Elements of Sensory-Emotional Experience as an Integral Part of Forming Visual Meanings: the Role of Conceptual Abilities
Background. This article analyzes the relationship between sensory-emotional experience inthe process of semantic description of vague visual figures,and the level of conceptual (categorical and generative) abilities.
Objective. The objective of our study was, first, to show the differences in the degree and features of activation of elements of sensory-emotional experience in the process of constructing the meanings of vague visual figures; and, second, to show the relationship of these differences with the level of categorical and generative abilities.
Design.We studied 102 older adolescents ages 15-16 years. The research program included the following methods: 1) "Description of vague figures" (E.Yu. Artemyeva's technique change,1980; 1999); 2) "Generalization of three words" (Kholodnaya, 2012; Kholodnaya et al., 2019); and 3) "Conceptual synthesis" (Kholodnaya, 2012; Kholodnaya et al., 2019).
Results. Our results showed that generative abilities play the leading role in determining the degree of severity and diversity of different modalities in forming visual meanings, as compared with categorical abilities. The transition simulation hypothesis explains the results. However, the embodied character of mental modeling (simulation) is not determined “bottom-up” by the individual’s bodily state or the activity of corresponding brain zones. On the contrary, conceptual (namely, generative) structures determine the form of the conceptual representations from the "top down."
Conclusion. Generative abilities represent the highest level of organization of personal conceptual experience, which acquires a multimodal quality, due to the integral nature of conceptual (generative) structures.
Keywords: conceptual abilities/ categorical abilities/ generative abilities/ visual meanings/ modality/ sensory-emotional experience/ generative structures/ embodied simulation hypothesis
Measuring Spatial Ability for Talent Identification, Educational Assessment, and Support: Evidence from Adolescents with High Achievement in Science, Arts, and SportsBudakova, A.V.; Likhanov, M.V.; Toivainen, T.; Zhurbitskiy, A.V.; Sitnikova, M.A.; Bezrukova, E.M.; Kovas, Yu.V.
Background. Spatial ability (SA) is a robust predictor of academic and occupational achievement. The present study investigated the psychometric properties of 10 tests for measuring of SA in a sample of talented schoolchildren.
Objective. Our purpose was to identify the most suitable measurements for SA for the purpose of talent identification, educational assessment, and support.
Design. Our sample consisted of 1479 schoolchildren who had demonstrated high achievement in Science, Arts, or Sports. Several criteria were applied to evaluate the measurements, including an absence of floor and ceiling effects, low redundancy, high reliability, and external validity.
Results. Based on these criteria, we included the following four tests in an Online Short Spatial Ability Battery “OSSAB”: Pattern Assembly; Mechanical Reasoning; Paper Folding; and Shape Rotation. Further analysis found differences in spatial ability across the three groups of gifted adolescents. The Science track showed the highest results in all four tests.
Conclusion. Overall, the study suggested that the Online Short Spatial Ability Battery (OSSAB) can be used for talent identification, educational assessment, and support. The analysis showed a unifactorial structure of spatial abilities. Future research is needed to evaluate the use of this battery with other specific samples and unselected populations.
Keywords: education/ educational streaming/ factor analysis/ investment of effort/ gifted children/ reliability/ spatial ability
Visuospatial Working Memory Development across Years of Schooling
Background. Visuospatial working memory changes across years of schooling. According to data from the cross-sectional and longitudinal studies available in the literature, conclusions about the linear or nonlinear nature of changes in visuospatial working memory depend on the period of time analyzed and the frequency of the measurements. However, which of the two nonlinear models of functional dependence (e.g., quadratic or cubic) best describes the developmental trajectories of visuospatial memory across schooling is still an open question.
Objective. The results of statistical analysis of the development of visuospatial working memory in girls and boys across school years from Grade 1 to Grade 11 are presented. Additionally, the relationship between age and years of schooling is investigated, as is the influence of these factors on the developmental trajectory of visuospatial working memory.
Design. This cross-sectional study involved 1,246 pupils who were in Grades 1 to 11 at one public school; their ages ranged from 6.8 to 19.1 years (50.4% were boys). The students’ visuospatial working memory was measured using the computerized “Sequences” test, which is based on the “Corsi block-tapping task” and has been adapted for Russian schoolchildren. Correlations, dispersion analysis, and polynomial regression were carried out, and both linear and nonlinear models of the functional dependence of working memory on years of schooling were tested.
Results. The results of the multiple regression analysis suggest that number of years of schooling is a more important factor than age with regard to temporal changes in visuospatial working memory. When we introduced “years of schooling” and “age” predictors into a single model, we found the year of schooling to be the most significant predictor of visuospatial working memory (β = 1.07;p = 0.000).While age remained a statistically significant predictor (β = -0.52;p = 0.008), it did not significantly improve the model characteristics (corrected R2 = 0.30; F(2) = 253.9; p<0.01).
The results of the polynomial regression showed that during schooling, the developmental trajectories of visuospatial working memory are nonlinear for both genders. In girls, both the quadratic and cubic models explained 36% of the variance in visuospatial working memory, but the quadratic model had the least number of parameters and the best fit to data. In boys, despite all theoretical models being suitable, the largest percentage of the variance in visuospatial working memory values was explained using the cubic model (R2= 0.31; p = 0.000). Thus, the characteristic of change in visuospatial working memory for girls had a quadratic relationship that stabilized after Grade 8, while for boys, the relationship was cubic, with the period of stabilization between Grades 5 and 6, and then further growth.
Conclusion. We concluded that the number of years of study is an important factor in the development of visuospatial working memory during the schooling period, but that there are other factors involved as well.
Keywords: visuospatial working memory; school education; grade; age; cross-sectional study; polynomial regression; gender differences
Digital Socialization of Adolescents in the Russian Federation: Parental Mediation, Online Risks, and Digital Competence
Background. Digital socialization is understood to be mediated by all available digital technological processes for mastering and appropriating a social experience online. Understanding of this new type of socialization requires studying parental mediation strategies for children’s online activity, as well as the level of digital literacy of both children and parents, including through the prism of adolescents’ confrontation with online risks.
Objective. To study digital socialization and the role of parents in this process; to reveal relationships between parental user activity, mediation, and digital competence, and adolescents’ user activity, digital competence, and experience of online risks.
Design. The study was conducted on the basis of the EU Kids Online 2017–2019 survey methodology. The sample consisted of 1,553 schoolchildren aged 12–17 and 1,219 parents of adolescents the same age, all from the Russian Federation.
Results. The findings show that parents underestimate the online risks faced by adolescents, especially the most common communication and content online risks. Adolescents often do not notice parental “restrictive” and “active“ mediation of their online activities. Adolescents’ request for parental help with their online difficulties depends not on the parents’ digital competence, but on their active mediation. In following parental active mediation and safety mediation strategies, adolescents are more likely to face online risks, but at the same time they use active coping strategies. The negative relationship between the adolescents’ digital competence and parental restrictive mediation and technical control suggests that excessive control and limitations hinder the development of knowledge and skills in the safe mastering of the Internet.
Conclusion. The digital gap between adolescents and parents is observed both in confrontation with online risks and awareness of this experience, and in the application of parental mediation strategies. Parental active mediation provides stronger digital socialization and more constructive ways of coping with the threats of the digital world – online risks, which are the consequence of deep immersion into this world.
Keywords: digital socialization, adolescents, parental mediation, digital competence, online risks
Differences in Fathering among Russian Men Brought up with and without a Father
Background. In this article, we present the results of a study on the fathering characteristics of Russian men, in early and middle adulthood, brought up with and without a father. There is a theory that fathering practices are determined both by early childhood experiences, as well as by marital relationships in adulthood, because of the links between co-parenting and fathering. Thus, we hypothesize that the fathering characteristics of men in early and middle adulthood, brought up with and without a father, will be different.
Objective. We studied the characteristics of fathering and marital satisfaction in middle adulthood among Russian men brought up without a father, who suffered from paternal deprivation in childhood.
Design. Ninety married men (48 fathers who experienced paternal deprivation in childhood and 42 men brought up in two-parent families) were assessed on a number of measures.
Results. The statistical analysis of the data, including descriptive statistics, t-test and correlation analysis, let us distinguish between the two groups of fathers. Significant t-test differences between the two groups were found in caregiving identity, breadwinning identity, attitudes towards parenting, and marital satisfaction. Also, men brought up in paternally deprived homes, unlike the men from two-parent families, were more likely to indicate difficulties with father-child relationships and gender role conflict in parenting, and give greater relevance to their female partners’ attitudes and expectations towards their fathering.
Conclusion. The lack of a father’s influence on men in childhood strengthens the influence of marital relationships on fathering, in maturity.
Keywords: fathering, paternal deprivation, marital satisfaction, caregiving identity, breadwinning identity
Parent Responsiveness and its Role in Neurocognitive and Socioemotional Development of One-Year-Old Preterm Infants
Background. It has been demonstrated that preterm birth negatively affects the neurocognitive and socioemotional development of a child. It is therefore important to identify the factors that can decrease potential risks for atypical development in preterm infants. The social environment which surrounds a child is considered to be one such factor. We hypothesize that parent responsiveness positively influences the development of a preterm child.
Objective. The purpose of this research is to reveal differences in the development of two one-year-old preterm children whose parents have exhibited opposite types of parent responsiveness.
Design. Based on the analysis of video recordings of child-parent interactions, we identified two children whose parents registered opposite patterns of responsiveness. Parent responsiveness was measured based on Parent Respon- siveness Markers Protocol methodology. The Bayley-III was used to assess the children’s cognitive and socioemotional development.
Results. We identified that the preterm child whose parent showed a high level of parental responsiveness had normative levels of neurocognitive development, socioemotional skills and adaptive behavior. The preterm child, whose parent showed a low level of parental responsiveness, scored lower on the Bayley-III.
Conclusion. Preterm birth not only affects infant development, but also has a psychological impact on parents, evoking fear and anxiety for their child. This affects parental behavior and their responsiveness towards their child. This study showed that parent responsiveness has a positive effect on the neurocognitive and socioemotional development of a preterm child. Further research should focus on assessing the role of parent responsiveness in child development using a larger sample.
Keywords: parent responsiveness, preterm child, early parent-child interaction, early socioemotional development, neurocognitive development, Bayley Scales III
Spouses’ Psychological States and Family Relations in Families with Natural and Induced PregnanciesBokhan, T.G.; Terekhina, O.V.; Shabalovskaya, M.V.; Leshchinskaia, S.B.; Silaeva, A.V.; Naku, E. A.; Selita, F.; Agarkova, L.A.
Background. Psychological tension in the family, along with stress and mental and physical illness, are linked to the reproductive health of parents, as well as to the outcomes of infertility treatments and pregnancy overall.
Objective. To compare stress and negative affect (depression, irritability, and anxiety) in families with induced pregnancies (in-vitro fertilization, IFV) vs. natural pregnancies. The relationship between negative affect and stress in pregnant women was explored in both groups. Finally, the study investigated links between negative affect and partner relationships.
Design. The sample included 308 women and 278 men from couples with natural conception, and 131 women and 102 men from couples with an IVF pregnancy.
Results. Relatively low levels of negative affective states and stress were found in families with both natural and induced pregnancies. Moderate correlations were found between women’s negative affect and their stress level in both groups. Significant correlations were found in both groups between negative psychological states of the spouses, as well as between negative psychological states and warmth/hostility in marital relations.
Conclusion. The results suggest that psychological states, stress levels, and links between psychological states and quality of family relations are similar in families with IVF and those with natural pregnancies. Further longitudinal research is needed to explore the direction of causal links between the psychological states of the spouses, and between their psychological states and the quality of family relations.
Keywords: pregnancy, IVF, infertility, family relationships, stress, psychological states
Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Predictors of the Unified State Exam Performance of Students from Schools with Regular and Advanced Mathematical Curricula
Background. Exams such as the SAT, ACT, and GCSE are used to give an account of educational outcomes and provide a unified criterion for university admission. The Unified State Exam (USE) aims to fulfill these functions in Russia. All Russian students take two compulsory USE exams, mathematics and Russian, at the end of their school education.
Objective. Variability in the mathematics and Russian USE scores is vast, both across and within schools. Our study investigated potential sources of this variability.
Design. The sample included 196 students from regular schools (non-selected students) and 306 students from schools with advanced mathematical curriculum (selected students). The mathematical ability (numerical representation, mathematical fluency), intelligence, basic cognitive functions (working memory, reaction time), and mathematical self-efficacy of the students were assessed. We applied structural equation modeling to estimate the proportion of variability in the mathematics and Russian USE scores explained by cognitive predictors and mathematical self-efficacy.
Results. In the whole sample, cognitive predictors and mathematical self-efficacy explained 54% of the variation in the mathematics USE scores and 30% of the variation in the Russian USE scores. These effects diminished after the data were analyzed in two groups separately, suggesting that the associations between predictors and exam scores were to a large extent accounted for by group differences (students from regular and specialized schools).
Conclusion. The students from the schools with an advanced mathematical curriculum exhibited better cognitive performance, appraised their mathematical abilities higher, and achieved higher mathematics and Russian USE scores, compared to the students from regular schools. Within the groups, cognitive and non-cognitive predictors explained a small part of the variation of the mathematics and Russian USE scores.
Keywords: academic achievement, Unified State Exam, mathematical ability, intelligence, number sense
Elaboration of Screening Scales for Early Diagnosis of Developmental Delay in Four- to Five-Year-Old Children in Russia
Background. While various screening systems are used worldwide for early detection of developmental delay (DD), Russia still does not have such a screening system in place, even though a good prognosis for the cognitive development of a child with DD depend strongly on the time of the diagnosis.
Objective. The objective of this study was to create a system to rapidly monitor the mental development of four- to five-year-old Russian children, a system that allows for the use of modern information technologies to obtain reliable results.
Design. This study was carried out with a sample of 1,232 children. For data collection, the multifactor study of mental development tool was used as a part of a so ware complex for longitudinal research. This tool included a much more extensive set of tasks than in traditional tests of abilities, allowing for a wider variation of the factor structure. For the 4-year-olds, 236 tasks were used and 349 for the 5-year-olds. Factor and discriminant analysis were carried out to construct scales for each age group (6–7 points in each), which most accurately predict the diagnosis (Norm/DD). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to verify the prediction model.
Results. Two scales were elaborated, which coincided with the type of variables combined in each of them regardless of age (for 4-years — simpler and for 5-years — more complex): logical reasoning, motor skills, and general awareness (listed in descending order of contribution to the prediction). SEM confirmed that the selected scales are indicators of the general ability factor, which is the main predictor of the diagnosis.
Conclusions. Two short scales for the rapid diagnosis of DD in preschool children were constructed, allowing the use of computer technology to timely identify the risk group among 4- and 5-year-olds with high sensitivity and specificity of the forecast (not lower than 95%).
Keywords: Screening, developmental delay, construction of scales, SEM
From Rare Mutations to Normal Variation: Genetic Association Study of Mathematical, Spatial, and General Cognitive Abilities
Background. Behavioral genetic findings suggest that complex traits, such as mathematical ability, general cognitive ability (intelligence; g), and spatial ability, are influenced by many common genetic variants of very small effects that operate across the ability continuum. Common genetic variants may also be responsible for cognitive deficits associated with rare genetic syndromes, in which whole genomic regions may be affected. To date, relatively few common genetic variants involved in cognitive traits have been identified, and these only explain a small proportion of variance in these traits.
Objective. The aim of the study was to find associations between mathematics-related traits and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within chromosomal regions involved in Williams and Prader-Willi disorders. Both disorders are characterized by patterns of weaknesses and strengths in cognitive abilities. Two types of analyses were performed (SNP-based and gene-based), using genotypic and phenotypic data available for 3000 participants from the UK.
Results. SNP-based tests indicated that none of the SNPs passed the demanding multiple testing correction level for any of the phenotypes. Gene-based analysis suggested that 2 pseudo-genes (i.e., GOLGA8I and WHAMMP3) were significantly associated with intelligence, and 1 gene (i.e., TUBGCP5) was significantly associated with mathematics at 16 years of age.
Conclusion. The results are consistent with other findings demonstrating that cognitive traits are influenced by many common genetic variants with very small effects. The results also suggest that a small number of these variants may be located in the chromosomal regions affected in Prader-Willi and Williams syndrome regions.
Keywords: mathematical ability, spatial ability, intelligence, genetic variation, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)
The Role of Emotional Schemas in Anxiety and Depression among Russian Medical Students
Background. Academic success in a higher education institution requires the ability to process large amounts of information in a relatively short period of time, including having proficiency at a high level of basic knowledge, and an ability to cope with stress. Continual study overload, a competitive environment, and ethical dilemmas (e.g. “How should I deal with human suffering?”, “How should I convey the diagnosis?”, “How should I tell someone that palliative treatment is the only option?”, “What if I make a mistake?”) can all result in anxiety and depression. Research has shown that students who show signs of anxiety and depression may have maladaptive cognitive strategies for processing their emotional experiences. In the medical community, the rules concerning one’s own emotions are, on one hand, determined by specific ethical standards (e.g., the idea that physicians should not show their emotions), and on the other, by the stressful situation itself, which requires taking responsibility for another person’s life. The additional stress point is the need for constant study, which requires a pro-active attitude and learning more and more skills. A significant number of physicians tend to ignore their own emotional experiences, or suppress them. The present study deals with indications of anxiety and depression on the basis of such emotional schemas, which we suggest play the key role in the development of emotional maladaptation in medical students.
Objective. In this study we observe signs of anxiety and depression in medical students and their dependence upon the intensity of dysfunctional emotional schemas.
Design. The number of participants was 400, comprised of students from general medicine (n = 300) and dentistry (n = 100) at the Moscow State University of Medicine and Dentistry.
Methods. We took from the Symptom Check List-90-Revised (Russian version, N.V. Tarabrina N.V.) the subscales related to affective and anxiety disorders: anxiety, depression, interpersonal sensitivity, obsessive-compulsiveness, somatization, and phobic anxiety. We also used 28 items from the Leahy Emotional Schema Scale II (the Russian version, adapted by the authors and Y.A. Kochetkov).
Results. The medical students fell into two groups: those with low and those with high intensity of the dysfunctional schemas. The groups were distinguished by which of Leahy’s basic emotional regulation strategies, either normalizing or pathologizing, they used. The pathologizing students followed strict, maladaptive rules concerning their emotional experiences. Students with intense dysfunctional schemas also demonstrated signs of anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsiveness, and somatization. The students who saw their emotions as normal demonstrated lower levels of dysfunctional emotional schemas. As stated in Leahy’s emotional schemas theory, such students tend to see their emotions as a normal, important, and meaningful part of their daily lives. Analysis has shown that these types of students exhibit lower levels of anxiety, depression, obsessive- compulsiveness, somatization, and interpersonal sensitivity. Regression analysis demonstrated that emotional schemas are significantly related to emotional maladaptation in students. The analysis also allowed us to determine the association of different emotional schemas with the development of anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness, somatization, and interpersonal sensitivity. Adoption of emotional schemas correlated with the symptoms of depressive and anxiety disorders.
Keywords: emotional schemas, anxiety, depression, medical students, emotional self-regulation
Language Proficiency in Preschool Children with Different Levels of Executive Function
Background. According to numerous studies, people’s development of executive function is a predictor of their successful acquisition of literacy skills. However, the data on the relationship between the development of verbal language and executive function in preschool aged children are insufficient and contradictory.
Objective. The goal of our research was to study the connection between the three main EF components (working memory, inhibition, and cognitive flexibility) and various spoken language skills in children of senior preschool age. It is the first stage of a longitudinal study aimed at understanding the relationship between executive function and language development starting from ages 5–6, and proceeding through elementary school.
Design. Our study sample included 279 children aged 5–6 years (M = 5.6 years) attending a senior group in Moscow kindergartens (139 boys and 140 girls). e study used NEPSY-II diagnostic complex subtests and the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) test to measure the level of executive functions (working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition). Language development (vocabulary, phonemic awareness, and word generation) was measured by neuropsychological methods (Akhutina, Pylaeva, 2015).
Results. The results of the study showed significant associations between all EF components and language skills development in preschool children. Oral language skills were more closely related to the level of development of verbal working memory and cognitive flexibility than they were to inhibition or visual working memory. Children with low levels of EF development were significantly less able to cope with tasks such as understanding prepositional structures, understanding similar sounding words, and showing verbal fluency, than children with a high EF level. Furthermore, children with normal and high levels of EF development displayed no significant differences in language development. Thus, the study showed that children with a low level of EF have difficulties with language development.
Conclusion. Our results provide important details about understanding the relationship between executive functioning and language development in children of senior preschool age.
Keywords: preschool age, executive function (EF), language, vocabulary, phonemic awareness, word generation
The Role of Mathematical and Trait Anxiety in Mental Fatigue: an EEG Investigation
Background. Mental fatigue is a state of tiredness, decreased motivation, and increased aversion to performing a task. Mental fatigue is associated with the length of engagement in an activity (time-on-task) and the degree of cognitive e ort required. In addition, mental fatigue can be affected by personality characteristics, such as trait or domain-specific anxiety. ere is a lack of research into associations between mental fatigue and trait anxiety, as well as specific types of anxiety such as math anxiety.
Objective. This study investigates whether the level of mental fatigue manifested in an EEG taken during the performance of a mixed problem-solving task, is associated with math and trait anxiety.
Design. An EEG recording was performed on participants in a resting state with their eyes closed in two runs, both before and after they performed a task. e task consisted of three types of stimuli: arithmetic, algebraic, and lexical.
Results. The results showed that the EEG correlates of fatigue changed be- tween the first and second runs. These changes were not linked with mathematics anxiety. Some significant EEG effects were found for trait anxiety: people with high trait anxiety appeared more aroused and showed less fatigue effects. However, these results did not reach the level of significance after correction for multiple comparisons.
Conclusion. Overall, our results are in line with the motivational control theory, according to which mental fatigue “resets” when a person switches from one task to another. In our study, the experimental paradigm consisted of three types of tasks, a format which might have prevented fatigue. We discuss the implications of the study for further research into the links between anxiety and mental fatigue.
Keywords: Mathematics anxiety (MA), trait anxiety (TA), EEG, mental fatigue
The Factorial Structure of Spatial Abilities in Russian and Chinese StudentsLikhanov, M.V.; Ismatullina, V.I.; Rimfeld, K.; Esipenko, E.A.; Sharafieva, K.R.; Feklicheva, I.V.; Chipeeva, N.A.; Budakova, A.V.; Soldatova, E.L.; Maslennikova, E.P.; Fenin, A.Y.; Wei, Wei.; Zhou, X.; Kovas, Yu.V.
Background. Recent research has suggested a unifactorial structure of spatial ability (SA). However, further studies are needed to replicate this finding in different populations.
Objective. is study aims to explore the factorial structure of SA in samples of 921 Russian and 229 Chinese university students.
Design. A gamified spatial abilities battery was administered to all participants. e battery consists of 10 different domains of SA, including 2D and 3D visualization, mental rotation, spatial pattern assembly, spatial relations, spatial planning, mechanical reasoning, spatial orientation, and spatial decision-making speed and flexibility.
Results. The results of the factor analysis showed a somewhat different pattern for different samples. In the Russian sample, the unifactorial structure, shown previously in a large UK sample (Rimfeld et al., 2017), was replicated. A single factor explained 40% of the variance. In the Chinese sample two factors emerged: the first factor explained 26% of the variance and the second factor, including only mechanical reasoning and cross-sections tests, explained 14%. e results also showed that the Chinese sample significantly outperformed the Russian sample in five out of the 10 tests. Russian students showed better performance in only two of the tests. The effects of all group comparisons were small.
Conclusion. Overall, a similar amount of variance in the 10 tests was explained in the two samples, replicating results from the UK sample. Future research is needed to explain the observed differences in the structure of SA.
Keywords: spatial ability (SA), factorial structure, Russian and Chinese students
To Tell or Not to Tell: The Ethics and Law of Disclosing Health-Related Genetic Information to Family Members
Background. Genetic conditions and susceptibilities dier from other diseases and health-related risks. Genetic information is shared between blood relatives, and therefore a genetic nding can have implications for the wider family.
Objective. The present study investigates people’s views on issues related to disclosing genetic information to relatives. Specically, the study assesses opinions in relation to two issues: 1) whether people have a moral obligation to share their genetic data with family members; and 2) whether healthcare providers should have a legal obligation to share such data when consent is withheld.
Design. A public engagement event was held based on the real-life court case ofABC vs the UK National Health Service (NHS). Participants were provided with information in three phases: first, about the case; then, with progressively more details of the case; and finally, with other relevant information. After being given each portion of information, the participants were asked to disclose their views on the rights and responsibilities related to the sharing of this information.
Results. The results clearly demonstrate that people hold strong and polarized views regarding condentiality, and the moral and legal duties to disclose genetic information to family members. Even when withholding information could have an adverse impact on the health and life choices of relatives, participants disagreed about the legal obligations for healthcare providers to disclose a person’s genetic information to those relatives.
Conclusion. The results suggest that the issues of privacy and disclosure of genetic information are complex and divisive.
Keywords: genetics, ethics, public engagement, patient con dentiality, duty of care, data access rights
Specific Features of the Relationships between Operational Structures within Preschoolers’ Systems of Thought
Background. To build modern effective programs for the development of preschoolers’ logical thinking, it is necessary to study the specifics of the operational structures functioning within their thought systems. According to Piaget, two operational groups of thought develop in parallel and synchrony: 1) logical-mathematical (classification, seriation, and invariant construction — the conservation principle); and 2) spatial-temporal — the structuring of space (linear ordering [LO], transformation of geometric forms [TGS], reconstruction of sensorimotor space at the level of representations [RSMS]) and time. However, there has been no empirical verification of the significant links between the levels of development of an individual’s logical-mathematical and spatial-temporal operations in his/her system of thought.
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of the links between the elements of the logical-mathematical and spatial-operational structures in preschoolers’ systems of thought.
Design. The study involved the following steps: 1) Individual diagnosis of the developmental level of logical-mathematical and spatial operations in 52 preschool children (5,8 – 7,1 years) using classica Piaget techniques and the Bender-Gestalt test; 2) identification of the operational developmental stage of each examinee; and 3) identification of the nature of the links between the logical-mathematical and spatial operational structures within each child’s thinking system, using statistical tools for data analysis (ρ Spearman; regression analysis).
Results. Statistically significant differences between the developmental levels of spatial and logical-mathematical operations were revealed, as well as between the levels of development of spatial operations LO, TGS, and RSMS as measured by the Bender-Gestalt test. It was found that all the spatial operations (LO, TGS, RSMS) were conceived at a higher level than logical-mathematical operations (classification, seriation, and the conservation principle). Significant predictors of the development of logical-mathematical/spatial operations were identified.
Conclusions. Piaget’s hypothesis that the development of the logical-mathematical and spatial operations within a child’s thinking system is an interconnected process has received statistical justification in this study. The data we obtained suggest that both operational structures have similar sets of features. As proof that an internal causal nexus between the logical- mathematical and spatial structures exists, it is necessary to conduct formative experiments in which some thought operations (predictors) will be formed by training, while previously missing operations are induced to appear in the child’s thinking system indirectly.
Keywords: logical thinking system, logical operations, spatial operations, preschoolers, Piaget
Adolescent Vandalism: the Role of the Parent-Child Relationship in the Development of Destructive Behavior
Background. While the phenomena of intentional destroying and damaging of private property have been known since ancient times, the term “vandalism” appears only in 19th century. In the 20th century, much research devoted to vandalism was conducted in the spheres of criminology, sociology, psychology, and education. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to investigating the correlation between a child’s propensity for vandalism and the child-parent relationship.
Objective and Method. The main purpose of our research was to investigate the correlation between the styles of family upbringing and adolescents’ propensity for vandalism. For this purpose, we analyzed the main predictors of adolescents’ propensity for vandalism on the basis of the psychological diagnostics of 60 Russian families from Ekaterinburg. We investigated whether the fact that a child was brought up in a one-parent or disadvantaged family is significant for forming an adolescent propensity for vandalism. We also clarified the influence of various styles of family upbringing on an adolescent’s propensity for vandalism of different types.
Results. Based on statistical analysis, we concluded that an atmosphere of violence within the family plays a key role in forming adolescents’ propensity for vandalism. The style of maternal upbringing has a greater influence on determining adolescent destructive behavior than the paternal, especially when the father’s parenting style is “non-interference.”
Conclusion. Based on our research results, we suggest that preventive the efforts against vandalism should be directed toward the prevention of family violence, and that there should be a differential approach toward parental education directed toward correcting individual parental styles of upbringing.
Keywords: vandalism, deviations in juvenile behavior, adolescence, child-parent relationships, styles of parental upbringing, destructive behavior
Developmental Change in Full- and Preterm Infants between the Ages of Three and Nine Months in Institutions with Different Caregiving EnvironmentsRifkat J. Muhamedrahimov; Chernego, D.I.; Vasilyeva, M.J.; Palmov, O.I.; Vershinina, E.A.; Nikiforova, N.V.; McCall, R.B.; Groark, C.J.
Background. Studies of children raised in institutions have shown that they are at substantial risk in various domains of functioning, but these studies have not examined the children’s developmental change at the very early period of institutionalization.
Objective. The main aim of this study was to examine the behavioral development of institutionalized infants between three and nine months of life as a function of their birth circumstances and the nature of their institutional care.
Design. General behavioral development was studied in 58 (34 males) infants from two St. Petersburg (Russian Federation) institutions (Baby Homes, BH). The infants were divided into four groups according to 1) their gestational age—full-term children (FCh) of 37-41 weeks gestational age, or preterm children (PCh) of 30-36 weeks gestational age; and 2) the type of institutional care environment—either the typical socio-emotionally depriving, non-intervention Baby Home (NoI BH), or an institution that had undergone a program of training plus structural changes intervention (T+SC BH). All the children were assessed at approximately three and nine months of age with the Battelle Development Inventory (BDI; LINK Associates, 1988).
Results. Both the FCh and PCh children from the NoI BH displayed significant declines in their BDI Total scores between three and nine months, whereas only the FCh children in T+SC BH improved over this period of time. In general, the FCh group had higher mean BDI Total developmental quotients (DQs) than the PCh group, and children from the T+SCh BH displayed higher scores than children from the NoI institution.
Conclusion. Thus, the current study showed that the impact of spending their early months in an institution on infants’ development depends on the gestational age of children and the type of institutional care environment.
Keywords: institutions, full-term (FCh) and preterm (PCh) infants, time, intervention, development
Gender and age aspects of child psychological defenses in child-mother relationships
The high level of stress in modern society poses a need to study family factors and resources for the development of children’s defense mechanisms in the current social environment. This study investigates correlations between maternal and child psychological defense mechanisms, using interviews, a structured clinical survey, projective drawing, and a projective game. Analysis of data from 240 people (120 children and 120 mothers) revealed specifics of the formation of psychological defense mechanisms among children aged 4 to 12 years in child-mother relationships. We suggest that maternal and child defense mechanisms have some isomorphic traits, but the level and quality of isomorphism changes with each age period of the child. Certain defensive mechanisms of mother and child appear with the same frequency. The child’s gender influences the correlation between the mother’s and child’s psychological defense mechanisms. Initially, children are more likely to directly copy defense mechanisms observed from the mother’s behavior. As they grow older, they use defenses that they have learned consciously. Based on empirical data, we also found a correlation between the maturity of the maternal psychological defense mechanisms and specifics of child psychological defense mechanisms. We propose that the maturity of maternal psychological defense mechanisms has the greatest meaning for child psychological defense mechanisms at the earliest stages of ontogenesis — it provides consistency between the mother’s own psychological defense mechanisms and the psychological defense mechanisms that she teaches her child.
Keywords: psychological defense mechanisms, coping strategies, child-mother relationships, maternal teaching
Psychological predictors of inhibition development in educational environments
This article examines psychological predictors of inhibition in educational environments as well as various aspects of pedagogical communication, including facilitation, which is aimed at enhancing educational effectiveness and developing students by means of using a particular communication style and the teacher’s personality. The need to study inhibition (the deterioration of teacher-children interactions; the negation of a student’s individuality; the inability to understand and accept students’ viewpoints; teacher-provoked conflicts; and emotional callousness) is substantiated. The essence of psychological predictors as independent variables, changes in which lead to changes in other dependent variables, allowing the prediction of inhibition development, is explained.
The research objective was to identify psychological predictors of the development of inhibition in pedagogical communication.
An empirical study was conducted using standardized techniques for diagnosing communicative attitudes (V. Boyko), developing general communicative tolerance (V. Boyko), identifying aggressiveness (A. Asinger), identifying the level of empathy (V. Boyko), and identifying the degree of pedagogical inhibition (L. Polosova). The sample contained 375 teachers from Yekaterinburg educational institutions, with participant selection made using stratified sampling.
The teacher’s personality features (a negative communicative attitude, low communicative tolerance and empathy, and higher levels of aggression) were shown to be key predictors of inhibition, which itself was found to depend on the length of teaching experience. At the beginning of one’s professional teaching career, the level of inhibition is minimal. However, the level of inhibition reaches its maximum level after 5-10 years of teaching, and after 20 years, there is a sharp decrease in the level of inhibition.
The conclusion of this study stresses the importance of developing strategies to prevent and correct inhibition, which is especially essential for school teachers with 5-10 years of experience.
Keywords: pedagogical communication, inhibition, facilitation, educational environment, psychological predictors of development