23
Nov2022
A Longitudinal Study on the Immediate and Long-term Effects of Television Exposure on Preschoolers’ Executive Function

Executive function comprises a series of higher-order cognitive abilities of individuals that can effectively regulate their behavior and thinking. It has three main components: working memory, inhibition, and set shifting. Young children need to use their executive function to make plans, eliminate interference, keep focused, and memorize and retain information, as well as to adapt themselves to different rules and perform self-monitoring. Childhood executive function affects children’s development in various aspects, such as psychology, social adaptation, early language ability, etc. It can also predict their later academic achievements and lay a foundation for the development of higher cognitive competences in their adulthood. Television is one of the most popular electronic media. Existing research on the impact of television exposure on child development found that children’s television viewing time is somewhat correlated with their executive function.

 

This study adopted longitudinal research design and lasted for one year, aiming to examine the immediate and long-term effects of television exposure on preschoolers’ executive function. Cluster sampling were conducted in three kindergartens in Ningbo City of Zhejiang Province and a total of 289 subjects included in the study with 29 kids in the 2-year-old group, 74 in the 3-year-old group, 65 in the 4-year-old group, and 121 in the 5-year-old group. The media use questionnaire (parents’ version) and the preschool children’s executive function scale were used to collect children’s data in the first, sixth, and twelfth months through the same process. The cross-lagged regression was applied in data analysis.

 

The research results showed that, over time, children’s executive function scored significantly more points in the 12th month than at the outset and in the 6th month of the study. In all three sessions of investigation, children spent more time watching TV on weekends than weekdays, and their weekly television viewing time was negatively related to their executive function, demonstrating that has an immediate negative impact on their executive function. However, television exposure could not predict children’s executive function in a long term, indicating that the longitudinal connection between television viewing time and executive function in young children is not significant.

 

The study makes the following suggestions to parents of preschool children: (1) Avoid exposing children to television at too early an age; (2) Set a time limit on children’s television watching; (3) Enrich children’s home activities during weekends and holidays; (4) Engage in high-quality parent-child interaction and reduce dependence on digital games.

Source:Xiong, Y. C., Yu, H. X., Liu, Y. P., & Li, H. (2022). A Longitudinal Study on the Immediate and Long-term Effects of Television Exposure on Preschoolers’ Executive Function. Studies in Preschool Education, 2022 (08): 53-63. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13861/j.cnki.sece.2022.08.010
17
Nov2022
TUTORING IMPLEMENTATION: A REVIEW

The Covid-19 pandemic interrupted student learning to various extents in the past two years. Many studies demonstrate that tutoring programs where students receive small-group or one-to-one academic support are effective in improving academic achievement. However, there are few reviews that summarize the evidence on these programs’ implementation. A group of researchers at Brown University conducted a systematic review of 40 studies to synthesize how tutoring is implemented and experienced.

This review provides three findings:

  • There are five conceptualizations of tutoring in the reviewed studies, which are not mutually exclusive:
    1. Tutoring is aimed at facilitating the development of academic skills and cultivation of positive attitudes toward learning;
    2. Tutoring is innovative in that it redistributes power and instructional roles;
    3. Tutoring scaffolds pre-service teachers getting prepared for classroom instruction;
    4. Tutoring serves as a marketplace where tutors compete to provide accessible tutoring resources of high quality;
    5. Tutoring services can better cater to students’ and parents’ demands through community partnerships.

 

  • Tutoring implementation and experiences can be related to several factors:
    1. How available quality tutoring providers are;
    2. How accessible accurate and actionable data on the effectiveness of tutoring programs is;
    3. How interested students and families are in tutoring;
    4. How capable of implementing tutoring administrators are;
    5. How high the level of school principals’ buy-in of tutoring programs is;
    6. How students are selected for tutoring programs and what the patterns of student take-up are;
    7. How flexible tutoring programs’ schedules and settings are;
    8. How well-established student-tutor relationships are.

 

  • Tutoring can influence students and tutors in various ways:
    1. Tutoring’s effects on students vary with the design and implementation of tutoring programs;
    2. Some tutors got more prepared and passionate in their careers while some others did not.

This review provides valuable information on the elements influencing tutoring implementation and indicates directions for further research.

Source:White, Sara, Leiah Groom-Thomas, and Susanna Loeb. (2022). Undertaking complex but effective instructional supports for students: A systematic review of research on high-impact tutoring planning and implementation. (EdWorkingPaper: 22-652). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/wztf-wj14
14
Nov2022
The Impact of Childhood Violence on Mental Health of Rural Children in China and its Gender Differences

Childhood violence severely impairs physical and mental health of children all over the world. It can inflict not only serious physical injury but also lifelong depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental problems on the victims. Childhood violence prevention and intervention have become a focus of child protection policies in all nations. This study investigated the issue of childhood violence in rural China from a gender perspective, based on empirical research on 2409 boys and 2534 girls from eight provinces.  

Research findings demonstrate that: (1) Physical maltreatment and emotional abuse are relatively common among rural children, and rural boys face more serious risks of violence than girls. (2) Violence experiences impose a significant adverse impact on children’s mental health, and violence trauma is more harmful to girls than boys. (3) Family relationships are the main factors related to child depression in rural areas. There are prominent gender differences in the influences of various factors. First, the father’s domestic violence against the mother often increases the probability of boys developing depression, but has little impact on girls; second, the father-child interaction is more important for boys’ recovery from depression; Third, parental support has a more salient effect on the prevention of depression in girls; Fourth, peer psychological support is more meaningful for girls, but has limited effect on boys; last, girls’ perception of depression before and after puberty differs greatly, while the influence of age on that of boys is minor

The above findings highlight the significant differences in childhood violence experiences  as well as their mental damage between boys and girls, which necessitate the establishment of gender-based child protection policies. 

Source:Wan. G. W. & Xu. Y. C. (2022). The Impact of Childhood Violence on Mental Health of Rural Children in China and its Gender Differences. Social Construction, 9 (05): 66-82.
11
Nov2022
DOES AN ACADEMIC LANGUAGE CURRICULUM IMPROVE ELEMENTARY STUDENTS’ READING SKILLS?

recent randomized evaluation funded by the Institute of Education Sciences investigated the effects of WordGen Elementary on students’ reading achievement. WordGen Elementary includes a curriculum with reading, writing, and speaking activities that aim to enhance students’ understanding and communication of academic language as well as improve their reading skills. The implementation of the program is supported by professional development for teachers.

The study involved 55 elementary schools in five states with a high percentage of English learners. Students were randomly assigned to receive WordGen Elementary or to continue with their regular practice. Reading achievement was measured using the Core Academic Language Skills Instrument (CALS-I), Gates-MacGinitie reading test (GMRT), and state ELA test.

Results after one year showed close to zero effects on CALS-I (ES = -0.06), GRMT (ES = -0.08), and the state ELA test (ES = -0.03) for both fourth and fifth graders. The study separately analyzed the results for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and for English Language Learners, finding effects similar to the ones of the full group.

Source: Corrin, W., Zhu, P., Shih, M., Brown, K. T., Teres, J., Darrow, C., Nichols, A., & Lack, K. (2022). The Effects of an Academic Language Program on Student Reading Outcomes (NCEE 2022-007). U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education and Regional Assistance. http://ies.ed.gov/ncee .
10
Nov2022
Parental Phubbing and Young Children’ Problem Behavior: A Moderated Mediation Model

Child problem behaviors refer to those behaviors that are detrimental to physical and mental health of young children, including externalizing problems such as aggression, violence, disobedience to discipline, etc. and internalizing ones like anxiety, depression, withdrawal and so on. Problem behaviors impede children’s acquisition of knowledge and skills. The parent-child relationship is considered a key factor affecting children’s growth, and the quality of parent-child interaction can predict child problem behaviors. The popularization of smart phones and other electronic devices today has led to a special human behavior dubbed “phubbing”, which is not beneficial to interpersonal communication and interaction. As a result, it is necessary to undertake a deep investigation into the negative impact of parental phubbing on child development.

 

This study sampled 527 parents (189 fathers and 338 mothers) from14 kindergartens in Liaoning, Shandong, and Shanxi Provinces, involving 127 three-year-olds, 157 four-year-olds, and 148 five-year-olds, and 95 six-year-olds. The Parental Phubbing Scale, Child-Parent Relationship Scale, Conners’ Child Problem Behavior Scale, and family social and economic status (SES) measurement were used as research tools; the common method bias test was adopted as the research method.

 

The results of the study show that: the overall severity of phubbing among parents is high, while the severity of problem behavior in young children is of lower-middle level; parental phubbing can not only directly predict child problem behaviors, but also indirectly predict them through the parent-child relationship; young children’s age enhanced the predictive effect of parental phubbing on child problem behaviors, but weakened that of the parent-child relationship on child problem behaviors; When the parent scores between 18.7 and 24.5 points in the Parental Phubbing Scale, the problem behavior of his or her child surpasses the alert threshold.

 

To ensure the healthy growth of young children, parents should be alert to the cumulative risk effect of their phubbing and its threshold, reduce their cell phone dependence, and dedicate quality time to children.

 

Source:Zu, J., Yang, W. Y., Zhou, T. F., Teng, W. Q., & Dan, F. (2022). Parental Phubbing and Young Children’ Problem Behavior: A Moderated Mediation Model. Studies in Preschool Education, 2022 (06): 34-48. DOI: 10.13861/j.cnki.sece.2022.06.013