The hallmark characteristics of a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are deficits in social communicative skills and the use of repetitive and/or stereotyped behaviors. In addition, children with ASD experience known motor-skill delays. The purpose of this study was to examine salient child behaviors of young children with and without ASD in 2 distinctly different play settings: a traditional social-play-based setting and a motor-behavior-based play setting. Child behavior (engagement toward parent, negativity, and attention) and dyad characteristics (connectedness) were examined in 2 distinctly different play settings. Results indicated that children with ASD performed more like their peers without ASD in a social-play-based setting and less like their peers in a motor-behavior-based play setting. Aspects of our results shed light on the critical need to develop creative methods of early intervention that combine efforts in all aspects of child development, including motor-skill development.
Megan MacDonald, Bridget Hatfield and Erica Twardzik
John B. Bartholomew
Numerous interventions have been designed to modify children's physical activity and eating behaviors. While early research centered on the individual as the target of intervention, more recent work targets change in the environment. These studies have consistently supported the importance of environmental contributors to both physical activity and eating behavior, but little research has considered those who are responsible for implementing environmental change. For example, if we expect school environments to support activity and healthy eating, we must consider the motivation of school administrators to affect change. This review will present examples of an ecological approach to behavior change along with recent data to support this approach.
Melinda Forthofer, Marsha Dowda, Jennifer R. O’Neill, Cheryl L. Addy, Samantha McDonald, Lauren Reid and Russell R. Pate
Background: Gender differences in physical activity (PA) trajectories during adolescence are well documented, yet little research has examined whether the determinants of these trajectories vary by child’s gender. This study is one of few prospective examinations of gender differences in the influences of psychosocial and socioenvironmental factors on changes in objectively measured PA. Methods: Students and parents from elementary and middle schools located in 2 school districts in South Carolina were enrolled in a prospective cohort study of changes in children’s PA from elementary to middle school. Measures included children’s and/or parents’ ratings of various psychosocial and socioenvironmental factors as well as objectively measured PA, children’s anthropometric characteristics, and neighborhood factors at fifth and sixth grades. Results: Parents’ reports of children’s sport and class participation, parent-reported support for PA, and neighborhood resources for PA were protective against declines in PA for both boys and girls. The effects of 2 factors—children’s self-efficacy and parents’ leisure-time PA—on changes in PA over time were moderated by the child’s gender. Conclusions: A better understanding of these dynamics may inform the development of interventions.
Megan MacDonald, Samantha Ross, Laura Lee McIntyre and Amanda Tepfer
Young children with developmental disabilities experience known deficits in salient child behaviors, such as social behaviors, communication, and aspects of daily living, behaviors that generally improve with chronological age. The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating effects of motor skills on relations of age and salient child behaviors in a group of young children with developmental disabilities, thus tapping into the potential influences of motor skills in the development of salient child behaviors. One hundred thirteen young children with developmental disabilities participated in this study. Independent mediation analysis, with gender as a moderator between the mediating and outcome variable, indicated that motor skills meditated relations between age and socialization, communication, and daily living skills in young male children with developmental disabilities, but not female participants. Findings suggest motor skill content needs to be considered in combination with other child behaviors commonly focused on in early intervention.
Meghan Schreck, Robert Althoff, Meike Bartels, Eco de Geus, Jeremy Sibold, Christine Giummo, David Rubin and James Hudziak
Few studies have explored the relation between withdrawn behavior (WB) and exercise and screen time. The current study used exploratory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of leisure-time exercise behavior (LTEB) and screentime sedentary behavior (STSB) in a clinical sample of youth. Structural equation modeling was employed to investigate the relations between WB and LTEB and STSB, conditional on gender. WB was assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist, and LTEB and STSB were measured using the Vermont Health Behavior Questionnaire. LTEB and STSB emerged as two separate factors. Gender moderated the structure of STSB only. For boys and girls, WB was inversely related to LTEB but not significantly related to STSB. LTEB and STSB are best represented as distinct, uncorrelated constructs. In addition, withdrawn youth may be at risk for poor health outcomes due to lower rates of LTEB. Mental health clinicians, sports psychologists, and related providers may be uniquely qualified to enhance motivation for sports participation in withdrawn youth.
Ronald J. Iannotti, James F. Sallis, Rusan Chen, Shelia L. Broyles, John P. Elder and Philip R. Nader
Longitudinal patterns in the development of physical activity (PA) and potential causal relationships between parent and child PA are examined.
Autoregressive models were used to examine bidirectional prospective paths between parent and child PA in a longitudinal sample of 351 Anglo and Mexican American families. PA was assessed independently in children and parents over a 13-y period.
There was little evidence for a causal path from mother PA to child PA.
Modeling does not appear to be the primary mechanism by which parents influence children’s PA behavior. Studies examining relations between parent and child behaviors should not rely on a single respondent for assessing both parent and child PA or on cross-sectional correlational data to make unidirectional causal inferences about determinants of child PA.
Kim Gammage, Rachel Arnold, Nicole Bolter, Angela Coppola, Thomas Curran, Lori Dithurbide, Karl Erickson, Mary Jung, Larkin Lamarche, Luc Martin and Kathleen Wilson
be active themselves. The intervention effectiveness, however, was moderated by the age of the child but not gender of the child. Although not effective in changing child behavior, the “Movie Models” intervention showed promise with some parenting practices and parental efficacy perceptions. De
Stephanie Mazzucca, Cody Neshteruk, Regan Burney, Amber E. Vaughn, Derek Hales, Truls Østbye and Dianne Ward
characteristics (ie, child age, sex, FCCH Child and Adult Care Food Program participation, provider MVPA) were examined as potential confounders based on previous literature. These variables were not included in final models of the FCCH environment and child behaviors as they did not change the magnitude or
MinKyoung Song, Robert F. Corwyn, Robert H. Bradley and Julie C. Lumeng
behaviors and child temperament attributes (eg, emotional negativity and impulsivity) also influences child behavior (eg, positive parenting behaviors are associated with a lower likelihood that children with greater impulsivity have adjustment problems 24 ). To our knowledge, however, no study has examined
Sarah Burkart, Jasmin Roberts, Matthew C. Davidson and Sofiya Alhassan
intervention group to be aware of their participation in the intervention, and thus, their report of child behavior over the course of the study may have been influenced by expectation bias. The analyses of the additional BASC-2 measures showing no significant differences suggest that this was not the case