ERIC Number: EJ1063233
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Relation of Perinatal Risk and Early Parenting to Executive Control at the Transition to School
Clark, Caron A. C.; Woodward, Lianne J.
Developmental Science, v18 n4 p525-542 Jul 2015
Executive control (EC) develops rapidly during the preschool years and is central to academic achievement and functional outcome. Although children with perinatal adversity are at known risk for EC impairments, little is known about the underlying nature of these impairments or the mechanisms that contribute to their development over time. Drawing on a cohort of 110 high-risk children born very preterm (VPT; < 33 weeks / < 1500 g) and 113 healthy full-term children, this study examined the implications of perinatal adversity and early parenting for children's EC as they transitioned to formal schooling. Parent supportive presence, intrusiveness, and parent-child synchrony were observed during a series of problem-solving tasks at ages 2 and 4 years. At age 6, children completed a comprehensive battery of EC tasks. Academic outcomes were assessed at age 9. The VPT group showed global EC impairments at age 6, although the unitary factor that best characterized the structure of EC was the same in both groups. High-risk dyads were characterized by more intrusive and less synchronous parent-child interactions in early childhood, which in turn predicted poorer child EC at age 6. EC partially mediated the relation of risk status to poorer academic achievement at age 9. Findings demonstrate the cumulative effects of perinatal adversity on children's EC in the crucial transition to schooling. They also highlight the importance of the parent-child relationship as a target for intervention efforts to help mitigate these effects.
Descriptors: Executive Function, Young Children, Cognitive Development, Perinatal Influences, At Risk Persons, Child Development, Premature Infants, Parent Influence, Barriers, Parent Child Relationship, Problem Solving, Age Differences, Academic Achievement, Children, Neurological Impairments, Interaction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A