Post graduate student, Faculty of Psychology,
Lomonosov Moscow State University,
Background. Embodied finger counting has been shown to have cross-cultural differences in previous studies (Lindemann, Alipour, & Fisher, 2011; Soto & Lalain, 2008). However, their results were contradictory in reference to Western populations with regard to the hand preferred: The first study showed that in Western countries — Europe and the United States — participants preferred to start with the left hand (whereas in the Middle East — Iran — they used the right hand); the second study showed that participants in France preferred the right hand.
Objective. Our study aimed to observe these differences in two countries, Spain (Western Europe) and Russia (Eastern Europe part), although taking into account the variety of cultural or ethnic groups who live there.
Design. The observational/descriptive study, together with correlational analysis of the finger-counting pattern (from 1 to 10) used by children aged 10 to 12 who had not been taught to use their fingers for counting, considered factors of cultural origin and hand dominance. The possible effects of this action on cognition — in our case, math achievement — were considered also.
Results and conclusion. The differences in the frequency of the finger-counting patterns might suggest cultural-individual differences in performance; however, the correlational analysis did not reveal that these differences were statistically significant, either for gender or for mark in math. However, hand dominance was a significant predictor of the preferred hand with which to start counting.
Keywords: embodied numerosity, finger counting, cross-cultural research, individual differences, hand dominance
An in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy is stressful both financially and emotionally. Patients undergoing an IVF procedure often have already had infertility and reproductive losses. Pregnancy through IVF involves the increased risk of various medical complications. Experts around the world are actively engaged in studying the specifics of the mental state of participants in IVF programs during pregnancy. Of critical importance is the issue of providing psychological support for couples who are preparing for and who have received an IVF pregnancy.
The aim of our research was to investigate the mental state of women participating in an IVF program. The study involved 224 pregnant women in the second and third trimesters: 62 women with an IVF pregnancy and 162 women who conceived naturally. The study took place at the Kulakov Scientific Center for Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology in Moscow, Russia. All the study participants had encountered medical complications during their pregnancy. No significant differences were identified in mental well-being in the two groups; this finding suggests that somatic complications during pregnancy are a general source of anxiety regardless of the reason for their occurrence. The second and third trimesters of pregnancy register increased anxiety levels associated with experiences of reproductive loss and the presence of physical problems. The main resources of a woman’s personality that contribute to her self-confidence and mental stability are her professional employment and flexible behavior.
Keywords: IVF, psychology of pregnancy, mental state, motherhood
Preschool childhood is a time of rapid development. During this period a child`s interaction with significant adults plays a very important role. The parent, as a mediator, defines the “zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky, 1984). The common assumption is that to determine a parent’s position, it is important to acknowledge both socio-demographic factors and the parameters which define the socio-psychological aspects of parent-child relationship. Hence, the type of research where a child’s psychological development is studied in the context of the socio-demographic and socio-psychological factors which determine the social situation of development, is very promising.
Based on our previous research (Sobkin, Marich, 2002; Cheie, Veraksa, 2015), a program of experimental research intended to determine the interconnections between the socio-demographic and socio-psychological parameters of parent-child relationships, and the level of a child’s psychic development, was designed. The research was based upon the material obtained through testing 59 children between 5 and 7 years old with specially collected psychological testing methods (Veraksa A.N. etc), as well as from the results of a special sociological questionnaire presented to their mothers (Sobkin V.S. etc). The research was carried out in 2014-2015 in municipal kindergartens of Moscow.
Among the socio-demographic factors analyzed, the most significant results were related to the child’s gender, the family structure, and the mother’s education. Thus, boys showed higher results on visual memory tests, and girls scored better on tests for self-control and social intelligence (higher ability to detect the reason for someone else’s negative emotions). Children from single-parent families had better results on verbal memory tests, but scored lower on those for self-control. Also they had less ability for decentration. The differences in mothers’ educational levels influenced the number and intensity of children’s fears, as well as their inclinations to avoid fearsome situations.
The analysis of features of the parenting position (such as attitude toward one’s future, positive/negative emotional state during the interaction with the child, authoritative/ democratic approach to upbringing) revealed two different strategies which children used to perform executive tasks.
Thus, the present research showed a significant degree of essential connections between socio-demographic factors and parent-child relationships to the specifics of a child’s mental development.
Keywords: child development, preschool age, social situation of development, parentchild relationships, executive functions, social intelligence