ERIC Number: EJ1019690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
Attention and Language as Mediators of Academic Outcomes Following Early Psychosocial Deprivation
Merz, Emily C.; McCall, Robert B.; Wright, Amanda J.
International Journal of Behavioral Development, v37 n5 p451-459 Sep 2013
Children adopted from institutions at older ages are at increased risk of persistent attention problems, lower cognition, and academic difficulties. This study examined cognitive and behavior problems as mediators of the association between early psychosocial deprivation and academic functioning. Participants were 8-17-year-old children adopted from psychosocially-depriving Russian institutions after 14 months of age ("n" = 34) and before 9 months of age ("n" = 39). Children completed a cognitive assessment, while their parents completed questionnaires on child behavior problems and use of learning support services in school. Children adopted after 14 months were found to have significantly lower vocabulary, higher levels of attention problems, and higher rates of using learning support services relative to children adopted before 9 months after controlling for age at assessment. The two groups did not differ significantly in nonverbal reasoning, anxiety, or oppositional behavior. Attention and vocabulary significantly mediated the association of early psychosocial deprivation with the use of learning support services. These findings suggest that interventions targeting attention regulatory and language skills may be beneficial in terms of improving school performance in this population.
Descriptors: Adoption, Children, Adolescents, Behavior Problems, Attention, Language Skills, Vocabulary, Cognitive Ability, Early Experience, Academic Support Services, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Pennsylvania; Russia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Conners Rating Scales; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children