Special Issue "Early Child Development: From Measurement to Optimal Functioning and Evidence-based Policy"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Verónica Schiariti
Website
Guest Editor
Adjunct Associate Professor, Division of Medical Sciences,University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
Interests: Dr. Schiariti is a physician-scientist whose work bridges clinical research and international child health. For more than 10 years, she worked with children with developmental disabilities in community and tertiary-level rehabilitation centers as a developmental pediatrician. As a researcher, her primary interest has been promoting an abilities-oriented approach in assessments and evaluations of children and youths with neurodevelopmental disabilities, guided by WHO’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the early years of life, the environments that interact with a child—including families, schools, and communities—play a key role in the child’s brain development. Early child development and overall children’s developmental trajectories have long-term implications for health, happiness, and earning potential as these children become adults. Importantly, failing to reach developmental potential contributes to global cycles of poverty, inequality, and social exclusion. There is little public understanding of the importance of children’s first years and the critical developmental opportunity to reach optimal functioning. As such, global data on early child developments are crucial to inform the public and demand evidence-based policies and high-quality programs for children around the world.

This Special Issue seeks papers on early child development, including those on assessing the impact of programs and interventions related to children’s health, education, and participation that could inform evidence-based policies around the world. International representation of studies is highly sought. Methodological and implementation studies will be considered. High-quality narrative and systematic reviews will also be considered.

Dr. Verónica Schiariti
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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 2300 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
  • Child health
  • Functioning
  • International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health
  • Outcomes
  • Participation
  • Social inclusion
  • Children rights
  • Education
  • Social services
  • Measurement
  • Functional indicators
  • Screening
  • Surveillance
  • Environmental interventions
  • Empowerment
  • Equality
  • Evidence-based policy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Does Maternal Depression Undermine Childhood Cognitive Development? Evidence from the Young Lives Survey in Peru
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197248 - 03 Oct 2020
Abstract
This paper studies the effect of maternal depression on early childhood cognition in Peru, where rates of depression are around 50%. By using an instrumental variables approach, this study exploits variation in the exogeneity of the exposure to shocks during early life to [...] Read more.
This paper studies the effect of maternal depression on early childhood cognition in Peru, where rates of depression are around 50%. By using an instrumental variables approach, this study exploits variation in the exogeneity of the exposure to shocks during early life to instrument for maternal depression. The empirical strategy exploits a novel longitudinal data—the Young Lives survey—that includes information on cognitive outcomes of children and variation in their mothers’ mental health status between rounds of data collection. Results suggest that maternal depression is detrimental to a child’s vocabulary at age 5, but effects fade out by age 8. Effects do not vary by maternal education but are significant only for children living in disadvantaged households. Estimations indicate that the presence of a partner worsens the effect of maternal depression on vocabulary development, results that are driven mainly by households with heavy-drinking partners. Our findings make a strong case for recognizing maternal mental health problems as disorders of public health significance and guide maternal and infant health policies in Peru. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Vision Development Differences between Slow and Fast Motor Development in Typical Developing Toddlers: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3597; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103597 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
Many studies have established a relationship between visual function and motor development in toddlers. This is the first report to study two-year-olds via an assessment of their visual and motor skills. The purpose of this study is to describe the possible changes that [...] Read more.
Many studies have established a relationship between visual function and motor development in toddlers. This is the first report to study two-year-olds via an assessment of their visual and motor skills. The purpose of this study is to describe the possible changes that can occur between visual and motor systems in typical developing toddlers. A total of 116 toddlers were included in this observational, descriptive, and cross-sectional study. Their mean age was 29.57 ± 3.45 months. Motor development variables studied were dominant hand/foot; stationary, locomotion, object manipulation, grasping, visual motor integration percentiles; gross motor, fine motor, and total motor percentiles; and gross motor, fine motor, and total motor quotients. Visual development variables were assessed including visual acuity, refractive error, ocular alignment, motor fusion and suppression, ocular motility, and stereopsis. Our findings demonstrated that typical developing toddlers with slow gross motor development had higher exophoria and further near point of convergence values compared to toddlers with fast gross motor development (p < 0.05). No statistically significant differences were found in visual acuity and stereopsis between slow and fast gross motor development toddlers. Full article
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Open AccessProtocol
Go Zika Go: A Feasibility Protocol of a Modified Ride-on Car Intervention for Children with Congenital Zika Syndrome in Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6875; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186875 - 21 Sep 2020
Abstract
Children with congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) present severe motor disability and can benefit from early powered mobility. The Go Zika Go project uses modified ride-on toy cars, which may advance the body functions, activities, and participation of children. This paper describes the study [...] Read more.
Children with congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) present severe motor disability and can benefit from early powered mobility. The Go Zika Go project uses modified ride-on toy cars, which may advance the body functions, activities, and participation of children. This paper describes the study protocol aiming to assess the feasibility of a modified ride-on car intervention for children with CZS in Brazil. A mixed-methods design with a multiple 1-week baseline, 3-month intervention, and 1-month follow-up will be implemented. Modified ride-on car training sessions will be conducted three times a week at the participants’ home or in the clinic. The primary outcome will be a narrative description of study feasibility (photovoice method, focus groups, parent feasibility questionnaire and assessment of learning powered mobility). Secondary outcomes will be switch activation, driving sessions journal, social-cognitive interactions, mobility (pediatric evaluation of disability inventory computer adaptive test), goal attainment scaling (GAS), and participation (young children’s participation and environment measure). Go Zika Go is expected to be viable and to improve function, activity, and participation of children with CZS, providing a low-cost, evidence-based rehabilitation option that will be relevant to early child development in a global perspective. Full article
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