13 research outputs found

    Fulfilling the promise of applied developmental science: Is it time to reconsider our approach?

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    The promise of applied developmental science is that we can use scientific methods to promote positive human development and improve the lives of children and families. However, the present political environment in the United States makes the creation of research-informed federal policy difficult, even when the evidence supporting a given policy is unequivocal. In this essay, we hope to begin a conversation about how we, as applied developmental scientists, may modify our approach in order to best fulfill the promise of applied developmental science. To begin this conversation, we discuss the potential for establishing long-term partnerships with smaller entities, including state and municipal governments and non-governmental organizations to narrow the gap between what we know about children and families and the policies and programs that impact them. This \u27bottom-up\u27 approach has a long lineage in applied developmental science, and is currently enjoying a renaissance through the burgeoning interest in researcher-practitioner partnerships. Whether implicitly or explicitly, these partnerships often incorporate a systems perspective on children\u27s development; here, we review why embracing a systems perspective may increase the likelihood of crafting policies and programs that can improve the lives of children and families

    An Ecological Systems Perspective on Individual Differences in Children\u27s Performance on Measures of Executive Function

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    The predictive validity of performance on cognitive-behavioral measures of executive function (EF) suggests that these measures index children\u27s underlying capacity for self-regulation. In this paper, we apply ecological systems theory to critically evaluate this assertion. We argue that as typically administered, standard measures of EF do not index children\u27s underlying, trait-like capacity for EF, but rather assess their state-like EF performance at a given point in time and in a particular (and often quite peculiar) context. This underscores the importance of disentangling intra-individual (i.e., state-like) and inter-individual (trait-like) differences in performance on these measures and understanding how factors at various levels of organization may contribute to both. To this end, we offer an approach that combines the collection of repeated measures of EF with a multilevel modeling framework, and conclude by discussing the application of this approach to the study of educational interventions designed to foster children\u27s EF

    Planting the Seeds: Orchestral Music Education as a Context for Fostering Growth Mindsets

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    Growth mindset is an important aspect of children\u27s socioemotional development and is subject to change due to environmental influence. Orchestral music education may function as a fertile context in which to promote growth mindset; however, this education is not widely available to children facing economic hardship. This study examined whether participation in a program of orchestral music education was associated with higher levels of overall growth mindset and greater change in levels of musical growth mindset among children placed at risk by poverty. After at least 2 years of orchestral participation, students reported significantly higher levels of overall growth mindset than their peers; participating students also reported statistically significant increases in musical growth mindset regardless of the number of years that they were enrolled in orchestral music education. These findings have implications for future research into specific pedagogical practices that may promote growth mindset in the context of orchestral music education and more generally for future studies of the extra-musical benefits of high-quality music education

    Cortisol as an Acute Stress Biomarker in Young Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Patients/Caregivers: Active Music Engagement Protocol

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    Objective: Primary aims of the proposed protocol are to determine the feasibility/acceptability of the active music engagement intervention protocol during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and clinical feasibility/acceptability of the biological sample collection schedule. Design: The authors propose a single-case, alternating treatment design to compare levels of child and caregiver cortisol in blood and saliva collected on alternating days, when the dyad receives and does not receive AME sessions. Included are the scientific rationale for this design and detailed intervention and sample collection schedules based on transplant type. Setting/Location: Pediatric inpatient HSCT unit. Subjects: Eligible participants are dyads of children 3-8 years old, hospitalized for HSCT, and their caregiver. Children with malignant and nonmalignant conditions will be eligible, regardless of transplant type. Intervention: AME intervention is delivered by a board-certified music therapist who tailors music-based play experiences to encourage active engagement in, and independent use of, music play to manage the inter-related emotional distress experienced by children and their caregivers during HSCT. Dyads will receive two 45-min AME sessions each week during hospitalization. Outcome Measures: Eight collections of blood (child) and saliva (child/caregiver) will be performed for cortisol measurement. The authors will also collect self-report and caregiver proxy measures for dyad emotional distress, quality of life, and family function. At study conclusion, qualitative caregiver interviews will be conducted. Results: Planned analyses will be descriptive and evaluate the feasibility of participant recruitment, cortisol collection, planned evaluations, and AME delivery. Analysis of qualitative interviews will be used to gain an understanding about the ease/burden of biological sample collection and any perceived benefit of AME. Conclusions: Behavioral intervention studies examining biological mechanisms of action in pediatric transplant populations are rare. Findings will provide important information about the feasibility/acceptability of collecting cortisol samples during a high-intensity treatment and advance understanding about the use of active music interventions to mitigate child/caregiver distress during the transplant period

    Equality in Music Education: An Analysis and a Model Program

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    This paper offers a review of the literature concerning how music is taught to school-aged children in America, in terms of frequency and content of instruction. It then outlines how music should be taught to children to optimize both the musical and the extra-musical benefits of music education, according to current research. A number of music education programs that successfully incorporate some elements of these research findings are then discussed. Finally, a model that incorporates the best elements of these programs is presented, along with guidelines for implementation. Throughout, the discrepancy between how music is taught and how it should be taught is presented as a matter of inequality. A lack of teaching standards in music leads to highly variable music programs by state and indeed by districts within a single state. This variability inherently generates inequality, for some programs adhere closely, either by design or coincidence, to the guidelines of how music should be taught, while others fail to meet these guidelines in any meaningful fashion

    Music and juvenile justice: A dynamic systems perspective.

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    An Ecological Systems Perspective on Individual Differences in Children's Performance on Measures of Executive Function

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    The predictive validity of performance on cognitive-behavioral measures of executive function (EF) suggests that these measures index children’s underlying capacity for self-regulation. In this paper, we apply ecological systems theory to critically evaluate this assertion. We argue that as typically administered, standard measures of EF do not index children’s underlying, trait-like capacity for EF, but rather assess their state-like EF performance at a given point in time and in a particular (and often quite peculiar) context. This underscores the importance of disentangling intra-individual (i.e., state-like) and inter-individual (trait-like) differences in performance on these measures and understanding how factors at various levels of organization may contribute to both. To this end, we offer an approach that combines the collection of repeated measures of EF with a multilevel modeling framework, and conclude by discussing the application of this approach to the study of educational interventions designed to foster children’s EF

    Active Music Engagement and Cortisol as an Acute Stress Biomarker in Young Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Patients and Caregivers: Results of a Single Case Design Pilot Study

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    This paper reports the results of a single case design pilot study of a music therapy intervention (the Active Music Engagement, or AME) for young children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCST) and their caregivers. The primary aims of the study were to determine feasibility/acceptability of the AME intervention protocol and data collection in the context of HCST. Secondary aims were to examine caregivers’ perceptions of the benefit of AME and whether there were changes in child and caregiver cortisol levels relative to the AME intervention. Results indicated that the AME could be implemented in this context and that data could be collected, though the collection of salivary cortisol may constitute an additional burden for families. Nevertheless, data that were collected suggest that families derive benefit from the AME, which underscores the need for devising innovative methods to understand the neurophysiological impacts of the AME
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