ERIC Number: EJ1137560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Tipping Points? Curvilinear Associations between Activity Level and Mental Development in Toddlers
Flom, Megan; Cohen, Madeleine; Saudino, Kimberly J.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v58 n5 p564-572 May 2017
The Theory of Optimal Stimulation (Zentall & Zentall, "Psychological Bulletin," 94, 1983, 446) posits that the relation between activity level (AL) and cognitive performance follows an inverted U shape where midrange AL predicts better cognitive performance than AL at the extremes. We explored this by fitting linear and quadratic models predicting mental development from AL assessed via multiple methods (parent ratings, observations, and actigraphs) and across multiple situations (laboratory play, laboratory test, home) in over 600 twins (2- and 3-year olds). Only observed AL in the laboratory was curvilinearly related to mental development scores. Results replicated across situations, age, and twin samples, providing strong support for the optimal stimulation model for this measure of AL in early childhood. Different measures of AL provide different information. Observations of AL which include both qualitative and quantitative aspects of AL within structured situations are able to capture beneficial aspects of normative AL as well as detriments of both low and high AL.
Descriptors: Toddlers, Cognitive Ability, Activities, Correlation, Physical Activity Level, Play, Twins, Cognitive Development, Parent Attitudes, Observation, Measurement, Laboratories, Family Environment, Scores, Stimulation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS/NIH); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: MH062375|HD068435