Background Children (background + child)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Working memory functioning in children with learning disabilities: does intelligence make a difference?

C. Maehler
Abstract Background Children with learning disabilities are identified by their severe learning problems and their deficient school achievement. On the other hand, children with sub-average school achievement and sub-average intellectual development are thought to suffer from a general intellectual delay rather than from specific learning disabilities. The open question is whether these two groups are characterised by differences in their cognitive functioning. The present study explored several functions of working memory. Method A working memory battery with tasks for the phonological loop, the visual,spatial sketchpad and central executive skills was presented in individual sessions to 27 children with learning disabilities and normal IQ (ICD-10: mixed disorders of scholastic skills), 27 children with learning disabilities and low IQ (intellectual disabilities), and a control group of 27 typically developing children with regular school achievement levels and normal IQ. Results The results reveal an overall deficit in working memory of the two groups with learning disabilities compared with the control group. However, unexpectedly, there were no differences between the two groups of children with disabilities (normal vs. low IQ). Conclusions These findings do not support the notion of different cognitive functioning because of differences in intelligence of these two groups. In the ongoing discussion about the role of intelligence (especially as to the postulated discrepancy between intelligence and school achievement in diagnosis and special education), our findings might lead to rethinking the current practice of treating these two groups as fundamentally different. [source]

Preschool children with and without developmental delay: behaviour problems, parents' optimism and well-being

B. L. Baker
Abstract Background Children with intellectual disability are at heightened risk for behaviour problems, and these are known to increase parenting stress. This study explored the relation of behaviour problems to less child-related domains of parent well-being (depression and marital adjustment), as well as the moderating effect of a personality trait, dispositional optimism. Method Participating children (N = 214) were classified as developmentally delayed, borderline, or nondelayed. Mothers' and fathers' well-being and child behaviour problems were assessed at child ages 3 and 4 years. Results Parents of delayed and nondelayed preschoolers generally did not differ on depression or marital adjustment, but child behaviour problems were strongly related to scores on both measures. Optimism moderated this relationship, primarily for mothers. When child behaviour problems were high, mothers who were less optimistic reported lower scores on measures of well-being than did mothers who were more optimistic. Conclusions Interventions for parents that aim to enhance both parenting skills and psycholog- ical well-being should be available in preschool. It may be beneficial for such programmes to focus not only on behaviour management strategies aimed at child behaviour change, but also on parents' belief systems, with the aim of increasing dispositional optimism. [source]

Pre-school children with and without developmental delay: behaviour problems and parenting stress over time

B. L. Baker
Abstract Background Children with intellectual disability are at heightened risk for behaviour problems and diagnosed mental disorder. Methods The present authors studied the early manifestation and continuity of problem behaviours in 205 pre-school children with and without developmental delays. Results Behaviour problems were quite stable over the year from age 36,48 months. Children with developmental delays were rated higher on behaviour problems than their non-delayed peers, and were three times as likely to score in the clinical range. Mothers and fathers showed high agreement in their rating of child problems, especially in the delayed group. Parenting stress was also higher in the delayed group, but was related to the extent of behaviour problems rather than to the child's developmental delay. Conclusions Over time, a transactional model fit the relationship between parenting stress and behaviour problems: high parenting stress contributed to a worsening in child behaviour problems over time, and high child behaviour problems contributed to a worsening in parenting stress. Findings for mothers and fathers were quite similar. [source]

Emotional and behavioural problems in subgroups of children with chronic illness: results from a large-scale population study

M. Hysing
Abstract Background Children with chronic illness are known to have an increased risk of emotional and behavioural problems. In the present population-based study children with asthma, neurological disorders and other chronic illnesses were compared with children without chronic illnesses to assess differences in psychological presentation across illness groups. Methods A total of 537 children with parent-reported chronic illness in the Bergen Child Study were categorized into three groups: asthma, neurological disorders and other chronic illnesses. Emotional and behavioural problems were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Results All three illness groups had an increased rate of emotional and behavioural problems, as well as increased probability of a psychiatric disorder compared with children without a chronic illness. Most children with asthma and other chronic illnesses did not have emotional and behavioural problems, and effect sizes were small in both groups. In children with neurological disorders the effect sizes ranged from moderate to large, with emotional problems, inattention hyperactivity and peer problems being the most frequent problems. Conclusions The increased rate of emotional and behavioural problems in children with chronic illness, especially neurological disorders, emphasizes the importance of early detection of mental health problems in these children. [source]

School experiences after treatment for a brain tumour

P. Upton
Abstract Background Children surviving a brain tumour face major difficulties including learning problems, lengthy school absences and psychosocial problems, all of which can impact on school functioning. Our aims were to provide information for parents and teachers about the skills and resources of this group. Specifically, we aimed to: ,,describe the special educational needs of these children; ,,document the impact of diagnosis and treatment on school attendance; ,,compare parent and teacher assessments of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Methods Forty families agreed to participate (response rate = 58.82%). The children (19 males and 21 females) were aged from 6 to 16 years and had completed treatment at least 2 years previously (range = 2 years,12 years 5 months). Questionnaires (Strengths and Difficulties and school experience) were completed by mothers and teachers. Results Survivors were experiencing a wide range of physical, learning and interpersonal difficulties, according to parent and teacher reports. Almost half the children (n = 19) had ongoing neurological problems that were significant enough to require special help at school. Literacy and numeracy were the most common learning difficulties. Parents also rated brain tumour survivors as having more behavioural and emotional problems than would be expected from population norms. For example, survivors were rated as having more Total Difficulties (t = 6.86, P < 0.001), Emotional Symptoms (t = 8.82, P < 0.001), Hyperactivity (t = 2.25, P = 0.03), Peer Relationship Problems (t = 7.58, P < 0.001) and poorer Pro-social Behaviour (t = ,3.34, P = 0.002) than would be expected from population norms. These problems were also seen to be having a significant impact on the child's functioning (t = 3.95, P < 0.001). Teachers rated these problems as less serious than parents. Conclusion These children experience significant problems in school some time after diagnosis and when they are considered medically cured. Closer school,hospital liaison is essential to maximize integration and achievement in these children. [source]

A meta-analysis of the association between Caesarean section and childhood asthma

S. Thavagnanam
Summary Background Children born by Caesarean section have modified intestinal bacterial colonization and consequently may have an increased risk of developing asthma under the hygiene hypothesis. The results of previous studies that have investigated the association between Caesarean section and asthma have been conflicting. Objective To review published literature and perform a meta-analysis summarizing the evidence in support of an association between children born by Caesarean section and asthma. Methods MEDLINE, Web Science, Google Scholar and PubMed were searched to identify relevant studies. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated for each study from the reported prevalence of asthma in children born by Caesarean section and in control children. Meta-analysis was then used to derive a combined OR and test for heterogeneity in the findings between studies. Results Twenty-three studies were identified. The overall meta-analysis revealed an increase in the risk of asthma in children delivered by Caesarean section (OR=1.22, 95% CI 1.14, 1.29). However, in this analysis, there was evidence of heterogeneity (I2=46%) that was statistically significant (P<0.001). Restricting the analysis to childhood studies, this heterogeneity was markedly decreased (I2=32%) and no longer attained statistical significance (P=0.08). In these studies, there was also evidence of an increase (P<0.001) in the risk of asthma after Caesarean section (OR=1.20, 95% CI 1.14, 12.6). Conclusion In this meta-analysis, we found a 20% increase in the subsequent risk of asthma in children who had been delivered by Caesarean section. [source]