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Essay: Literature review: Child studies

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  • Published: 9 October 2015*
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  • Words: 1,132 (approx)
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  • Tags: Child Development essays

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Chaparro, M.P., Kim, H., Fern??ndez, A., & Malti, T. (2013). The development of children’s sympathy, moral emotion attributions, and moral reasoning in two cultures. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 10(4), 495-509. doi: 10.1080/17405629.2012.742008
The central focus of the study was the comparison of groups of 6- and 9- year old children from two distinct cultural groups, Chile and Switzerland, in the development of their moral reasoning and sympathy for others. This cross-cultural comparison aimed to determine the differences in how the children judged and attributed moral emotions to two moral dilemmas: failing to perform a positive moral activity (not sharing) or engaging in negative moral activity (stealing). To conduct the research, middle-class children from a school in Switzerland and a school in Chile were separated into two groups based on age (6, 9 years old) and asked questions involving the two aforementioned moral dilemmas. Using ANOVA statistical tests, Chaparro, Kim, Fernandez, & Malti (2013) found that younger Chilean children showed greater sympathy compared to younger Swiss children but that the difference disappeared between the older groups and that sympathy measures were positively correlated with age in both groups. Unlike Chaparro et al. (2013) hypothesized, Chilean students were not found to exhibit greater attribution of moral emotions than Swiss children, but overall, greater moral emotion attribution was observed in older individuals of both groups. Moral reasoning used to justify the wrongfulness of stealing occurred at a higher rate in younger Swiss children than in younger Chileans. Chilean children also showed differences in moral attributions regarding the two moral dilemmas, whereas Swiss children did not (Chaparro et al., 2013). This study by Chaparro et al. is consistent with other research on the topic of moral development, finding overall advances in morality and moral reasoning with cognitive development and aging.
Dubois, L., Farmer, A., Girard, M., Peterson, K., & Tatone-Tokuda, F. (2007). Problem eating behaviors related to social factors and body weight in preschool children: A longitudinal study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 4, 9-19. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-4-9
This article assesses the possibility of correlations between preschoolers’ body weights, their primary caretakers’ conceptions about the childrens’ eating habits, and the socioeconomic factors that play a role in determining the child’s environment. The study was performed using a sample of 1498 children born the same year in Quebec, Canada from various socioeconomic backgrounds. Each child’s BMI was measured at the end of 4.5 years (from birth), and questionnaires were administered to their primary caregivers annually for three years to determine the child’s overall eating behavior. Each child was screened for eating problems classified as either ‘overeating’ or ‘picky eating.’ Dubois, Farmer, Girard, Peterson, & Tatone- Tokuda (2007) found that less than half of those studied were reported as never exhibiting overeating or picky-eating behaviours (40%), 30% of the children were classified as picky-eaters, and greater than a third were observed to be overeaters (39%). A fourth category of children was observed in which both types of problematic eating occurred, reported to be about 9% of the children. Dubois et al. (2007), identified a correlation between picky eating behavior and low birth weight, as well as an association between problematic eating of both kinds and lower socioeconomic status. Overeaters were more often male, and overeating was associated positively with many factors also associated with lower socioeconomic background. Perhaps most significant to the future health of the preschooler children was Dubois et al.’s (2007) finding that the 4.5 year old children who overate in preschool were overweight at a rate six times greater than that of same- age children who did not exhibit overeating in preschool years. Picky eaters were also found to deviate from the norm in terms of BMI at 4.5 years, as they were double as likely to be classified as underweight than children with non-problematic eating habits (Dubois et al., 2007). The results of this research has implications for the wellbeing of children with problematic eating behaviors as they age, since evidence points to these eating habits being fairly stable across the lifespan.
DuMont, K.A., Widom, C.S., & Czaja, S.J. (2007). Predictors of resilience in abused and neglected children grown up: The role of individual and neighborhood characteristics. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31, 255-274. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2005.11.015
This research by DuMont, Widom, & Czaja (2007) aims to identify the factors in an abused/neglected child’s environment that correlate most strongly with resilience in later life as adolescents and young adults. The factors considered were those of the individuals, their families, and the outside communities that the children grew up in. Shifts in resilience upon the transition from adolescence to young adulthood were also documented and analyzed for possible factor correlates. Adults in a metropolitan Midwest area that had a history of childhood neglect or abuse documented from the years 1967- 1971 were matched to control group individuals with like backgrounds and ages. Interview results determined the categorization of the individuals into various groups according to resilience. DuMont et al. (2007), found that almost half (48%) of the maltreated individuals exhibited resilient behavior in their adolescent years, however under a third of this group (30.2%) showed resilience after the transition into adulthood. Nonwhites, females, and those in stable households were more likely to show resilience in adolescence (DuMont et al., 2007). Young adult resilience as well as continual resilience was determined to correlate positively with being female, having greater support from a partner, and a decrease in stress-inducing life events. Cognitive ability was found to affect young adult resilience positively when paired with better neighbourhood circumstances but was of little significance otherwise. About 50% of the adolescent-resilient respondents remained resilient into adulthood. Most of those who exhibited non-resilience in adolescent years remained non-resilient by adulthood. In all categories of resilience, support from a spouse or partner remained an important factor in determining resilient behavior (DuMont et al., 2007).
Horn, I.B., Brenner, R., Rao, M.M., Mengg, D., & Chen, T.L. (2006). Beliefs about the appropriate age for initiating toilet training: Are there racial and socioeconomic differences? Journal of Pediatrics, 149, 165-168. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2006.03.004
This study questions parental beliefs about what they deem to be an appropriate age to begin potty-training their infants in order to determine if cross-cultural differences can be found. Researchers surveyed 922 parents in 3 clinical waiting rooms within the Washington, DC area. Horn, Brenner, Rao, & Mengg (2006), found that race was independently correlated to beliefs about toilet initiation. Mean responses from African American parents indicated that they believed in starting toilet training at an earlier age (18 months) than Caucasian parents (25 months). According to Horn et al. (2006), income was also associated significantly with deemed appropriate age, with parents from higher economic backgrounds reporting older ages of initiation than parents from lower economic backgrounds. This study has implications for health care practitioners, who can use this information to guide parents of small children while being mindful of the various economic and cultural factors that may influence parental beliefs about child-rearing.

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