Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Maternal antenatal anxiety and electrophysiological functioning amongst a sub-set of preschoolers participating in the GUSTO cohort
    (2020)
    Tan, Hong Kuang
    ;
    ;
    Tsotsi, Stella
    ;
    Bruntraeger, Michaela
    ;
    Chen, Helen Yu
    ;
    Broekman, Birit F. P.
    ;
    Tan, Kok Hian
    ;
    Chong, Yap Seng
    ;
    Meaney, Michael J.
    ;
    Qiu, Anqi
    ;
    Background Antenatal maternal anxiety is a risk for offspring psychological and cognitive difficulties. The preschool years represent an important time for brain development, and so may be a window for intervention. However, electrophysiological investigations of maternal anxiety and preschoolers’ brain functioning are lacking. We ask whether anxiety symptoms predict neurophysiology, and consider timing specificity (26-weeks antenatal or 24-months postnatal), form of insult (anxiety symptoms, per se, or also depression symptoms), and offspring gender. Methods The sample consisted of a subset of 71 mothers and their 3 year old children taking part in the prospective birth cohort, GUSTO. Mothers provided antenatal (26 weeks) and postnatal (2 years) anxiety and depressive symptomatology data, respectively via the “State Trait Anxiety Questionnaire” and the “Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale.” Offspring provided electrophysiological data, obtained while they indicated the emotional expression of actors whose facial expressions remained consistent throughout a pre-switch block, but were reversed at “post-switch.” Results Three electrophysiological components linked to different information processing stages were identified. The two earliest occurring components (i.e., the N1 and P2) differed across blocks. During post-switch, both were significantly predicted by maternal anxiety, after controlling for pre-switch neurophysiology. Similar results were observed with depression. Antenatal mental health remained a significant predictor after controlling for postnatal mental health. Conclusion In combination with past work, these findings suggest the importance of reducing symptoms in women prior to and during pregnancy, and offering support to offspring early in development.
    WOS© Citations 5Scopus© Citations 4  244  71
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Co-occurrence of internalizing difficulties and aggression in early childhood and risk of mental health problems in middle childhood
    (2023)
    Tsotsi, Stella
    ;
    ;
    Coplan, Robert J.
    ;
    Bølstad, Evalill
    ;
    Czajkowski, Nikolai O.
    ;
    Smajlagic, Dinka
    ;
    Bekkhus, Mona
    The goal of this prospective longitudinal study was to explore whether co-occurrent internalizing difficulties and aggression in early childhood convey increased risk for later mental health problems in middle childhood. Participants were mothers from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), who provided assessments of child internalizing difficulties and aggression at ages 3 years (n = 54,644; 26,750 girls) and 5 years (n = 38,177; 18,794 girls), as measures of child depressive, anxiety, conduct-related, and oppositional defiant (OD) symptoms at age 8 years. Using latent profile analyses (LPA) of internalizing difficulties and aggression, four profiles were identified: low-symptom/normative; primarily internalizing; primarily aggressive; and co-occurrent. Among the other results, the co-occurrent group exhibited the highest levels of depressive, anxiety, and oppositional defiant symptoms at 8 years. Most children (78%) remained stable in their profile between ages 3 and 5 years. Among the transition patterns that emerged, transitions were observed both from the normative to a risk profile and vice versa. Children who remained stable within the co-occurrent profile or who transitioned from the co-occurrent profile to one of the other two risk profiles also exhibited more depressive, anxiety, and OD symptoms at 8 years of age, when compared with children who transitioned from the co-occurrent to the normative profile. The heterogeneity between early manifestation of internalizing difficulties and aggression, and specific type of later mental health symptoms not only supports a shared etiology between internalizing and externalizing difficulties but also points toward the need for person-centered monitoring in early childhood with further implications for early identification of difficulties and preventive measures.
      32
  • Publication
    Open Access
    Early language competence, but not general cognitive ability, predicts children's recognition of emotion from facial and vocal cues
    (2020)
    Griffiths, Sarah
    ;
    ;
    Norbury, Courtenay Fraiser
    ;
    The SCALES Team
    The ability to accurately identify and label emotions in the self and others is crucial for successful social interactions and good mental health. In the current study we tested the longitudinal relationship between early language skills and recognition of facial and vocal emotion cues in a representative UK population cohort with diverse language and cognitive skills (N D369), including a large sample of children that met criteria for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD, N D97). Language skills, but not non-verbal cognitive ability, at age 5-6 predicted emotion recognition at age 10-12. Children that met the criteria for DLDshowed a large deficit in recognition of facial and vocal emotion cues. The results highlight the importance of language in supporting identification of emotions from non-verbal cues. Impairments in emotion identification may be one mechanism by which language disorder in early childhood predisposes children to later adverse social and mental health outcomes.
    WOS© Citations 17Scopus© Citations 20  96  80
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Sources of variability in the prospective relation of language to social, emotional, and behavior problem symptoms: Implications for developmental language disorder
    (2021) ;
    Griffiths, Sarah
    ;
    Norbury, Courtenay Fraiser
    ;
    SCALES Team
    Children with developmental language disorder (DLD) are at risk for social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) maladjustment throughout development, though it is unclear if poor language proficiency per se can account for this risk as associations between language and SEB appear more variable among typical-language children. This study investigated whether the relationship between language and SEB problems is stronger at very low levels of language and considered confounders including socioeconomic status, sex, and nonverbal intelligence. These were examined using a population-based survey design, including children with a wide range of language and cognitive profiles, and assessed using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and six standardized language measures (n = 363, weighted n = 6,451). Structural equation models adjusted for prior levels of SEB revealed that the relationship of language at age 5–6 years to SEB at 7–9 years was nonlinear. Language more strongly predicted all clusters of SEB at disordered language levels relative to typical language levels, with standardized betas of −.25 versus .03 for behavioral, −.31 versus −.04 for peer, and .27 versus .03 for prosocial problems. Wald tests between these pairs of betas yielded p values from .049 to .014. Sex moderated the nonlinear association between language and emotional symptoms. These findings indicate a clinical need to support language development in order to mitigate against problems of SEB and to carefully monitor the mental health needs of children with DLD, particularly in the context of multiple, and potentially sex-specific, risks.
    WOS© Citations 11Scopus© Citations 13  44
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Does early language development contribute to socio-emotional functioning in pre-school and beyond?
    (Springer Singapore, 2022)
    Although multiple studies across the world have shown that low language ability associates with three major clusters of low socio-emotional functioning in childhood- behavioural, emotional and ADHD type, little is known about how these relationships come to develop, while even less is known among children who grow up learning two or more languages. This is of global concern, as a substantial number of individuals who speak two languages exist around the world and even form the majority in some countries such as Singapore. Moreover, both low language and low socio-emotional functioning is closely associated with multiple negative costs in later life to community and state resources. In this chapter, I first focus on the pre-school period and provide a framework for understanding the early development of language. Next, recent systematic reviews regarding the contribution of language to socio-emotional functioning are synthesised. In brief, both cross-sectional and longitudinal reviews report linkages between language and socio-emotional functioning. Such linkage can be variable, with age, level of language proficiency and type of socio-emotional functioning postulated as explanations for such variability. Finally, as Singapore is a country with a substantial number of children who grow up learning two or more languages, findings regarding the estimates and nature of the relationship between language and socio-emotional functioning in multi-lingual environments are discussed.
      100
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Caregiving adversity during infancy and preschool cognitive function: Adaptations to context?
    (2021) ; ;
    Chong, Hui Jun
    ;
    Tsotsi, Stella
    ;
    Sim, Lit Wee
    ;
    Tan, Kok Hian
    ;
    Chong, Yap Seng
    ;
    Meaney, Michael J.
    From a conditional adaptation vantage point, early life caregiving adversity likely enhances aspects of cognition needed to manage interpersonal threats. Yet, research examining early life care and offspring cognition predominantly relies upon experiments including affectively neutral stimuli, with findings generally interpreted as “early-life caregiving adversity is, de facto, ‘bad’ for cognitive performance.” Here, in a Southeast Asian sample, we examined observed maternal sensitivity in infancy and cognitive performance 3 years later as preschoolers took part in three tasks, each involving both a socioemotional (SE) and non-socioemotional (NSE) version: relational memory (n = 236), cognitive flexibility (n = 203), and inhibitory control (n = 255). Results indicate the relation between early life caregiving adversity and memory performance significantly differs (Wald test = 7.67, (1), P = 0.006) depending on the SE versus NSE context, with maternal sensitivity in infancy highly predictive of worse memory for SE stimuli, and amongst girls, also predictive of better memory when NSE stimuli are used. Results concerning inhibitory control, as well as cognitive flexibility in girls, also tentatively suggest the importance of considering the SE nature of stimuli when assessing relations between the caregiving environment and cognitive performance. As not all approaches to missing data yielded similar results, implications for statistical approaches are elaborated. We conclude by considering how an adaptation-to-context framework approach may aid in designing pedagogical strategies and well-being interventions that harness pre-existing cognitive strengths.
    WOS© Citations 6Scopus© Citations 8  86