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Accounting for differences in cognitive development at four years of age; a preliminary investigation

Kent, Gráinne, Pitsia, Vasiliki and Colton, Gary (2018) Accounting for differences in cognitive development at four years of age; a preliminary investigation. In: Developmental Section Annual Conference 2018, 12th-14th September 2018, Crowne Plaza, Liverpool City Centre, UK. (Submitted)

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Objectives: Previous research has identified a range of factors across biological, family and socio-demographic and environmental domains which may influence cognitive development. The current research aimed to explore the influence of a range of these key factors on the cognitive development of four-year-old children within an Irish context.

Design: The data was collected as part a randomised control trial in Ireland.

Methods: The current study involved secondary analysis of data from the Preparing For Life evaluation (n=126).
Cognitive development at age four was assessed using the British Ability Scales. The influence of a range of variables on cognitive development was explored using Independent Samples T-tests (child’s gender, maternal marital status, attempt to breast feed, maternal drinking behaviour during pregnancy, maternal smoking behaviour and childcare use) and Pearson Product-moment correlations (maternal education status, maternal age, household income, maternal wellbeing, post-natal depression, maternal stress, levels of interaction with baby, maternal cognition and the home learning environment).

Results: A statistically significant difference was found in cognitive development at four years of age between boys and girls [t(124)=-2.834, p=0.005] and between children who came from mothers who had attempted to breastfeed and those who hadn’t [t(120)=-2.494, p=0.014 . Additionally, household income (d=0.217, p=0.025), maternal cognition (m=81, SD=12.84, r=0.203, p=0.022) and level of interaction with the baby (m=2.72, SD=0.57, r=0.221, p=0.014) were found to be statistically significantly related to children’s cognitive development at four years of age.

Conclusions: The findings provide some preliminary evidence of the factors which may influence early cognitive development. Implications of the findings will be explored.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > Early childhood education
Divisions: Early Learning Initiative Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 09:55
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 12:46

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