Psych Essay, Research Paper

The five journal articles I examined were all from a journal

titled Developmental Psychology, May 2000. The first

journal article that I observed was ?Sleep Patterns and

Sleep Disruptions in School-Aged Children.? This study

assessed the sleep patterns, sleep disruptions, and

sleepiness of school-age children. Sleep patterns of 140

children (72 boys and 68 girls; 2nd-, 4th-, and 6th-grade

students) were evaluated with activity monitors

(actigraphs). In addition, the children and their parents

completed complementary sleep questionnaires and daily

reports. The findings reflected significant age differences,

indicating that older children have more delayed sleep onset

times and increased reported daytime sleepiness. Girls were

found to spend more time in sleep and to have an increased

percentage of motionless sleep. Fragmented sleep was found

in 18% of the children. No age differences were found in any

of the sleep quality measures. Scores on objective sleep

measures were associated with subjective reports of

sleepiness. Family stress, parental age, and parental

education were related to the child’s sleep-wake measures.

The next article I observed was ?Shared Caregiving:

Comparisons Between Home and Child-Care Settings.? The

experiences of 84 German toddlers (12-24 months old) who

were either enrolled or not enrolled in child care were

described with observational checklists from the time they

woke up until they went to bed. The total amount of care

experienced over the course of a weekday by 35 pairs of

toddlers (1 member of each pair in child care, 1 member not)

did not differ according to whether the toddlers spent time

in child care. Although the child-care toddlers received

lower levels of care from care providers in the centers,

their mothers engaged them in more social interactions

during non-working hours than did the mothers of home-only

toddlers, which suggests that families using child care

provided different patterns of care than families not using

child care. Child-care toddlers experienced high levels of

emotional support at home, although they experienced less

prompt responses to their distress signals. Mothers’ ages

were unrelated to the amounts of time toddlers spent with

them, but older mothers initiated more closeness.

The next article I wrote on was ?Friendship and Social

Competence in a Sample of Preschool Children Attending Head

Start.? Relations between friendship and social competence

were studied for children (mostly African American)

attending Head Start. Initial analyses showed that children

with reciprocated friends had higher social competence

scores than children without reciprocated friends.

Correlation?s suggested that the number of changed

friendships was associated with the social ability

indicators studied here. Beyond the cost of having no

reciprocated friends, having non-reciprocated friendships

was not a liability. Cross-time analysis suggested differing

patterns of relations for boys and girls. Having, versus not

having a reciprocated friend was unstable across time,

because there was a trend toward participating in

reciprocated friendships from 3 to 4 years of age (most

older children had at least one reciprocated friend). For

girls there was a positive relation between the number of

reciprocated friendships. No benefit (in terms of social

competence) was found for children making the transition

from one classroom to the next with a friend.

The next article was ?Where?s the Ball? Two- and

Three-Year-Olds Reason About Unseen Events.? Children 2, 2

1/2, and 3 years of age engaged in a search task in which

they opened one of four doors in an occluder to retrieve a

ball that had been rolled behind the occluder. The correct

door was determined by a partially visible wall placed

behind the occluder that stopped the motion of the unseen

ball. Only the oldest group of children was able to reliably

choose the correct door. All children were able to retrieve

a toy that had been hidden in the same apparatus if the toy

was hidden from the front by opening a door. Analysis of the

younger children’s errors indicated that they did not search

randomly but instead used a variety of strategies. The

results are consistent with the Piagetian view that the

ability to use representations to guide action develops

slowly over the first years of life.

The final article I read was ?Gender, Affiliation,

Assertion, and the Interactive Context of Parent-Child

Play.? In this study ninety-eight young U.S. children

(average age-4 years) with either European, Latin American,

or multiple ethnic backgrounds were videotaped with their

mothers and their fathers on separate occasions in their

families’ homes. Parent-child pairs played for 8 minutes

each with a feminine-stereotyped toy set (foods and plates)

and a masculine-stereotyped toy set (track and cars). Levels

of affiliation (engaging vs. distancing) and assertion

(direct vs. non-direct) were rated on 7-point scales every 5

seconds from the videotapes for both parent and child.

Overall, the play activity accounted for a large proportion

of the variance in parents’ and children’s mean affiliation

and assertion ratings. Some hypothesized gender-related

differences in behavior were also observed. In addition,

exploratory analyses revealed some differences between the

different ethnic groups. The results highlight the

importance of role modeling and activity settings in the

socialization and social construction of gender.

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