11,680 research outputs found

    A Dose of Nature:Two three-level meta-analyses of the beneficial effects of exposure to nature on children's self-regulation

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    There is growing evidence that exposure to nature, as opposed to a built environment, is associated with better health. Specifically in children, more exposure to nature seems to be associated with better cognitive, affective, and behavioral self-regulation. Because studies are scattered over different scientific disciplines, it is difficult to create a coherent overview of empirical findings. We therefore conducted two meta-analyses on the effect of exposure to nature on self-regulation of schoolchildren (Mage = 7.84 years; SD = 2.46). Our 3-level meta-analyses showed small, but significant positive overall associations of nature with self-regulation in both correlational (15 studies, r = .10; p < .001) and (quasi-) experimental (16 studies, d = .15; p < .01) studies. Moderation analyses revealed no differential associations based on most sample or study characteristics. However, in correlational studies the type of instrument used to measure exposure to nature (index score of nature vs. parent-reported exposure) significantly moderated the association between nature and self-regulation. Stronger associations were found when exposure to nature was assessed via parent-reports than via an index such as by a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Our findings suggest that nature may be a promising tool in stimulating children's self-regulation, and possibly preventing child psychopathology. However, our overview also shows that we are in need of more rigorous experimental studies, using theoretically based conceptualizations of nature, and validated measures of nature and its putative outcomes

    The relationship between sensory sensitivity and autistic traits in the general population.

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    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) tend to have sensory processing difficulties (Baranek et al. in J Child Psychol Psychiatry 47:591–601, 2006). These difficulties include over- and under-responsiveness to sensory stimuli, and problems modulating sensory input (Ben-Sasson et al. in J Autism Dev Disorders 39:1–11, 2009). As those with ASD exist at the extreme end of a continuum of autistic traits that is also evident in the general population, we investigated the link between ASD and sensory sensitivity in the general population by administering two questionnaires online to 212 adult participants. Results showed a highly significant positive correlation (r = .775, p &#60; .001) between number of autistic traits and the frequency of sensory processing problems. These data suggest a strong link between sensory processing and autistic traits in the general population, which in turn potentially implicates sensory processing problems in social interaction difficulties

    The impact of non-cognitive skills on outcomes for young people. A literature review

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    The term ‘non-cognitive skills’ refers to a set of attitudes, behaviours, and strategies that are thought to underpin success in school and at work, such as motivation, perseverance, and self-control. They are usually contrasted with the ‘hard skills’ of cognitive ability in areas such as literacy and numeracy, which are measured by academic tests. Non-cognitive skills are increasingly considered to be as important as, or even more important than, cognitive skills or IQ in explaining academic and employment outcomes. Indeed, there is now growing attention from policymakers on how such ‘character’ or ‘soft’ skills can be developed in children and young people. However, despite growing interest in this topic, the causal relationship between non-cognitive skills and later outcomes is not well established. This rapid literature review is intended to summarise the existing evidence on how ‘non-cognitive skills’ can be defined and measured; assess the evidence that such skills have a causal impact on later outcomes; and the role of select interventions that aim to improve non-cognitive skills in children and young people. It has been jointly funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and Cabinet Office to inform future work in this area

    Embodied Precision : Intranasal Oxytocin Modulates Multisensory Integration

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    © 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Multisensory integration processes are fundamental to our sense of self as embodied beings. Bodily illusions, such as the rubber hand illusion (RHI) and the size-weight illusion (SWI), allow us to investigate how the brain resolves conflicting multisensory evidence during perceptual inference in relation to different facets of body representation. In the RHI, synchronous tactile stimulation of a participant's hidden hand and a visible rubber hand creates illusory body ownership; in the SWI, the perceived size of the body can modulate the estimated weight of external objects. According to Bayesian models, such illusions arise as an attempt to explain the causes of multisensory perception and may reflect the attenuation of somatosensory precision, which is required to resolve perceptual hypotheses about conflicting multisensory input. Recent hypotheses propose that the precision of sensorimotor representations is determined by modulators of synaptic gain, like dopamine, acetylcholine, and oxytocin. However, these neuromodulatory hypotheses have not been tested in the context of embodied multisensory integration. The present, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study ( N = 41 healthy volunteers) aimed to investigate the effect of intranasal oxytocin (IN-OT) on multisensory integration processes, tested by means of the RHI and the SWI. Results showed that IN-OT enhanced the subjective feeling of ownership in the RHI, only when synchronous tactile stimulation was involved. Furthermore, IN-OT increased an embodied version of the SWI (quantified as estimation error during a weight estimation task). These findings suggest that oxytocin might modulate processes of visuotactile multisensory integration by increasing the precision of top-down signals against bottom-up sensory input.Peer reviewedFinal Accepted Versio

    Are there effects of mother's post-16 education on the next generation? Effects on children's development and mothers' parenting [Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report No. 19]

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    There is an extensive body of research which shows that the children of parents with longer participation in education do better in standard tests of school attainment than those whose parents have had less education. One of the mechanisms put forward for explaining the intergenerational transmission of educational success is parenting. This report adds to a growing body of research from the Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning on the inter-generational transmission of educational success and issues of parenting skills, behaviours and attitudes. The report seeks to establish whether the strong correlation between mothers' participation in education and both her child's development and her parenting results from a primarily causal relationship, or from selection effects. Using longitudinal data spanning three generations, we find that while mothers' participation in post-compulsory education has some small positive causal effects, much of the apparent relationship between a mother's post-16 educational participation and measures of her children's cognitive ability and her parenting skills is driven by the selection bias – it is largely other factors, such as her aspirations, motivation and prior achievement, which determine her child's attainment and affect her decision to stay on in education. Much of the developmental literature tends towards a causal interpretation of the relationship between parents' education and the development and ability of their children. However, the results of this report suggest that such assumptions should be made with considerable caution. Our findings suggest that simply extending the length of time that women spend in education may do little to directly affect the educational attainment of their children. Rather, it is the ability and aspirations of women which inform their participation in post-16 education, their parenting ability and the attainment of their children. It may be through inter-generational continuities in factors such as these that inequalities in educational success are transmitted through the generations. This suggests that supporting children in learning through early and continued investment in quality education and developmental opportunities is more important in addressing social immobility than simply extending the average length of participation, important though that may be

    A meta-analysis of transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of child and young person anxiety disorders

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    Background: Previous meta-analyses of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for children and young people with anxiety disorders have not considered the efficacy of transdiagnostic CBT for the remission of childhood anxiety. Aim: To provide a meta-analysis on the efficacy of transdiagnostic CBT for children and young people with anxiety disorders. Methods: The analysis included randomized controlled trials using transdiagnostic CBT for children and young people formally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. An electronic search was conducted using the following databases: ASSIA, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, Current Controlled Trials, Medline, PsycArticles, PsychInfo, and Web of Knowledge. The search terms included “anxiety disorder(s)”, “anxi∗”, “cognitive behavio∗, “CBT”, “child∗”, “children”, “paediatric”, “adolescent(s)”, “adolescence”, “youth” and “young pe∗”. The studies identified from this search were screened against the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and 20 studies were identified as appropriate for inclusion in the current meta-analysis. Pre- and posttreatment (or control period) data were used for analysis. Results: Findings indicated significantly greater odds of anxiety remission from pre- to posttreatment for those engaged in the transdiagnostic CBT intervention compared with those in the control group, with children in the treatment condition 9.15 times more likely to recover from their anxiety diagnosis than children in the control group. Risk of bias was not correlated with study effect sizes. Conclusions: Transdiagnostic CBT seems effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety in children and young people. Further research is required to investigate the efficacy of CBT for children under the age of 6