卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief
Praise to raise self-esteem?

An observational longitudinal study published in Child Development tests whether receiving overly positive, inflated praise from a parent eventually fosters low self-esteem and even narcissism, rather than raising it as might be expected.

The study involved 120 children recruited from schools in the Netherlands and their parents. Children were aged 7 to 11. Children completed questionnaires in school at four six-month intervals, and levels of narcissism and self-esteem were measured using the Childhood Narcissism scale and the Global Self-Worth Subscale of the Self-Perception Profile for Children.

Eddie Brummelman and colleagues found that:

  • Children with lower levels of self-esteem at the beginning of the study received more inflated praise from parents, which in turn led to lower self-esteem at the later test points.
  • Inflated praise also predicted higher narcissism over time, but only in children with high initial levels of self-esteem.
  • The authors suggested inflated praise might lead those with high self-esteem internalise a narcissistic self-view, by believing themselves are incredible; while those with low self-esteem would judge that these praises did not fit the current views of themselves.

The authors remarked that the findings did not encourage parents to stop praising their children. Instead, it suggested parents should be careful about whether they praised in an inflated way.

 

Source :Brummelman, E., Nelemans, S. A., Thomaes, S., & Castro, B. O. de. (2017). When Parents’ Praise Inflates, Children’s Self-Esteem Deflates. Child Development, 88(6), 1799–1809. Read the rest

What do we know about well-being?

The Department for Education’s Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre has published a new review of evidence on well-being and learning. Their starting point was that, although previous literature suggests a link, less is known about how multiple dimensions of well-being (emotional, behavioural, social, school) predict later educational outcomes. The authors conducted a review of relevant literature, as well as using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).

Key findings included:

  • Children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social, and school well-being, on average, have higher levels of academic achievement and are more engaged in school.
  • As children move through the school system, emotional and behavioural well-being become more important in explaining school engagement, while demographic and other characteristics become less important.
  • The relationships between emotional, behavioural, social, and school well-being and later educational outcomes are generally similar for children and adolescents, regardless of their gender and parents’ educational level.

The authors concluded that the decline in school wellbeing from childhood to adolescence was worrisome, as the findings suggested that school engagement during the early teenage years could significantly predict the later GCSE achievement.

 

Source (Open Access) :Gutman, L. M., & Vorhaus, J. (2012). The impact of pupil behaviour and wellbeing on educational outcomes (research report def-rr253). London, England: The Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre. Read the rest

Mental wellness in early childhood

Child Trends has released a new research brief on mental wellness in early childhood. Using research from various sources such as university publications, journal articles, and government websites, they identify five “things to know” to help parents and caregivers lay a solid foundation for healthy childhood development.

  1. Infants experience and perceive a range of emotions. Caregivers may underestimate the degree to which infants’ social-emotional development is affected by early experiences. Although infants as young as six months can “begin to sense and be affected by their parents’ moods,” fewer than 35% of caregivers believe that infants are capable of experiencing emotions in this way.
  2. Early positive interactions promote emotional wellness throughout the lifespan. Interactions between caregivers and infants are critically important, as “neural connections are formed through the interaction of genes and a baby’s environment and experiences,” especially through communication with caregivers.
  3. Having appropriate expectations of young children’s development is important. Emotional development is a critical component of brain development that is not always emphasised as much as cognitive, physical, or verbal development. Each person’s development is unique, but caregivers should understand general social-emotional milestones – such as copying caregivers’ actions – in order to keep expectations appropriate and monitor potential red flags.
  4. Parents and caregivers should be mindful of their own emotional well-being, seeking support if they need it. Caregivers who effectively treat their mental illness may lower the effects of the illness on their children.
  5. Young children are resilient and, if properly supported, can overcome potentially traumatic events. Young children may be able to overcome the effects of adverse events through consistent, predictable, supportive interactions.

These findings on mental wellness for infants and toddlers from birth through 3 years old were written for caregivers to help children to develop to their full potential.

 

Source (Open Access) :Halle et al. (2015). 5 things to know about mental wellness in early childhood. Retrieved from https://www.childtrends.org/child-trends-5/5-things-to-know-about-mental-wellness-in-early-childhood/Read the rest

Science clubs may boost socially disadvantaged pupils’ scientific aspirations

Extracurricular activities in science, such as after school clubs, may help to increase scientific aspirations of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, according to new research published in the International Journal of Science Education.

Tamjid Mujtaba and colleagues looked at survey responses of 4,780 pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 from schools in England with high proportions of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Their responses showed that:

  • Pupils’ aspirations to study science beyond age 16 were strongly associated with their basic interest in the subject, how useful they thought science was for future careers and their engagement in extracurricular activities, such as science clubs.
  • In addition, pupils’ confidence in their own abilities in science and encouragement from teachers and family to continue studying science after age 16 had smaller but still relevant associations.

Overall, the researchers suggest that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds would benefit from support and encouragement to continue with science and having access to science-related extracurricular activities.

 

Source : Mujtaba, T., Sheldrake, R., Reiss, M. J., & Simon, S. (2018). Students’ science attitudes, beliefs, and context: associations with science and chemistry aspirations. International Journal of Science Education, 40(6), 644–667.Read the rest

Math anxiety, working memory and self-concept

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Jaén, Spain, and published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology looks at the relationship between math anxiety and math performance in primary school children, and also the possible mediating role of working memory and math self-concept.

A total of 167 pupils in grades 3 and 5 (age 8–12 years) took part in the study. Each pupil completed a set of questionnaires to assess math anxiety and self-concept as well as their mathematical performance. Working memory was assessed using two backward span tasks. Teachers were also asked to rate each pupils’ math achievement.

Results showed that:

  • As expected, pupils who demonstrated higher levels of anxiety about math tended to have lower scores on math outcomes such as ability, problem‐solving and teacher‐rated math achievement.
  • However, this relationship was lessened once the effects of working memory and self-concept were considered.

The researchers suggest, therefore, that it is worth taking into consideration working memory and self-concept when designing interventions aimed at helping pupils with math anxiety.

 

Source : Justicia‐Galiano M. José, Martín‐Puga M. Eva, Linares Rocío, & Pelegrina Santiago. (2017). Math anxiety and math performance in children: The mediating roles of working memory and math self‐concept. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 87(4), 573–589. Read the rest