Relationships between cognitive and social functioning in preschool children

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Abstract

Examined short-term longitudinal relationships between test measures of cognitive processes and ratings of classroom behaviors observed during free play. Ss were 64 35-57 mo old middle-class preschoolers, 34 boys and 30 girls. Magnification of the same covariation pattern over time was used as an index of reciprocal influences between cognitive and social functioning. Analyses differentiated between the static (individually stable) and linear-change components of social attributes. Verbal-conceptual processes covaried positively with the static measures of socially outgoing and task-oriented behaviors and with positive vs negative affective expressions in girls, but not in boys. A nonverbal cognitive measure did not so relate to the social measures. The linear-change components of certain social attributes exhibited consistent though limited relationships with the cognitive measures. The study yielded little evidence for reciprocity between the cognitive and social domains. Certain cognitive processes facilitated social adaptation, but social adaptation did not influence cognitive growth. (39 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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