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Effortful Control and Adaptive Functioning

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Shannon Titus

on 30 April 2010

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Transcript of Effortful Control and Adaptive Functioning

Self-regulation Effortful control a set of executive functions aimed at
the intentional, internal manipulation of
one's attention and behavior the ability to inhibit a dominant response
in order to execute a subdominant response Examine the relation between EC and 4 developmental domains of adaptation
(academic competence, peer competence, internalizing / externalizing behavioral problems)
Examine whether EC identifies a group of children who demonstrate resilience
across all four domains of adaptation
- controlling for sex and age
- unique effects of EC were examined over and above child IQ, parenting quality, and
family socio-demographic risks Goals of current study Methods Participants
- 58 children (20 females, 38 males) and families recruited from shelter in the upper Midwest, and their teachers
- mean age : 6.09 (SD=.54, range 4.97-7.23)
- 81% African-American, 1.7% American Indian, 3.4% Anglo-American, 13.8% mixed-ethnicity
- 75% lived with a single caregiver (90% moms, 7% fathers, 3% grandmoms)
- average duration staying in shelter : 26 (SD=64, range 1-365 days)
Procedures
- children and parents separately participated in a 90-min session
- children: completing a series of standardized intelligence subsets and a battery of EC tasks
- parents: being interviewed and administrating various questionnaires
- teachers: completing a questionnaire about the child's adaptive functioning
(those who of 54 children who attended area schools)
- the assessments were conducted for three full months (????)
Measures Effortful Control by 4 Tasks 1. SIMON SAID TASK
(10 activation and 10 inhibition trials) 2. Peg-tapping task
(16 conterbalanced test trials) 3. Stroop task
(16 congruent trials followed by
a series of 16 incongruent trials) 4. Dimensional Change Card Sort task
(6 color games, 6 shapegames) the number of correct trials on 1,2,3 tasks were transformed into percentage
averaging standardized scores on 4 tasks calculated => index of EC skills
(it satisfied Patterson & Bank'(1986) criteria) Adaptive functioning assesed using the teacher form of the HBQ*
*The MacArthur Health Behavioral Questionnaire
4 different domains
(Academic Competence, Peer Competence,
Internalizing, Externalizing Behavioral Problems)
Homeless children were classified as resilient if they
scored: (1) 3 or higher on a 5-point AC, (2) 3 or higher on a
4-point PC, (3) lower than the clinical threshold for the
depression subscale or anxiety subscale, (4) lower than
the clinical threshold for the oppositional defiant and
conduct problem. Risk and resources 1) Cumulative Risk Index
summing 5 socio-demographic risk factors
(1) single parent household, (2) maternal age, (3) over 3
siblings living with family, (4) primary caregiver's `
education, (5) no income
2) Children's General IQ
WPPSI-III; Wechsler
3) Parenting Quality (PQ)
a 90-min structured interview with a parent
assessing how positively and warmly, or how hostile or rejecting, closeness, overall quality of parent-child relationship EFs are more strongly associated with school readiness than are intelligence quotient (IQ) or entry-level reading or math skills.
Poor EFs are associated with such problems as ADHD, teacher burnout, student dropout, drug use, and crime.
Young lower-income children have disproportionately poor EFs, and they fall progressively farther behind in school each year. Why is it important? Is it really effective? TOOLS children significantly outperformed control group children.
EFs can be improved in 4-to 5-year-olds in regular public school classes with regular teachers.
TOOLS children showed superior scores compared to closely matched peers on objective, neurocognitive EF measures.
Tools of the Mind The Programs to Enhance
Effortful Control/Executive Functioning
- Tools of the Mind, PATHS Curriculum- Preschool Program Improves Cognitive Control (Diamond, Barnett, Thomas & Munro, 2007) PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) Significant improvements in the understanding of emotions, fluency, in discussing emotions, and perceived efficacy in managing emotions.
Significant effects on child aggressive and disruptive behavior.
Significant improvement in special needs students' social problem-solving skills, emotional recognition skills, and teacher and parent-rated social competenece. Effects of the PATHS Curriculum (Riggs, Greenberg, Kusche & Pentz, 2006) The Importance of Effortful Control
The Effectiveness of the Programs
Program Contents Contents Tools of the Mind

1. Background
Lev Vigotsky "Just as physical tools extend our physical abilities, mental tools extend our mental abilities to enable us to solve problems and create solutions in the modern world."
Zone of Proximal Development: The area between a child's level of independent performance and this child's level of assisted performance.
Scaffolding: Hints, prompts, cues and strategies that the teacher provides within a child's ZPD to ensure that the child does make the transition from performing with assistance to performing independently.
2. 40 EF-Promoting Activities
Self-Regulatory Private Speech : Telling oneself outloud what one should do.
Dramatic Play
Aids to Facilitate Memory and Attention
PATHS Curriculum Metropolitan State College of Denver (www.mscd.edu/extendedcampus/toolsofthemind) 1. Background
ABCD Model: Affective-Behavioral-Cognitive-Dynamic Model of development places primary importance on the developmental integration of cognition, affect, and emotion language, and behavior in the promotion of social competence.
Verbal Mediation & Inhibitory Control
2. Contents 1.Turtle Technique 2.Feeling,
Relations Stop & Calm Down

Slow Down & Think

Go & Try My Plan Control Signal Poster 3. Interpersonal
Cognitive
Problem Solving Results Descriptive Statistics
72% of children passed Peg-tapping (with 80% accuracy)
67% of children passed Stroop tasks (with 80% accuracy) Children showed significant delays on
all 3 subsets of WPPSI-III Children showed higher levels of
school engagement than academic competence
78% of children were rated (by teacher)
as having unsatisfactory academic competence
while 36% were said to have poor academic
competence Variable-focused Analyses 26% of children passed Simon Says test
(with 80% accuracy) Effortful control (EF) tasks was
significantly correlated with age
and sex
EC related directly to three domains
of adaptation: academic competence,
peer competence, and externalizing
behaviors

EC positively related to IQ & PQ
EC negatively related to socio-
demographic risk Controlling for age and sex EC significantly predicted teacher report of all four domains
of adaptive functioning:
- EC explained 24% of variance in academic
competence
- 11% in internalizing symptoms
- 33% in externilizing symptoms
EC still remained a predictor of 4 four domains after controlling for IQ, PQ, and risk Person-focused Analyses 36% of children showed maladaptive
levels of academic functioning
29% showed maladaptive levels of
peer competence
19% of children showed clinical levels of internalizing symptoms
24% for externalizing symptoms
10% for depression symptoms
22% for anxiety symptoms
34 children (59%)showed maladaptive
adaptation in at least 1 area 24 children (41%) demonstrated average keveks in academic and peer competence and had no clinical levels of psychopathology (resilient) Resilient vs non-resilient children showed no difference
between socio-demographics risk or PQ.
Resilient IQ and EC


Effortful Control and adaptive function of homeless children: Variable-focused and person-focused analyses Implications STOP- What is Happening?
Get Ready- What Could I Do?
Go! Try My Best Plan
Evaluate- How Did I do? Small sample size
90% of population was included
Noise and disruption
Subjectivity of PQ assessment
Clinical thresholds vs. clinical symptom level
what is the measure of EC?
Not able to draw causal conclusions Limitations Conclusion EC skills may promote resilience process during transition to school
EC skills and achievement
EC skills may be malleable
Window of opportunity for preventing early acheivement delays and behavioral problems
- possible increase in school
engagement, basic math and
reading skills, form friendships,
and inhibit agressive behaviors
Preschool Program Improves Cognitive Control (Diamond, Barnett, Thomas & Munro, 2007) Discussion
Even though age was positively correlated children's EC, it there any possibility that the adaptation functions affect EC reversely?

The R-square in peer competence decreased after adding the IQ, PQ, and risk instead of increase, and externalizing behavioral problems did not change. Why?

Homeless children in this study demonstrated lower levels of effortful control than children from predominantly middle-class samples, performing worse than age-mates, or at the level of younger children.- Why would this be?

Parenting quality was related to all four effortful control tasks in this study. It was found that parental limit setting and scaffolding predicts the increase in effortful control. What other parenting quality do you think is necessary in development of effortful control? (The current literature does not have an agreement on which parenting quality in influential)

How can we incorporate the construct of effortful control in our field of studies? What meaning does it have in human development and family science? How about the education or school psychology? (or other fields of studies) If it is so important, how can we help the children improve it?
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