Sustained attention in infancy: A foundation for the development of multiple aspects of self-regulation for children in poverty

Annie Brandes-Aitken, Stephen Braren, Margaret Swingler, Kristin Voegtline, Clancy Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There are many avenues by which early life poverty relates to the development of school readiness. Few studies, however, have examined the extent to which sustained attention, a central component of self-regulation in infancy, mediates relations between poverty-related risk and cognitive and emotional self-regulation at school entry. To investigate longitudinal relations among poverty-related risk, sustained attention in infancy, and self-regulation prior to school entry, we analyzed data from the Family Life Project, a large prospective longitudinal sample (N = 1292)of children and their primary caregivers in predominantly low-income and nonurban communities. We used structural equation modeling to assess the extent to which a latent variable of infant sustained attention, measured in a naturalistic setting, mediated the associations between cumulative poverty-related risk and three domains of self-regulation. We constructed a latent variable of infant sustained attention composed of a measure of global sustained attention and a task-based sustained attention measure at 7 and 15 months of age. Results indicated that infant sustained attention was negatively associated with poverty-related risk and positively associated with a direct assessment of executive function abilities and teacher-reported effortful control and emotion regulation in pre-kindergarten. Mediation analysis indicated that the association between poverty-related risk and each self-regulation outcome was partially mediated by infant attention. These results provide support for a developmental model of self-regulation whereby attentional abilities in infancy act as a mechanism linking the effects of early-life socioeconomic adversity with multiple aspects of self-regulation in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-209
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
Volume184
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Fingerprint

Poverty
Aptitude
Self-Control
Executive Function
Caregivers
Emotions

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Executive function
  • Infancy
  • Poverty
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Sustained attention in infancy : A foundation for the development of multiple aspects of self-regulation for children in poverty. / Brandes-Aitken, Annie; Braren, Stephen; Swingler, Margaret; Voegtline, Kristin; Blair, Clancy.

In: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Vol. 184, 01.08.2019, p. 192-209.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{69a090ef16534d768d94dda98f111585,
title = "Sustained attention in infancy: A foundation for the development of multiple aspects of self-regulation for children in poverty",
abstract = "There are many avenues by which early life poverty relates to the development of school readiness. Few studies, however, have examined the extent to which sustained attention, a central component of self-regulation in infancy, mediates relations between poverty-related risk and cognitive and emotional self-regulation at school entry. To investigate longitudinal relations among poverty-related risk, sustained attention in infancy, and self-regulation prior to school entry, we analyzed data from the Family Life Project, a large prospective longitudinal sample (N = 1292)of children and their primary caregivers in predominantly low-income and nonurban communities. We used structural equation modeling to assess the extent to which a latent variable of infant sustained attention, measured in a naturalistic setting, mediated the associations between cumulative poverty-related risk and three domains of self-regulation. We constructed a latent variable of infant sustained attention composed of a measure of global sustained attention and a task-based sustained attention measure at 7 and 15 months of age. Results indicated that infant sustained attention was negatively associated with poverty-related risk and positively associated with a direct assessment of executive function abilities and teacher-reported effortful control and emotion regulation in pre-kindergarten. Mediation analysis indicated that the association between poverty-related risk and each self-regulation outcome was partially mediated by infant attention. These results provide support for a developmental model of self-regulation whereby attentional abilities in infancy act as a mechanism linking the effects of early-life socioeconomic adversity with multiple aspects of self-regulation in early childhood.",
keywords = "Attention, Emotion Regulation, Executive function, Infancy, Poverty, Self-regulation",
author = "Annie Brandes-Aitken and Stephen Braren and Margaret Swingler and Kristin Voegtline and Clancy Blair",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jecp.2019.04.006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "184",
pages = "192--209",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Child Psychology",
issn = "0022-0965",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sustained attention in infancy

T2 - A foundation for the development of multiple aspects of self-regulation for children in poverty

AU - Brandes-Aitken, Annie

AU - Braren, Stephen

AU - Swingler, Margaret

AU - Voegtline, Kristin

AU - Blair, Clancy

PY - 2019/8/1

Y1 - 2019/8/1

N2 - There are many avenues by which early life poverty relates to the development of school readiness. Few studies, however, have examined the extent to which sustained attention, a central component of self-regulation in infancy, mediates relations between poverty-related risk and cognitive and emotional self-regulation at school entry. To investigate longitudinal relations among poverty-related risk, sustained attention in infancy, and self-regulation prior to school entry, we analyzed data from the Family Life Project, a large prospective longitudinal sample (N = 1292)of children and their primary caregivers in predominantly low-income and nonurban communities. We used structural equation modeling to assess the extent to which a latent variable of infant sustained attention, measured in a naturalistic setting, mediated the associations between cumulative poverty-related risk and three domains of self-regulation. We constructed a latent variable of infant sustained attention composed of a measure of global sustained attention and a task-based sustained attention measure at 7 and 15 months of age. Results indicated that infant sustained attention was negatively associated with poverty-related risk and positively associated with a direct assessment of executive function abilities and teacher-reported effortful control and emotion regulation in pre-kindergarten. Mediation analysis indicated that the association between poverty-related risk and each self-regulation outcome was partially mediated by infant attention. These results provide support for a developmental model of self-regulation whereby attentional abilities in infancy act as a mechanism linking the effects of early-life socioeconomic adversity with multiple aspects of self-regulation in early childhood.

AB - There are many avenues by which early life poverty relates to the development of school readiness. Few studies, however, have examined the extent to which sustained attention, a central component of self-regulation in infancy, mediates relations between poverty-related risk and cognitive and emotional self-regulation at school entry. To investigate longitudinal relations among poverty-related risk, sustained attention in infancy, and self-regulation prior to school entry, we analyzed data from the Family Life Project, a large prospective longitudinal sample (N = 1292)of children and their primary caregivers in predominantly low-income and nonurban communities. We used structural equation modeling to assess the extent to which a latent variable of infant sustained attention, measured in a naturalistic setting, mediated the associations between cumulative poverty-related risk and three domains of self-regulation. We constructed a latent variable of infant sustained attention composed of a measure of global sustained attention and a task-based sustained attention measure at 7 and 15 months of age. Results indicated that infant sustained attention was negatively associated with poverty-related risk and positively associated with a direct assessment of executive function abilities and teacher-reported effortful control and emotion regulation in pre-kindergarten. Mediation analysis indicated that the association between poverty-related risk and each self-regulation outcome was partially mediated by infant attention. These results provide support for a developmental model of self-regulation whereby attentional abilities in infancy act as a mechanism linking the effects of early-life socioeconomic adversity with multiple aspects of self-regulation in early childhood.

KW - Attention

KW - Emotion Regulation

KW - Executive function

KW - Infancy

KW - Poverty

KW - Self-regulation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85064747861&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85064747861&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.04.006

DO - 10.1016/j.jecp.2019.04.006

M3 - Article

VL - 184

SP - 192

EP - 209

JO - Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

JF - Journal of Experimental Child Psychology

SN - 0022-0965

ER -