detrimental to boys’ language development from the second to third year of life.
  • Fathers’ effects on their children’s development are significant even when accounting for maternal parenting qualities.
Author keywords: parenting stress, fathers, father involvement, cognitive development, language development, gender differences

DOI: 10.1002/icd.1984

Research Article: Maternal Emotion Socialization, Depressive Symptoms and Child Emotion Regulation: Child Emotionality as a Moderator

Qiong Wu (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University)
Xin Feng (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University)
Emma Hooper (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University)
Seulki Ku (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University)

Paper Highlights

  • This study enhances our understanding child emotion regulation with support for the interactive perspective of child development.
  • Findings from this study suggest that there may be different ways in which the socialization of ER occurs depending on both the child’s emotionality and the mother’s emotional states and parenting.
  • The findings from this study can further inform translational research on promoting adaptive ER in early childhood
Author keywords: emotion regulation, child emotionality, maternal emotion socialization, diathesis-stress model, maternal depression

DOI: 10.1002/icd.1979 

Research Article: Parental Guidance and Children's Executive Function: Working Memory and Planning as Moderators During Joint Problem-Solving

Sarah H. Eason (Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland)
Geetha B. Ramani (Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland)

Paper Highlights

  • Children's executive function (EF) was examined as a moderator of the relation between parent guidance and children's learning of a problem-solving task.
  • Elaborative guidance was associated with better performance during the joint activity, but only for children with low EF.
  • Directive guidance was associated with better independent performance for children with high EF, whereas children with low EF did worse when parents provided more directive guidance.

Author keywords: executive function, parent guidance, parent-child interactions, working memory, planning

Link to article
DOI: 10.1002/icd.1982

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Research Article: Coordination of Emotions in Mother-Infant Dialogues

Theano S. Kokkinaki (Department of Psychology, University of Crete)
V.G.S. Vasdekis (Department of Statistics, Athens University of Economics and Business)
Zaharenia E. Koufaki (Department of Psychology, University of Crete)
Colwyn B. Trevarthen (Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh)

Paper Highlights

  • Emotional coordination that results in matching and attunement of facial expressions in infant-mother dialogues requires that both mothers and infants adjust the timing, form and energy of their emotional expressions to obtain inter-synchrony.
  • The developmental changes of expression of emotional matching and non-matching confirmed developmental transformations in the infant’s social awareness,
  • We provided evidence that infants take initiative to control a happy and playful dialogic engagement with their mothers.

Author keywords: mother–infant interaction, facial expressions of emotion, emotional coordination, emotional non-matching, emotional completion, innate inter subjectivity

DOI: 10.1002/icd.1973

Research Article: Effect of Maternal Responsiveness on Young Infants' Social Bidding-Like Behavior during the Still Face Task

Ann E. Bigelow (Department of Psychology, St. Francis Xavier University)
Michelle Power (Department of Psychology, St. Francis Xavier University)

Paper Highlights

  • Does maternal responsiveness influence the emergence of infants' social bidding-like behaviour in the Still Face Task?
  • Maternal responsiveness predicts young infants’ social bidding-like behaviour.
  • Maternal responsiveness enhances infants’ awareness that they are effective agents in instigating social interaction.
Author keywords: social bidding-like behavior, maternal responsiveness, still face task

DOI: 10.1002/icd.1974