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Special Issue "Childhood Education and Care"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Children's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 25273

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Simona De Stasio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Human Studies, LUMSA University, 00193 Rome, Italy
Interests: early development; emotion regulation; parenting; educational caregiving; well-being
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Carmen Berenguer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Evolutionary and Educational Psychology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Interests: child development; executive functions; neurodevelopment disorders; adhd; autistic spectrum

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The first years of a child’s life encompass multiple aspects that can impact long-term psychological wellbeing for both the individual child and their familial system.

The development of socioemotional and sociocognitive abilities in childhood is a critical milestone of human development. Research to date highlights that both socioemotional and sociocognitive skills start to emerge early during infancy, and it is well established that the quality of caregiving and especially the possibility to experience sensitive and positive parental behaviors, as well as efficient and sensitive educational and scholastic practices, are relevant to the development of these processes.

In this Special Issue, we encourage submission of theoretical and empirical papers that investigate dimensions related to individual differences in the development of emotion understanding and regulation, attachment, cognitive functioning, executive functions, parenting, quality of life, and caregiving in educational and scholastic contexts in children with typical developing and children with developmental disorders (e.g., specific learning disorders, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, communications disorders, sensory deficits, intellectual disabilities).

We invite authors to submit original research papers or systematic review papers for the Special Issue entitled “Childhood Education and Care”. Our aim is to cover a wide range of topics and perspectives related to the childhood, not only in the basic research domain, but also related to interventions for the promotion, support, and protection of health and wellbeing in childhood. Papers reporting on methodological aspects of research in this area will also be considered.

Prof. Dr. Simona De Stasio
Prof. Dr. Carmen Berenguer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • child development
  • parenting
  • educational caregiving
  • developmental disorders

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Article
Support Networks and Family Empowerment in Early Intervention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042001 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Despite the importance of empowerment and the support network of families who receive early intervention (EI) with a family-centered approach, there is little evidence of a relationship between these two variables and family characteristics that might influence this relationship. This study analyzes the [...] Read more.
Despite the importance of empowerment and the support network of families who receive early intervention (EI) with a family-centered approach, there is little evidence of a relationship between these two variables and family characteristics that might influence this relationship. This study analyzes the correlations between the perception of empowerment of the families, the family supports used, and the socio-demographic factors of both the child and the family. The study consisted of 44 families who received family-centered EI services. Our results show that families mainly used formal supports, followed by informal supports, and, to a lesser extent, intermediate supports. This indicates that families with children who receive EI preferably use the support network based on EI programs, schools, and professionals. Along with this formal support network, primary caregivers rely on their partners, parents, or friends—that is, the informal support network. Family empowerment was not correlated with age, diagnosis, or the reason for referral to EI; on the other hand, it was related to the supports where the families with the lowest empowerment scores were those who made greater use of formal support over informal support. Early intervention professionals must know, from the first encounter, the type and level of support of each family to enhance the development of the child and promote empowerment in families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
Article
Does Living with Grandparents Affect Children’s and Adolescents’ Health? Evidence from China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11948; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211948 - 13 Nov 2021
Viewed by 918
Abstract
The level of nutritional health of children and adolescents is an important indicator of social development, and grandparents, as common co-caregivers, may have a considerable impact on the health level of their grandchildren. In this paper, we investigated the effects of grandparents’ coresidence [...] Read more.
The level of nutritional health of children and adolescents is an important indicator of social development, and grandparents, as common co-caregivers, may have a considerable impact on the health level of their grandchildren. In this paper, we investigated the effects of grandparents’ coresidence on children’s and adolescents’ nutritional health levels using the CHNS (China Health and Nutrition Survey) database using the PSM (Propensity Score Matching) method’ and identified heterogeneity in the effects of grandparents’ coresidence by PSM grouping in terms of urban and rural areas, age, and the mothers’ education level. It was found that grandparents’ coresidence is beneficial for children’s and adolescents’ health to a certain extent. Overfeeding and spoil that many people worried when grandparents involved in childcare did not happen in our samples. Moreover, grandparents’ coresidence had a more significant effect on the health level of children and adolescents in rural areas at a younger age and with a lower level of maternal education. Government and families should put more effort into equipping caregivers with knowledge on how to raise their grandchildren better. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
Article
Training Effects and Intelligent Evaluated Pattern of the Holistic Music Educational Approach for Children with Developmental Delay
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910064 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
This study focuses on the holistic music educational approach for young children developed by music therapists and experts, which combines technology with music, integrates it into the local culture, and frameworks it for holistic education. This method includes 231 children in Taiwan’s early [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the holistic music educational approach for young children developed by music therapists and experts, which combines technology with music, integrates it into the local culture, and frameworks it for holistic education. This method includes 231 children in Taiwan’s early intervention education system for children with developmental delay. The learning occurs twice a week for 40 min over 32 weeks. The results show that implementing the holistic music educational approach can significantly improve children’s ability with developmental delay and that supportive training has a positive effect. In addition, the decision tree explores and develops an intelligently evaluated pattern with highly effective learning. This model has a sensitivity rate of 90.6% on the in-sample, and the comprehensive indicator F is 79.9%, so it has a high reference value. In the future, those involved in education will be able to use the data mining to use the auxiliary decision-making system as an assessment tool for young children participating in education pre- and midterm of the course, to prejudge its continued implementation and learning effectiveness, to decide whether to continue to invest in and adjust the curriculum, and to make more effective use of educational resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Article
Parent-Implemented Hanen Program It Takes Two to Talk®: An Exploratory Study in Spain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 8214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158214 - 03 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Parent-implemented interventions are a highly common approach for enhancing communication and linguistic abilities of late talkers, involving a population that shows a small expressive vocabulary in the absence of other deficits that could explain it. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of [...] Read more.
Parent-implemented interventions are a highly common approach for enhancing communication and linguistic abilities of late talkers, involving a population that shows a small expressive vocabulary in the absence of other deficits that could explain it. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of a parent-implemented language intervention, It Takes Two to Talk®—The Hanen Program® for Parents (ITTT), to a clinician-directed therapy. Participants were 17 families and their late-talking children: 10 families took part in ITTT and 7 in the clinician-directed modality. The outcomes in the social communication domain were more favorable for the ITTT group, but there were no significant differences between groups as regards vocabulary and syntax. In terms of parents, the research focused on examining if there were significant changes in parents’ stress and their perceptions of their children’s communication abilities. No differences were observed in the level of stress. In contrast, the group that received the ITTT program significantly altered their perceptions of their children’s communication difficulties in comparison with the clinician-directed therapy. These results have implications in the clinical management of late-talking children, and they are discussed in terms of evidence-based practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Article
The Correlation between Chinese Written Vocabulary Size and Cognitive, Emotional and Behavioral Factors in Primary School Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7797; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157797 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
Written vocabulary size plays a key role in children’s reading development. We aim to study the relationship between Chinese written vocabulary size and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral factors in primary school students. Using stratified cluster sampling, 1162 pupils from Grade 2~5 in Guangzhou [...] Read more.
Written vocabulary size plays a key role in children’s reading development. We aim to study the relationship between Chinese written vocabulary size and cognitive, emotional, and behavioral factors in primary school students. Using stratified cluster sampling, 1162 pupils from Grade 2~5 in Guangzhou were investigated. Chinese written vocabulary size, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral factors were assessed by the Chinese written vocabulary size assessment scale, the dyslexia checklist for Chinese children (DCCC) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), respectively. The scores of visual word recognition deficit (β = −3.32, 95% CI: −5.98, −0.66) and meaning comprehension deficit (β = −6.52, 95% CI: −9.39, −3.64) were negatively associated with Chinese written vocabulary size; the score of visual word recognition deficit (odds ratio (OR) = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.07) was the related factor of a delay in written vocabulary size. The score of meaning comprehension deficit was negatively associated with boys’ Chinese written vocabulary size, while the score of auditory word recognition deficit was negatively associated with girls’ Chinese written vocabulary size. The related factor of a delay in written vocabulary size was spelling deficit in boys and visual word recognition deficit in girls. There is a significant correlation between Chinese written vocabulary size and cognitive factors, but not emotional and behavioral factors in primary school students and these correlations are different when considering gender. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
Article
Emotional Competence of Early Childhood Educators and Child Socio-Emotional Wellbeing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7633; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147633 - 18 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1670
Abstract
Background: Early childhood educators are attachment figures for babies and play an important role in emotion socialization. This study aims to analyze the role of educators as emotional socializers and its relationship with infants’ social competence and attachment security, considering various characteristics of [...] Read more.
Background: Early childhood educators are attachment figures for babies and play an important role in emotion socialization. This study aims to analyze the role of educators as emotional socializers and its relationship with infants’ social competence and attachment security, considering various characteristics of educators (age, years of experience, level of knowledge of development and parenting) and the context (day-care center–family communication). Methods: 563 infants attending day-care centers (age: M = 25.98 months SD = 5.41) and their 223 early childhood educators (age: M = 42.61 SD = 11.02) took part in this study. The educators completed: CEESQ—Crèche Educator Emotional Style Questionnaire, Information Sources Questionnaire, two sub-scales of KIDI—Knowledge of Infant Development Inventory, QRS-F—Questionnaire on the Relationship between Services and Families, QPI—Questionnaire on Peer Interactions, and AQS—Attachment-Q-Sort. Results: Results showed that the educator’s coaching style has a relationship with attachment security and social skills and is positively correlated with the educators’ emotional self-efficacy and with the level of communication between day-care centers and families, while the correlation with knowledge of parenting is weak. Conclusions: These findings highlight the importance of enhancing not only educators’ knowledge about educative strategies, but above all their emotional competence to promote children adaptation to day-care centers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
Article
On the Rocky Road to Independence: Big Five Personality Traits and Locus of Control in Polish Primary School Students during Transition into Early Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094564 - 25 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1239
Abstract
This article reports the results of a survey of 455 Polish primary school sixth-graders experiencing changes in the education system. The goal of the study was to identify the relationships between the Big Five personality traits, measured with the picture-based personality survey for [...] Read more.
This article reports the results of a survey of 455 Polish primary school sixth-graders experiencing changes in the education system. The goal of the study was to identify the relationships between the Big Five personality traits, measured with the picture-based personality survey for children (PBPS-C) and locus of control, determined using the locus of control questionnaire (LOCQ). The results lead to the conclusion that primary school students do not have an established locus of control of either success or failure. There are also no significant differences between boys and girls in the way they interpret the causes of situations and events that happen to them. Boys, compared to girls, scored significantly higher on traits related to seeking and enjoying the company of others. On the other hand, girls exhibited significantly higher levels of traits responsible for increased anxiety than boys. The personality traits that correlated the strongest with locus of control were Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, and Agreeableness. A regression model showed that locus of control of success was significantly affected by two traits: Extraversion and Conscientiousness. Locus of control of failure was significantly predicted by Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness (positively), and Neuroticism (negatively). Regression model with gender as a moderator of relationships between personality traits and locus of control turned out to be insignificant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
Article
A Rasch Analysis of the School-Related Well-Being (SRW) Scale: Measuring Well-Being in the Transition from Primary to Secondary School
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010023 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1019
Abstract
Within educational systems, promoting well-being is an essential objective along with traditional aims focused on students’ learning. However, scarce attention has been devoted to school-related well-being in the transition from primary to lower secondary school, also for the paucity of brief instruments deputed [...] Read more.
Within educational systems, promoting well-being is an essential objective along with traditional aims focused on students’ learning. However, scarce attention has been devoted to school-related well-being in the transition from primary to lower secondary school, also for the paucity of brief instruments deputed to measure it. We assessed well-being at school for fourth-graders and seventh-graders, by adapting and validating the Italian version of the School-Related Well-Being (SRW) scale, using in sequence exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and Rasch analysis. Through the Rasch analysis, we transformed the SRW scale into an instrument that respects the properties of the fundamental measurement. We measured well-being and achievement emotions at time 1 and grades at time 2. The SRW scale correlated with another measure of well-being and with students’ achievement emotions. Grade-level differences emerged, with a decrease of well-being that attested a maladaptive trend at increasing age; moreover, females reported higher well-being than males. Well-being at school was positively linked to achievement. Beyond its methodological relevance, this study highlights the need for developing interventions to support students in the transition from primary to lower secondary school, which is such a pivotal time in their learning path. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Article
Specialised Teachers’ Perceptions on the Management of Aggressive Behaviours in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238775 - 26 Nov 2020
Viewed by 1179
Abstract
This study aimed to explore and describe the perception of specialized teachers regarding the management of aggressive behaviors in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Data were collected from 13 specialized teachers working in primary and secondary schools, using focus group interviews, [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore and describe the perception of specialized teachers regarding the management of aggressive behaviors in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Data were collected from 13 specialized teachers working in primary and secondary schools, using focus group interviews, and interview data were analyzed using an open coding method. The analysis of the specialized teachers’ perceptions of the management of aggression in children and adolescents with autism revealed the following results. A central theme “consistent practices to smooth edges” was conceptualized along with the categories: educational responses to individual behaviors, which had sub-themes of “identification of aggressive behavior patterns” and “strategic responses to aggressive behaviors observed”; experience in interventions for aggressive behaviors, with sub-themes of “individual intervention practices” and “school-led therapeutic support” and “factors preventing mitigation of aggression”; and acceptance of virtual reality (VR) based intervention model for aggression, with sub-themes of “acceptance of VR-based program applications” and “proposal for VR-based program contents.” Based on the specialized teachers’ perceptions examined in this study, more effective education and training intervention programs and support systems can be developed and provided for the management of aggressive behaviors in children and adolescents with autism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Article
Parental Involvement in Children’s Sleep Care and Nocturnal Awakenings in Infants and Toddlers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5808; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165808 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
Background: Sleep regulation and consolidation represent critical developmental processes that occur in the first years of life. Recent studies have highlighted the contribution of caregivers to sleep development. However, the majority of them have primarily focused on maternal behaviors, overlooking fathers. The main [...] Read more.
Background: Sleep regulation and consolidation represent critical developmental processes that occur in the first years of life. Recent studies have highlighted the contribution of caregivers to sleep development. However, the majority of them have primarily focused on maternal behaviors, overlooking fathers. The main goal of the present study was to investigate the associations between paternal and maternal involvement in children’s sleep care and the number of night awakenings reported by both parents in infants and toddlers. Methods: One-hundred-and-one families of infants aged 8 to 12 months and 54 families of toddlers aged 18 to 36 months filled out the following self-report questionnaires: The Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire and an ad hoc questionnaire to assess parental involvement in sleep care for children. A moderate actor–partner interdependence (APIM) with path analysis was performed to test the predictive role of parental involvement on the children’s sleep (no. of nocturnal awakenings) and the moderation role of age on these relationships. Results: Paternal involvement in children’s sleep care was associated with the number of night awakenings reported by both parents. Moreover, a significant interaction effect emerged between the children’s age and paternal involvement in children’s sleep care for predicting nocturnal awakenings. Conclusions: The main outcomes of this study point to the protective role of paternal involvement in children’s sleep during the first years of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Article
The Interplay of Compassion, Subjective Happiness and Proactive Strategies on Kindergarten Teachers’ Work Engagement and Perceived Working Environment Fit
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4869; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134869 - 06 Jul 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
Background: The current cross-sectional study examines a model that was designed to advance understanding of the interplay between compassion towards teachers expressed by teaching colleagues, subjective happiness, proactive strategies and kindergarten teachers’ levels of work engagement, and perceived working environment fit. Methods: The [...] Read more.
Background: The current cross-sectional study examines a model that was designed to advance understanding of the interplay between compassion towards teachers expressed by teaching colleagues, subjective happiness, proactive strategies and kindergarten teachers’ levels of work engagement, and perceived working environment fit. Methods: The research was conducted with a sample of 319 full-time in-service kindergarten teachers at Italian public preschools—a context in which a few previous studies have been carried out. Self-report questionnaires were administered: The Subjective Happiness Scale, the Santa Clara Brief Compassion Scale, the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, the Proactive Strategy Scale, and the Teacher-working environment fit scale. Data were analyzed by using the structural equation modelling (SEM) approach. Results: Results show that compassion and subjective happiness have a direct positive total effect on work engagement, whereas the effects of compassion and subjective happiness on experienced working environment fit suggest that the association among constructs is mediated by the role of proactive strategies. Conclusions: Based on these findings, we strongly advocate that educational policy makers and head teachers’ pay close attention to the areas of personal and collective resources and work-related well-being, with a view to effectively address the promotion of early childhood teachers’ work engagement and working environment fit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Review

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Review
Parents’ Perceptions and Experiences with Their Children’s Use of Augmentative/Alternative Communication: A Systematic Review and Qualitative Meta-Synthesis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 8091; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19138091 - 01 Jul 2022
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consists of any method of communicating that supplements or completely substitutes oral and/or written language when it is impaired. Therefore, it enables children with complex communication needs to develop their full communicative potential. However, despite the many benefits [...] Read more.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consists of any method of communicating that supplements or completely substitutes oral and/or written language when it is impaired. Therefore, it enables children with complex communication needs to develop their full communicative potential. However, despite the many benefits of AAC and its widespread use, several review studies have underscored the problems faced by parents and children who use AAC in their daily lives. The general objective of this systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis is to provide a complete overview of parents’ experiences and perceptions with their children’s use of AAC. Specifically, it aimed to identify common themes and subthemes of interest and to analyze the research quality of the selected studies. An exhaustive literature search was carried out using different electronic databases. Nineteen studies were included, involving 297 parents. A thematic synthesis was undertaken. Three main themes and nine subthemes were identified: service support (accessibility, providers and coordination); characteristics of AAC systems (usability and acceptability, features, cost and funding); and integration of AAC in daily life (family, school, social and community). Findings raise a need for more services that support children with complex communication deficits in different contexts, more functional use of AAC systems at school and in real-world situations, as well as service assistance over an extended time period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Review
Effects of Positive Psychology Interventions on the Well-Being of Young Children: A Systematic Literature Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12065; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182212065 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1932
Abstract
Over the last 20 years, the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions for the development of the well-being of children and adolescents and the moderation of high levels of anxiety and depression in this population has been largely demonstrated. Emphasis has been placed on [...] Read more.
Over the last 20 years, the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions for the development of the well-being of children and adolescents and the moderation of high levels of anxiety and depression in this population has been largely demonstrated. Emphasis has been placed on the promotion of well-being and prevention of mental health problems in the school context in order to foster, through positive psychology, the cognitive and socio-emotional development of primary and secondary students, e.g., by strengthening positive relationships, positive emotions, character strengths, optimism, and hope. However, little is known about the impact of these interventions on young children. This systematic review aims at examining the effects of positive psychology interventions on the well-being of early childhood children (<6 years old), both in the preschool education context with educators or teachers and also in the family context with parents. Several electronic databases were searched, and the findings systematically reviewed and reported by the PRISMA guidelines. Very few studies met the inclusion criteria (n = 3), highlighting the need for further research in this area. Indeed, all of the selected studies demonstrated the importance of positive psychology interventions with young children to promote positive aspects of development, such as gratitude, positive emotions, life satisfaction, accomplishment, positive relationship, or self-esteem. Limitations in the field are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Review
Intervention Programs to Promote the Quality of Caregiver–Child Interactions in Childcare: A Systematic Literature Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111208 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
Sensitive caregiver–child interactions appear fundamental throughout childhood, supporting infants’ wellbeing and development not only in a familial context but in professional caregiving as well. The main aim of this review was to examine the existing literature about Early Childhood Education Context (ECEC) intervention [...] Read more.
Sensitive caregiver–child interactions appear fundamental throughout childhood, supporting infants’ wellbeing and development not only in a familial context but in professional caregiving as well. The main aim of this review was to examine the existing literature about Early Childhood Education Context (ECEC) intervention studies dedicated to caregiver–child interaction, fostering children’s socioemotional developmental pathways. Studies published between January 2007 and July 2021 were identified in four electronic databases following PRIMSA guidelines. The initial search yielded a total of 342 records. Among them, 48 studies were fully reviewed. Finally, 18 of them met all inclusion criteria and formed the basis for this review. Main factors characterizing implemented programs were recorded (e.g., intervention and sample characteristics, dimensions of the teacher–child interaction targeted by the intervention, outcome variables, main results) in order to frame key elements of ECE intervention programs. Our review points to a range of fundamental issues that should consider to enhance ECEC interventions’ efficacy, supporting children’s socioemotional development and caregiver–child interaction. Reflections and considerations for future research are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Review
Role of Callous and Unemotional (CU) Traits on the Development of Youth with Behavioral Disorders: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4712; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094712 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
Numerous studies have shown that youth with behavioral disorders (BD) present an increased risk for developing severe and persistent antisocial behaviors in adulthood. Retrospective research notes that not all children and adolescents follow a negative trajectory and explains this heterogeneity in particular by [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have shown that youth with behavioral disorders (BD) present an increased risk for developing severe and persistent antisocial behaviors in adulthood. Retrospective research notes that not all children and adolescents follow a negative trajectory and explains this heterogeneity in particular by the severity of CU traits. Our study examines how these traits affect the functioning of children and adolescents with BD. Method: A systematic literature review conducted through various databases and using different keywords made it possible to analyze 52 studies published from 2015 to 2020 that measured the bidirectional effects of CU traits on the functioning of young. Results: Out of the 52 studies, 47 analyzed links between CU traits and neurobiological or mental health, 20 examined family and school contexts, eight focused on social adjustment, 10 on social interactions and 19 measured links with cognitive functioning, especially executive functions. Conclusion: Consistent with previous recommendations in the field, our findings emphasize the importance of assessing the presence of UC traits in early childhood to prevent the emergence of comorbid disorders and to target multimodal (early) interventions to influence the life trajectories of youth with high CU traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Review
Effects of the Educational Use of Music on 3- to 12-Year-Old Children’s Emotional Development: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073668 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2369
Abstract
Interest in the study of emotions in education has grown in recent years. Some of our modern challenges, such as constantly adapting to new scenarios or the need for team work have justified the introduction of emotional competence into educational systems, while diverse [...] Read more.
Interest in the study of emotions in education has grown in recent years. Some of our modern challenges, such as constantly adapting to new scenarios or the need for team work have justified the introduction of emotional competence into educational systems, while diverse studies confirm the relationship between music and emotional intelligence, so that the former could be used as a tool to develop the latter. The aim of this work was to examine the evidence for positive effects of music on the emotions of 3- to 12-year-old children, to which end a systematic review was carried out. Two reviewers independently evaluated 424 studies that were identified in MEDLINE, Psycinfo, and CINAHL databases, in order to determine whether they met the stated inclusion criteria. A total of 26 articles were selected for review. The results suggest several beneficial effects of music on children’s development, such as greater emotional intelligence, academic performance, and prosocial skills. It can therefore be concluded that music should be used in school settings, not only as an important subject in itself, but also as an educational tool within other subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Review
Exploring the Impact of Augmented Reality in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176143 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2754
Abstract
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by persistent difficulties in communication and social interaction along with a restriction in interests and the presence of repetitive behaviors. The development and use of augmented reality technology for autism has increased in recent [...] Read more.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by persistent difficulties in communication and social interaction along with a restriction in interests and the presence of repetitive behaviors. The development and use of augmented reality technology for autism has increased in recent years. However, little is known about the impact of these virtual reality technologies on clinical health symptoms. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the impact of augmented reality through social, cognitive, and behavioral domains in children and adolescents with autism. This study is the first contribution that has carried out an evidence-based systematic review including relevant science databases about the effectiveness of augmented reality-based intervention in ASD. The initial search identified a total of 387 records. After the exclusion of papers that are not research studies and are duplicated articles and after screening the abstract and full text, 20 articles were selected for analysis. The studies examined suggest promising findings about the effectiveness of augmented reality-based treatments for the promotion, support, and protection of health and wellbeing in children and adolescents with autism. Finally, possible directions for future work are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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Other

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Systematic Review
A Systematic Scoping Review of Pre-School Self-Regulation Interventions from a Self-Determination Theory Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042454 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1090
Abstract
Self-regulation (SR) is considered foundational in early life, with robust evidence demonstrating a link between early self-regulation and longer-term outcomes. This has been the impetus for a growing body of intervention research into how best to support early SR development, yet approaches and [...] Read more.
Self-regulation (SR) is considered foundational in early life, with robust evidence demonstrating a link between early self-regulation and longer-term outcomes. This has been the impetus for a growing body of intervention research into how best to support early SR development, yet approaches and effects are diverse, which complicates an understanding of the critical characteristics for effective early SR intervention. Using Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a guiding framework, we present a scoping review of early SR-intervention research to identify the characteristics of pre-school interventions that show significant and strong effects on young children’s SR. Studies from peer-reviewed journal articles were included if they evaluated a SR intervention with pre-school children, were published between 2010 and 2020, written in English, and included a SR outcome measure. This yielded 19 studies, each reporting the efficacy of a different SR intervention. Results showed that content factors (what interventions do) interacted with their implementation (how, when, and by whom interventions are implemented) to discriminate the more versus less efficacious interventions. Through the lens of SDT, results further suggested that targeting competence through encouragement and feedback, and nurturing children’s autonomy distinguished more from less effective interventions. Relatedness was least able to discriminate intervention efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Education and Care)
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