Scientific Conference (2021, September 08)
Scientific Conference (2021, August 27)
Scientific Conference (2021, August 23)
Teachers are faced with increasingly heterogenous student groups, whereby the successful inclusion of all students largely depend on teachers´ competence and attitudes. Attitudes are understood as a multifaceted construct with cognitive, affective and conative components. In the current study we investigated to what extent teachers´ expectations concerning students´ academic performance - reflecting the cognitive component of attitudes - varied as a function of specific student characteristics (special educational needs and immigrant background). In addition, we assessed teachers´ emotions - reflecting the affective component of attitudes - concerning the inclusion of these students in mainstream education. Result confirmed previous findings that teachers´ expectations and emotions vary as a function of student characteristics. Teachers had lower expectations of the academic performance of students with learning difficulties than students with challenging behaviour, whereby the estimates of German proficiency were also affected by the immigrant background of the student. Teachers felt however less positive about the inclusion of students with challenging behaviour than of students with learning difficulties, regardless of the immigrant background of the student. Results will be discussed in relation to theory and their practical implications.
in Frontiers in Endocrinology (2021), 12(721028),
Background: Type 1 diabetes in young children is a heavy parental burden. As part of pilot phase of the KIDSAP01 study, we conducted a baseline assessment in parents to study the association between hypoglycemia fear, parental wellbeing and child behavior. Methods: All parents were invited to fill in baseline questionnaires: hypoglycemia fear survey (HFS), WHO-5, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results: 24 children (median age: 5-year, range 1-7 years, 63% male, mean diabetes duration: 3 ± 1.7 years) participated. 23/24 parents filled out the questionnaires. We found a higher score for the hypoglycemia fear behavior 33.9 ± 5.6 compared to hypoglycemia worry 34.6 ± 12.2. Median WHO-5 score was 16 (8 - 22) with poor well-being in two parents. Median daytime sleepiness score was high in five parents (>10). For six children a high total behavioral difficulty score (>16) was reported. Pro social behavior score was lower than normal in six children (<6). Parental well-being was negatively associated with HFS total (r = - 0.50, p <.05) and subscale scores (r = - 0.44, p <.05 for HFS-Worry and HFS-Behavior), child behavior (r = - 0.45, p = .05) and positively with child age (r = 0.58, p <.01). HFS, parental well-being nor daytime sleepiness are associated with the HbA1c. Conclusion: Regular screening of parental well-being, hypoglycemia fear and child behavior should be part of routine care to target early intervention.
in Frontiers in Education (2021), 6
Cross-border migration leads to a diversification of societies, which is reflected in the education system, where classrooms are composed of students with heterogeneous cultural, linguistic, socio-economic characteristics. However, this diversity is only to a limited extent reflected in the teacher population, even though teachers from different backgrounds can bring specific intercultural competencies, have more positive attitudes toward multicultural heterogeneity and act as role models. To facilitate the diversification of the teaching profession, it is imperative that the cohorts of students entering teacher education programs represent the diversity of societies, however studies have shown students with migration background or from families with lower socio-economic status are underrepresented in such programs. This study considered the demographic constellation of applicants for admission into the teacher education program in Luxembourg (2015-2019) and investigated to what extent the admission process (dis)advantages certain groups. Results revealed that although applications come from diverse backgrounds, proficiency in the country´s native languages poses a disadvantage for students with migration background. In addition, applicants coming from more privileged families stand a better chance of being admitted. Results are interpreted within the framework of social mobility and social reproduction. Implications for the admission to the teachers education program are discussed.
Scientific Conference (2021, April 08)
Students with immigrant backgrounds are often disadvantaged in public educational systems. In Luxembourg, about 50% of primary and secondary school students have an immigrant background, most notably from Italy, the former Yugoslavia and Portugal. Using data from Luxembourg’s national school monitoring program, we investigate and document for the first time, existing and emerging differences in academic achievement among different immigrant generations of students. Our results indicate that student achievement in Math, German and French is differentially affected by immigrant generational status and language spoken at home. In addition, we find secondary effects of student social background.
in British Journal of Educational Psychology (2021), 91(4), 1185-1201
Background. All over the word, classrooms are getting more and more diverse and teachers are required to effectively manage these classes even when students have special education needs (SEN). Aims. The study aimed to investigate classroom management strategies and interpersonal teacher behaviour in relation to students internalizing and externalizing behaviour, whereby we varied the diagnosis of special educational needs. Sample. Two hundred and fifty-four German pre-service teachers (143 female) with a mean age of 26.04 years participated in the study. Method. Using an experimental between-subjects design, a fictitious student was described as exhibiting either internalizing or externalizing behaviour. Additionally, we varied whether the student was diagnosed as having SEN or not. The participants were asked to indicate which strategies they would apply and how they would interact with students. Results. Results showed that teacher interaction in response to both students with internalizing and externalizing behaviour approached ideal interpersonal teacher behaviour (i.e. high level of cooperativeness with certain level of dominance), whereas pre-service teachers applied all classroom management strategies to minimize effects of student behaviour on learning time. Although pre-service teachers adapted their responses based on type of behaviour, they only made allowances for internalizing behaviour while their response to externalizing behaviour did not vary much as a function of a SEN diagnosis. Conclusions. Together, these findings highlight the importance of providing preservice teachers with the pedagogical knowledge concerning effective classroom management and flexible use of strategies in response to diverse student needs in inclusive classrooms.
in Ugen, Sonja; Schiltz, Christine; Fischbach, Antoine; Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke (Eds.) Lernstörungen im multilingualen Kontext: Diagnose und Hilfestellungen (2021)
in Ugen, Sonja; Schiltz, Christine; Fischbach, Antoine; Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke (Eds.) Lernstörungen im multilingualen Kontext: Diagnose und Hilfestellungen (2021)
in Ugen, Sonja; Schiltz, Christine; Fischbach, Antoine; Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke (Eds.) Lernstörungen im multilingualen Kontext: Diagnose und Hilfestellungen (2021)
Book published by Melusina Press (2021)
Um Kinder mit einer Lernstörung durch möglichst angepasste Hilfsmaßnahmen unterstützen zu können, ist eine umfassende Diagnostik maßgeblich. Die Diagnostik von Lernstörungen stellt vor allem in multilingualen Kontexten - wie in Luxemburg - eine Herausforderung dar. Auch werden derzeit vorwiegend im Ausland entwickelte diagnostische Tests durchgeführt, welche die luxemburgischen Besonderheiten, wie etwa das Erlernen der schriftsprachlichen und mathematischen Kompetenzen in einer Zweit- oder Drittsprache, nicht berücksichtigen. Ausgehend vom aktuellen Forschungs- und Wissensstand wird ein vertieftes Verständnis im Hinblick auf Lese- und Rechtschreibstörungen und Rechenstörungen dargelegt. Darauf aufbauend werden diagnostische Vorgehensweisen sowie pädagogische Hilfsmaßnahmen mithilfe von Erfahrungswerten praktizierender Fachkräfte aus dem luxemburgischen Förderbereich vorgestellt.
in Ugen, Sonja; Schiltz, Christine; Fischbach, Antoine; Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke (Eds.) Lernstörungen im multilingualen Kontext. Diagnose und Hilfestellungen (2021)
Poster (2020, November 12)
Research indicates students with immigrant background are disadvantaged in educational systems of the host country (e.g., OECD, 2018). In Luxembourg, roughly half of the school population has an immigrant background (Lenz & Heinz, 2018), and several studies indicate these students are considerably disadvantaged in terms of educational achievement levels (Hadjar et al., 2015, 2018). Lower achievement may be partly due to difficulties related to displacement and settling of 1st generation immigrant students. Second and later generation students may however also experience disadvantages as they speak languages at home that are different from the two main languages of instruction (i.e., German and French), and their parents may be less familiar with the educational system and less able to provide support for their children (Alba & Foner, 2016). This may explain why educational inequalities persist; however little is known about the influence of language proficiency of different generations of immigrant students on their performance in other school subjects. Therefore, our poster focuses on the effect of generation after controlling for the effect of language on math competency. Using data from the Luxembourg School Monitoring Programme (Épreuves Standardisées) for the 2016 cohort of 9th grade students in the two main tracks of secondary school (n=4,339), we conduct regression analysis to investigate to what extent language proficiency in German and French and generational status have an impact on math performance. Data indicates that language proficiency in both German and French explains a significant proportion of variance in math performance. In addition, there is a generation effect, whereby 3rd and later generation immigrant students achieve a higher level of math competency than students of the 1st or 2nd generation. Results will be discussed in terms of social mobility and educational inequality.
in European Journal of Psychology of Education (2020), 35(3), 675-702
Research has shown that teachers are able to adapt their processing strategy of student information to situational demands, whereby they flexibly use either an automatic and category-based strategy or a controlled and information-integrating strategy. However, the effect of teachers’ accountability for task and the consistency of student information on strategy use is less clear. In two experimental studies, teachers were presented with consistent and inconsistent student profiles, whereby accountability levels were systematically varied. In the first study, the attention to and memory of information were investigated as indicators of changes in information processing strategy. In the second study, resulting changes in judgement accuracy were investigated. Results of study 1 provided support for the theoretical assumption that people apply the category-based strategy when confronted with consistent information under low accountability conditions, while inconsistent information and high accountability conditions led to the use of information-integration strategy. Results of study 2 showed that teachers’ judgement accuracy generally increased in relation to high accountability conditions and to lesser extent profile consistency, whereby inaccuracy reflected both under- and overestimation of student ability. The combined results suggest that the use of differential information processing strategies not only leads to differences in the attention to and processing of information, but also results in differences in the quality of judgements and decision making, especially under high accountability conditions.
Scientific Conference (2020, July)
School career and academic achievement are known to greatly affect an individual’s path through life (e.g., Trapmann, Hell, Weigand & Schuler, 2007; Jimerson, 2001). In Luxembourg, recent findings indicate that at school entrance (i.e., the beginning of Grade 1) the majority of the students achieve or even surpass the required minimum level of core competencies such as mathematics and early literacy (Hoffmann, Hornung, Gamo, Esch, Keller, & Fischbach, 2018). However, in Grade 3 (i.e., after the first two years of elementary school) many students do no longer achieve the required minimum level of competencies in math and literacy (ibid.). Especially students with another language background than (any of) the official languages in Luxembourg (Luxembourgish, German, and French) and those socio-economically disadvantaged were found to be more likely not to obtain the competency level (ibid.). The current study aims to investigate which specific factors may facilitate (or hinder) learning progression by using longitudinal data of the Luxembourg School Monitoring Programme Épreuves Standardisées from Grade 1 (2014, 2015) to Grade 3 (2016, 2017, 2018). More specifically, students with irregular pathways (i.e., those who experienced grade retention) will be identified as treatment group and compared to a stratified control group of students following regular pathways. For each student of the treatment group, one or more students from the control group will be matched through propensity score matching, a matching procedure based on logistic regression, according to different pre-sets of variables. In a second step, the two groups will be compared in regards to competency levels as well as to socio-emotional context variables such as family background, student-teacher interaction, and school satisfaction aiming at identifying characteristics potentially facilitating (or hindering) a student’s school career.
in Research in Developmental Disabilities (2020), 103
Background Despite the high frequency of case-control studies in the developmental disability literature, there is a paucity of research establishing the measurement equivalence of instruments used, and particularly those relating to positive perceptions and experiences in family disability research. Aims The present study sought to establish measurement invariance for the Positive Gains Scale (PGS) across 1219 mothers of children with developmental disabilities, 234 mothers of children with spina bifida/hydrocephalus, and 157 mothers of children without disabilities. Methods and Procedures A three-step test for measurement invariance across the three groups was conducted using Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Outcomes and Results Loadings between the three groups were invariant, suggesting the criteria to assume metric invariance was met. However, the assumption of scalar invariance was not met, suggesting that item intercepts differed between the three groups. Conclusions and Implications Our findings suggest that the PGS cannot be meaningfully used to compare outcomes between mothers of children with developmental disabilities and other mothers. These findings may have wider implications for research utilising well-being measures to make comparisons with carers of children with developmental disabilities.
Scientific Conference (2020, March)
in Glock, Sabine; Kleen, Hannah (Eds.) Stereotype in der Schule (2020)
In verschiedenen europäischen Ländern führt der Wechsel zur Sekundarschule zu einer bedeutsamen Aufgliederung der Bildungswege, welche ein unterschiedlich hohes Schulleistungsniveau der Schüler*innen voraussetzen. Die Akkuratheit der Zuweisung von Sekundarschulformen bestimmt nicht nur die Optionen der Schüler*innen bei späteren Übergangen im Bildungssystem, sondern beeinflusst auch den weiteren beruflichen und persönlichen Werdegang der Schüler*innen. Schüler*innen mit Migrationshintergrund sind auf die höheren sekundären Schulformen unterrepräsentiert. Inwiefern diese Unterrepräsentation auf stereotypgeprägte Leistungserwartungen zurückzuführen ist, ist bis jetzt unklar, denn es lisgt kein Kriterium vor, um die Urteilsakkuratheit adäquat zu messen. In diesem Kapitel wird ein Ansatz beschrieben, ein solches Akkuratheitskriterium zu entwickeln und zu validieren. In einem zweiten Schritt wird das Kriterium angewendet, um den Zusammenhang zwischen stereotypgeprägten Erwartungen und der Akkuratheit der Übergangsentscheidungen zu untersuchen. Das Kriterium erweist sich als valides Maß und könnte so einen wertvollen Ansatz für weitere Untersuchungen der Akkuratheit von Lehrerurteilen darstellen. Obwohl Lehrer*innen im Allgemeinen eine hohe Urteilsakkuratheit aufweisen, bestätigen die Befunde dennoch die Zusammenhänge zwischen stereotypgeprägten Erwartungen und Urteilsverzerrungen.
in Glock, Sabine; Kleen, Hannah (Eds.) Stereotype in der Schule (2020)
Dieses Kapitel geht der Frage nach, ob Lehrer*innenüberzeugungen und -erwartungen je nach sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf variieren. Außerdem wurde deren Einfluss sowohl auf die Gefühle bei Auseinandersetzung mit der Inklusion von unterschiedlichen Schüler*innen als auch auf die persönliche Bereitschaft, Inklusion umzusetzen, untersucht. Die Studien basieren einerseits auf dem Kontinuum-Modell der Eindrucksbildung und betrachten andererseits das Stereotype-Content-Modell, nach dem Wärme und Kompetenz über 80 % der Unterschiedlichkeit in der Personenwahrnehmung erklären. Die Ergebnisse zeigten, dass Überzeugungen und Erwartungen von der Art des Förderbedarfs beeinflusst werden. Positivere Überzeugungen bezüglich der Schüler*innenmerkmale (Wärme und Kompetenz) und höhere Leistungserwartungen waren hierbei mit positiveren Gefühlen und einer stärker ausgeprägten persönlichen Bereitschaft, die Schüler*innen mit sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf zu inkludieren, verbunden. Abschließend werden die daraus resultierenden Konsequenzen für die Lehreraus- und weiterbildung abgeleitet und diskutiert.
in Glock, Sabine; Kleen, Hannah (Eds.) Stereotype in der Schule (2020)
In diesem Artikel wird ein Forschungsüberblick über Einstellungen sowohl gegenüber Schüler*innen ethnischer Minoritäten als auch gegenüber Schüler*innen mit sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf sowie gegenüber Inklusion gegeben. Lehrkrafteinstellungen gelten als wichtiger Faktor einerseits bezüglich einer erfolgreichen Inklusion von Schüler*innen mit sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf, andererseits aber auch, wenn es um ethnische Ungleichheiten geht. Aus diesem Grund sind gerade Schüler*innen ethnischer Minoritäten interessant, da diese häufig als sogenannte „Bildungsverlierer“ gelten. Der Überblick geht dabei sowohl auf implizite als auch auf explizite Einstellungen von Lehrkräften und Lehramtsstudierenden ein und führt die Relevanz moderierender Variablen, wie die Berufserfahrung oder den Kontakt, auf. Darüber hinaus wird auf die Relation zwischen Einstellungen und Verhalten eingegangen. Es zeigt sich, dass für Schüler*innen ethnischer Minoritäten sowie für Schüler*innen mit sonderpädagogischem Förderbedarf die impliziten Einstellungen negativ und die expliziten positiv sind. Darüber hinaus zeigt sich, dass die Einstellungen nicht stabil sind, sondern je nach zusätzlicher moderierender Variable variieren. Insbesondere bei den Einstellungen gegenüber Schüler*innen ethnischer Minoritäten lässt sich ein Zusammenhang zwischen Einstellungen und Verhalten von Lehrkräften finden. Die bisherige Forschung wird hinsichtlich möglicher zukünftiger Forschung und praktischer Implikationen diskutiert.
in International Journal of Inclusive Education (2020), 24
The aim of the current study was to investigate attitudes of Luxemburgish adults toward students with special educational needs (SEN) and their inclusion into mainstream schools. Positive attitudes can facilitate inclusion, furthering the acceptance of students with SEN. Implicit and explicit attitudes may have differential impact on behaviour toward students with SEN, however, to date, there is little research combining explicit and implicit attitudes measurement tools. Participants (N = 161) completed an evaluative priming task, the Attitudes Toward Inclusive Education in the Population questionnaire as well as the German version of the Attitudes toward Inclusive Education Scale. Results show that participants expressed positive attitudes toward inclusive education in general. Participantś implicit attitudes toward students with differing types of SEN varied, with neutral attitudes toward students with learning difficulties and negative attitudes toward students with challenging behaviour. In addition, participantś explicit attitudes toward the inclusion of students with learning difficulties or challenging behaviour in mainstream classrooms were negative. In sum, although people may support the general idea of inclusion, when asked about their attitudes toward students with specific types of SEN, and the inclusion of these students in mainstream schools, participantś attitudes were rather negative. The implications of these findings for the inclusion and acceptance of students with SEN in education and society are discussed.
in Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs (2019), 19(S1), 3-7
in Frontiers in Psychology (2019)
Teachers' attitudes toward their students have been associated with differential teachers' expectations and, in turn, with students' educational pathways. Theories of social cognition can explain the link between attitudes and behavior. In this regard, the distinction between implicit and explicit attitudes is worth to be considered, whereby implicit attitudes are automatically activated when the attitude object is present and guide automatic behavior. In contrast, explicit attitudes infer deliberation and reflection, hence affecting controlled behavior. As teachers often are required to act immediately in situations that do not allow for thoughtful reflection due to time restraints, teachers' implicit attitudes concerning different student groups with shared characteristics, such as gender or ethnicity, may be especially important when considering teachers' behavior in relation to students' educational pathways. This notion is reflected by an increased interest in adopting implicit methodology in the educational domain. Over the last 10 years, several studies have been conducted in different countries, involving in- and pre-service teachers and investigating their attitudes toward different student groups. Estimates of effects have varied and may be affected by sampling bias. To systematically review and integrate data from different studies, this meta-analysis focuses on teachers' implicit attitudes. Following the systematic search of the database and initial screening, 43 articles were identified from which 22, describing 34 studies, were retained for the meta-analysis after further inspection. First analyses revealed an estimated average effect size of 0.56 for implicit attitudes in favor of non-marginalized groups. As there was a large extent of heterogeneity between studies, several moderator variables were investigated. Results showed that the employed implicit measure and stimulus materials as well as the student target group affected the effect sizes. Low or non-significant relationships were reported between implicit and explicit attitudes. Findings are discussed in terms of theory and future research.
in British Journal of Educational Psychology (2019), 89
Background: Research exploring mechanisms driving inequalities in school systems, has found that biased teacher judgments contribute to observed disadvantages for ethnic minority students. Teacher judgments may be driven by explicit and implicit attitudes. Aims: The current research explored the effect of cultural diversity at schools (actual or imagined) on teachers’ attitudes toward ethnic minority students. Samples: One hundred and-five preservice teachers (90 female) with a mean age 26.20 of years (teaching experience: 57.55 weeks) participated in Study 1. Two hundred and thirty-one teachers (159 female) with a mean age of 41.00 years (teaching experience: 12.92 years) participated Study 2. Method: Cultural diversity was operationalized via a fictive description of a school (Study 1) or via the actual proportion of ethnic minority students at the school (Study 2). An Implicit Association Test assessed implicit attitudes toward ethnic minority students. Explicit attitudes were assessed via questionnaire. Results: Preservice teachers imagining a more culturally diverse school held more negative implicit attitudes toward ethnic minority students than those imagining a less diverse school. In contrast, in-service teachers actually working in more diverse schools held less negative implicit attitudes toward minority students. Preservice teachers associated teaching in culturally diverse schools with increased effort, whereas in-service teachers actually working in culturally diverse schools reported more enthusiasm toward teaching ethnic minority students. Conclusions: This research shows the challenge and the negative stereotypes preservice teachers associate with culturally diverse schools, while inservice teachers’ negative associations may be buffered by the actual experience of working with ethnic minority students.
Scientific Conference (2019, November 06)
Scientific Conference (2019, September 10)
Stereotypes and attitudes influence behavior and hence contribute to the integration of students from different backgrounds. Stereotypes reflect beliefs about the members of social groups (Fiske & Taylor, 1991) and are associated with expectations, which in turn effect perception and judgments (Ferguson, 2003). Person perceptions- and judgments are however also affected by evaluations of objects (Sanbonmatsu & Fazio, 1990). Based on people´s stereotypical beliefs and associated thoughts and feelings, specific behavioral intentions develop and hence both may be pivotal for the level of acceptance or rejection of others. Research shows that stigmatization based on ethnicity can provide a barrier in terms of both social integration (MENJE, 2015) and educational equity (Gabel, et al., 2009). The current study aimed to assess young peoples´ implicit attitudes and stereotypes concerning male and female students from different ethnic backgrounds (German vs. Turkish). Implicit attitudes were measured using an implicit association task (IAT; Greenwald, et al., 2003). First names were used as a proxy for the ethnic background of the student. Participants (N=98) were randomly divided in two groups, completing either an IAT-boys version or an IAT-girls version. Stereotypes, in terms of students´ academic engagement were assessed using a questionnaire (Hachfeld, et al., 2012). Mean IAT-D scores for boys and girls did not differ, t(89)=1.05, p=.30. The IAT-D score for the whole sample (M=0.33, SD=1.28) was significantly different from zero, t(90)=2.46, p=.02, d=0.26, reflecting more negative implicit attitudes toward students with Turkish roots. Participants did not express differential stereotypical beliefs regarding the students´ academic engagement based on students´ ethnic background (i.e., subscale scores were significantly lower than the mean of the scale, t(88)=6.00, p<.001, d=0.64). No correlation was found between implicit attitudes and stereotypical beliefs (r=.12, n.s.). People´s implicit attitudes in favor of students from ethnic majorities may result in differential social interactions with students from different backgrounds (less acceptance of students with ethnic minority backgrounds). The dissociation between implicit attitudes and explicit stereotypical beliefs may reflect the social sensitivity of the relationship between students´ background and educational opportunities.
Article for general public (2019)
Scientific Conference (2019, August 21)
In the United States, much has been written about the upward or downward social mobility of the so-called, “New Second Generation”. In Europe, this topic has only recently begun to take shape; mostly in regard to the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK. In the context of Luxembourg, however, there is very little literature on this topic even though nearly 50% of its population is now of immigrant status. Though small in geography and population, Luxembourg is a founding member of the E.U. and quite literally in the heart of continental Europe. It hosts a diverse set of immigrant groups, continuously attracting economic and some political immigrants, most notably from Italy, the former Yugoslavia and Portugal. Each of these groups arriving at a specific sociohistorical moment: Italians at the height of the steel industry, former Yugoslavians fleeing war, and Portuguese to meet construction and service industry needs. Consequently, Luxembourg is truly a multilingual and multicultural country that makes for a fascinating microcosm to test and explore existing theories of immigrant integration. Its context presents a unique opportunity to study and extrapolate from to anticipate the needs of immigrants elsewhere. Using 2016 data from Luxembourg’s school monitoring programme (ÉpStan), we investigate existing and emerging differences in academic achievement among 1st, 2nd, and later generation immigrant groups in Luxembourg. We analyse math and language proficiencies (German and French) among a cohort of secondary school students (9th grade, N=6286). Preliminary results indicate clear generational differences. These are interpreted in relation to immigrant group characteristics and acculturation in Luxembourg. Implications for the new second generation in the European context will be discussed.
in Llewellyn, C; Ayers, S; McManus, C; Newman, S; Petrie, K; Revenson, T.A.; Weinman, J (Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health, & Medicine (2019)
Scientific Conference (2019, May)
in PLoS ONE (2019), 14(3: e0212013), 1-11
Background Studies have shown that overnight closed-loop insulin delivery can improve glucose control and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and hence may improve metabolic outcomes and reduce burden for children with type 1 diabetes and their families. However, research so far has not reported insulin levels while comparing closed-loop to open-loop insulin delivery in children. Therefore, in this study we obtained glucose levels as well plasma insulin levels in children with type 1 diabetes to evaluate the efficacy of a model - based closed-loop algorithm compared to an open-loop administration. Methods Fifteen children with type 1 diabetes, 6-12 years, participated in this open-label single center study. We used a randomized cross over design in which we compared overnight closed-loop insulin delivery with sensor augmented pump therapy for two nights in both the hospital and at home (i.e., 1 night in-patient stay and at home per treatment condition). Only during the in-patient stay, hourly plasma insulin and blood glucose levels were assessed and are reported in this paper. Results Results of paired sample t-tests revealed that although plasma insulin levels were significantly lower during the closed-loop than in the open-loop (Mean difference 36.51 pmol/l; t(13)=2.13, p=.03, effect size d= 0.57), blood glucose levels did not vary between conditions (mean difference 0.76 mmol/l; t(13)=1.24, p=.12, d=0.37). The administered dose of insulin was significantly lower during the closed-loop compared with the open-loop (mean difference 0.10 UI; t(12)=2.45, p=.02, d=0.68). Conclusions Lower insulin doses were delivered in the closed-loop, resulting in lower plasma insulin levels , whereby glucose levels were not affected negatively. This suggests that the closed-loop administration is better targeted and hence could be more effective.
in Frontiers in Psychology (2019), 10(327), 1-10
The implementation of inclusive policies is largely dependent on teachers´ willingness to accommodate students with special educational needs (SEN) in mainstream classrooms, which is affected by their perceived competence and attitudes. This study investigated attitudes of pre- and in-service teachers toward students with two types of SEN: challenging behavior and learning difficulties. The three components of attitude (affective, cognitive, and behavioral) were assessed using indirect and direct measures. Results revealed that teachers held negative implicit attitudes toward challenging behavior and learning difficulties, however implicit attitudes did not vary as a function of the type of SEN. Ratings of the stereotypical dimensions warmth and competence and overall ratings of scholastic achievement were affected by professional status and type of SEN. Professional status, implicit attitudes and stereotypical knowledge together explained 52 and 43% of the variance in teachers´ ratings of academic proficiency for students with challenging behavior and learning difficulties, respectively. Results are interpreted within the theoretical framework and implications for teacher training are discussed.
Scientific Conference (2019, February)
Background In several countries, school tracking is used to group students with similar academic potential to optimize instruction. Teachers often have a more or less deciding vote, which school track would suit different students based on academic achievement and potential (Ansalone and Biafora, 2004). Given the differential qualifications associated with completion of the different school tracks, teachers’ abilities to correctly assign students to different tracks will not only affect the students´ educational pathways, but also has a long lasting effect on career opportunities and general wellbeing in future adult life. Research shows that tracking recommendations mainly rely on students’ abilities (e.g., Caro, et al., 2009; Klapproth, et al., 2013; Marks, 2006). However, non-academic related student characteristics such as the socioeconomic status (SES) of the parents and —closely related (Reardon, 2011)—the parental educational level also affect teachers´ tracking decisions, either indirectly via grades or directly via the tracking decision itself (Bauer and Riphahn, 2006; Caro et al., 2009; de Boer, et al., 2010; Ditton, Krüsken, and Schauenberg, 2005; Maaz, et al., 2008; Timmermans, et al., 2015; Wagner, et al., 2009). Indeed, research has provided evidence for such stereotype bias in teachers’ judgments, leading to disadvantages for certain social groups (Peterson, et al., 2016; van den Bergh, et al., 2010). Hence, the aim of our study was the investigation of teachers’ attitudes toward students in relation to the educational level of parents. Method The aim of the current study was to investigate teachers´ implicit and explicit attitudes toward students with differentially educated parents. Implicit attitudes were measured using an implicit association task (IAT). The first name of the student was used as a proxy for the educational level of parents (see Onland & Bloothooft, 2008), whereby we created separate versions for boys and girls. Participating teachers (N=70) were randomly divided in two groups whereby the first group completed the IAT-boys version and the other group the IAT-girls version. Explicit attitudes were measured using a questionnaire (adapted from Glock, et al., 2016). Results: Participants indicated positive implicit attitudes toward students with highly educated parents, independent of the gender of the student. More specifically, an independent t test revealed that the mean IAT-D scores for boys and girls did not differ, t(68)=0.47, p=.64, d=0.12. The IAT-D score for the whole sample (M=0.81, SD=0.61) was significantly different from zero, t(69)=11.14, p<.001, d=1.33, reflecting more positive implicit attitudes toward highly educated parents. Teachers did not express differential explicit beliefs regarding the learning and social behaviors of students based on the educational level of the parents (i.e., subscale scores were significantly lower than the mean of the scale, t(65)=4.26, p<.001, d=0.53), whereas their expectations concerning the motivation and ambitions or educational chances of these students were neutral. Although the three subscales within the explicit attitudes measure were substantially associated (correlations ranging from r = .39 to r =.74), no association between explicit and implicit attitudes measures was found (correlations range from r = -.07 to r = .08). Conclusion: Teachers’ attitudes seem to be an important factor, which can guide teachers´ judgments and behaviors, and could partly explain differences in educational equity for students with similar academic profiles, but differentially educated parents. The positive implicit attitudes in favor of students with highly educated parents imply more favorable judgments for and behavior toward these students and deeper work is required to ensure teachers’ fair treatment of all students. The dissociation between implicit and explicit attitudes may be an indication of the social sensitivity of the relationship between students´ social background and educational achievements and opportunities.
in European Journal of Special Needs Education (2019), 34(5), 632-648
Aiming to further our knowledge about what is meant by inclusion, we examined how various conceptualisations relate to people’s attitudes about inclusive education. We assign the varying characterisations of inclusion of specific groups with differing involvement in the education system in Luxembourg, applying the influential systematisation of definitions of inclusion by Göransson and Nilholm (2014). Results of study 1 showed that members of the general population, pre-service and in-service teachers perceive inclusive education in importantly different ways. Although results showed relatively positive attitudes toward inclusive education for the whole sample, attitudes varied by group and in relation to the differential categorisation of definitions. As teachers’ attitudes and the extent to which they feel prepared to implement inclusive practice are crucial for the success of inclusive education, the latter aspect is further investigated in study 2. Results showed that teachers with more in-depth understanding of inclusive education reported more positive attitudes and felt better prepared to implement inclusive practices. Implications for education systems and society are discussed.
in Substance Abuse and Addiction: : Breakthroughs in Research and Practice (2019)
This chapter focuses on implicit attitudes toward smoking and provides the first systematic review of research in this domain. Implicit attitudes are suggested to guide automatic behavior, thereby playing a pivotal role for automatic processes inherent in addictive behaviors. This chapter further explores the extent to which implicit attitudes are context-sensitive. More specifically, it reviews studies that have focused on the differential effects of external cues such as warning labels and internal cues (e.g., deprivation). Results of 32 studies show that although smokers generally have more positive implicit attitudes than non-smokers, the valence of implicit attitudes varies as a result of the applied method or stimuli. Studies reveal that implicit attitudes toward smoking partly depend on external cues, especially outcome expectancies. Similarly, internal cues affect implicit attitudes whereby the level of nicotine deprivation seems vital. Implications for intervention and future research are indicated in the discussion.
in Lenz, Thomas; Baumann, Isabell; Küpper, Achim (Eds.) Nationaler Bildungsbericht Luxemburg 2018 (2018)
in Lenz, Thomas; Baumann, Isabell; Küpper, Achim (Eds.) Rapport Ntional sur l´Éducation au Luxembourg 2018 (2018)
in Lenz, Thomas; Baumann, Isabell; Küpper, Achim (Eds.) Rapport National sur l´Éducation au Luxembourg 2108 (2018)
in Lenz, Thomas; Baumann, Isabell; Küpper, Achim (Eds.) Nationaler Bildungsbericht Luxemburg 2018 (2018)
in Educational Research and Evaluation (2018)
Male students with immigrant backgrounds are disproportionally referred for special educational support outside regular classrooms or schools, which may reflect differential teachers´ expectations concerning the academic achievement of students based on socio-demographic characteristics. Although research has indicated differential teachers´ expectations for students based on immigrant background or special educational needs (SEN), less is known about a possible double vulnerability associated with combined stereotypes. Therefore, in the current study both SEN and immigrant background were systematically varied and teachers were asked to rate the students´ academic achievement. Results show that teachers´ expectations of students with SEN and immigrant background was lower than for students without immigrant background, especially in regards to language proficiency. These results may help to explain the overrepresentation of students with immigrant background in special educational programs. The educational and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
Presentation (2018, November 21)
Following the global drive toward more equity in educational systems in general, and inclusive education in particular (UN, 2006), research has focused increasingly on the extent to which teachers are or can be prepared to accommodate students with diverse special educational needs (SEN) in their classrooms. Teachers play a key role in creating inclusive learning environments (Borg, Hunter, Sigurjonsdottir, & D’Alessio, 2011) and for the successful implementation of inclusive practice (Meijer, Soriano, & Watkins, 2003). However, whilst teachers are faced with increasingly heterogeneous classrooms, relatively little is known about teachers´ perceived competence and willingness to accommodate a heterogeneous student population in relation to the characteristics of the school environment and demands of the educational system. In addition, it is important to consider teachers´ attitudes toward students with SEN and related behavioural intentions that may facilitate or hinder inclusion. More specifically, decisions concerning the interaction with and educational instruction of students with SEN may be affected by teachers´ perceived competence as well as by general stereotypes and associated attitudes, as attitudes can elicit positive or negative expectations and judgments, which, in turn, can enhance or limit the inclusion of students with SEN in mainstream schools. The presentation will outline findings of the INCLUS project, funded by the Luxembourgish National research Foundation (FNR), concerning teacher variables associated with the successful implementation of inclusive practice. The project investigated teachers´ attitudes and perceived competence concerning the inclusion of children with special educational needs, and evaluated intervention modules aiming to support teachers in implementing inclusive practice. Findings and their implications will be discussed in terms of theory and their implications for teacher training programs.
Scientific Conference (2018, November 20)
Scientific Conference (2018, November 09)
Scientific Conference (2018, September 17)
The success of implementing inclusive practice depends on teachers´ competence as well as their attitudes. Attitudes are defined as psychological tendencies expressed by evaluating a particular entity with some degree of favor or disfavor. Research has provided mixed results concerning teachers´ attitudes toward students with SEN and inclusive practice, whereby teachers generally have more positive attitudes toward the inclusion of students with mild SEN than toward students with complex needs. Training, especially modules focusing on the cognitive processes underlying judgment, can facilitate positive change in attitudes toward inclusion of students with SEN. In a pre–post-test design, data were collected for a sample of 33 experienced primary school teachers attending a course (2x4hr) on inclusion with a focus on the role of attitudes in decision-making and behavior. We assessed general attitudes toward the inclusion of students with SEN as well as teachers´ emotional reactions, stereotypes and behavioural intentions. Results of a repeated measures ANOVA, with time (pre vs. post) and general attitude toward inclusion (4 subscales) as within group factors only showed a main effect for attitudes, reflecting variations between the subscale scores. The training course did not result in changes in general attitudes. Further analyses revealed a positive pre-post course change in teachers´ emotional reactions concerning the inclusion of a student with SEN in their class. Teachers´ stereotype ratings indicated they perceived students with learning difficulties as less competent but warm, whereas students with challenging behavior were perceived as relatively competent but average in warmth. Finally, teachers´ behavioral intentions shifted from focusing on finding solutions within the classroom to more cooperation with colleagues, parents and experts to provide the best support for the student with SEN. In sum, the training course impacted both the affective and conative components of attitudes, whereas general attitudes toward inclusion remained unchanged.
Scientific Conference (2018, September 13)
Following policies to promote a more equitable and inclusive educational system, the question arises how to prepare teachers to accommodate an increasingly heterogeneous student population. As teachers´ competence concerning inclusion is grounded in their training (e.g. Baker-Ericzen et al. 2009), courses focussing on inclusion as an educational practice could reduce uncertainties (e.g. Carroll et al. 2003). However, inclusion not only depends on teachers´ competence but also on their attitudes. Teachers’ attitudes may be pivotal for the success of inclusive education as they can elicit differential expectations and behaviors, which can enhance or limit the successful inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN). Avramidis and Norwich (2002) stressed the importance of training in the formation of positive attitudes toward the integration of students with SEN. Although several studies have reported positive changes in attitudes following a course on inclusive education (e.g. Shade & Stewart, 2001), the relationship between competence and attitudes is less clear. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of a course on inclusive pedagogy on competence and attitudes and the association between these constructs. Data were collected for 69 preservice teachers enrolled in a course on inclusive pedagogy. Attitudes toward the inclusion of students with SEN were assessed before and after the course, using the German version of The Opinions Relative to Integration of Students with Disabilities questionnaire (ORI; Benoit & Bless, 2014). In addition, at the end of the course students indicated to what extend the course had helped them to gain knowledge, skills and strategies concerning teaching a heterogeneous student population. Results of a repeated measures 2×4 ANOVA, with time (pre vs. post) and attitude towards inclusion (ORI subscales) as within group factors showed a main effect for attitudes, reflecting variations between the subscale scores. A significant time × attitudes interaction effect indicated positive attitude changes over time, but only in the domain of educational and social progression of students with SEN. Results of a regression analysis indicated that, after controlling for pre-course attitude ratings, perceived competence predicted attitude ratings at the end of the course. This study shows that teacher training can positively affect both teachers´ competence and attitudes concerning inclusive education, whereby perceived competence contributed to positive attitude change.
Scientific Conference (2018, September 06)
Scientific Conference (2018, September 06)
Scientific Conference (2018, September)
in Sibilio, Maurizio; Aiello, Paola (Eds.) Lo sviluppo professionale dei docenti. Ragionare di agentività per una scuola inclusiva (2018, July)
Teachers’ attitudes may be pivotal for the success of inclusive education. Attitudes can elicit positive or negative expectations and judgments, which in turn can enhance or limit the successful inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) in regular classrooms. Over the last decades, Luxembourg has invested significant effort in providing training to teachers and other professionals to improve educational services for students with SEN. The recent School Law (Summer 2017) stipulates how the inclusion of students with SEN can be facilitated. Although these changes all aim to facilitate the successful implementation of inclusive educational practice, it will be important to continue to investigate and interpret teachers’ attitudes and perceived competence and efficacy in the context of the educational system.
in Insights on Learning Disabilities: from Prevailing Theories to Validated Practices (2018), 15(1), 49-63
Teachers are expected to accommodate an increasingly heterogeneous student population. However, teachers often feel ill prepared and hence may be apprehensive toward the inclusion of students with special education needs (SEN) in regular classrooms. This paper concerns factors associated with the successful implementation of inclusive education. More specifically, it considers teacher characteristics that may facilitate -or hinder- the inclusion of students with SEN. The paper first discusses teacher competencies concerning the accommodation of students with SEN in regular classrooms, not only as a determinant of effective inclusive practice, but also in relation to teacher attitudes toward inclusive education. Second, we investigate to what extent teacher’ attitudes, both toward students with SEN and inclusive education, may affect teaching behaviors and (positive) action toward students with SEN. The paper further discusses (training) methods that could be applied to increase teacher competence and foster positive attitudes in an attempt to strive to a more equitable educational system.
Presentation (2018, April 25)
in Social Psychology of Education (2018), 21(3), 725-742
Educational inequalities may be derived from differential teacher expectations toward students from different backgrounds. Such expectations may be associated with stereotypical beliefs and attitudes, which guide behavior and judgments. Although ample research is available concerning differential teacher attitudes based on student ethnicity, few studies have considered the effect of the educational level of the parents. The aim of the current study was to investigate teachers´ implicit and explicit attitudes toward students with differentially educated parents. Implicit attitudes were measured using an implicit association task (IAT). The first name of the student was used as a proxy for the educational level of parents, whereby we created separate versions for boys and girls. Participants were randomly divided in two groups whereby the first group completed the IAT-boys version and the other group the IAT-girls version. Explicit attitudes were measured using a questionnaire. Participants indicated positive implicit attitudes toward students with highly educated parents, independent of the gender of the student. Teachers did not express differential explicit beliefs regarding the learning and social behaviors of students based on the educational level of the parents, and their expectations concerning the motivation and ambitions or educational chances of these students were neutral. The dissociation between implicit and explicit attitudes may be an indication of the social sensitivity of the relationship between students´ social background and educational achievements and opportunities. Especially implicit attitudes may account for differences in teacher behaviors toward different groups of students and in turn their educational opportunities, and could therefore partly account for consistent findings of educational inequalities based on the social status of families.
in Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, Olga; Toepper, M.; Pant, H.A.; Lautenbach, C.; Kuhn, C. (Eds.) Assessment of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education – Cross-national Comparisons and Perspectives (2018)
Accuracy in assessing academic achievement and potential is a core component of teachers’ diagnostic competence. Large-scale studies in the Luxembourgish and German educational systems show that teachers’ secondary school track decisions are biased by a student’s social background. Therefore, biased assessment of students may contribute to the social inequalities observed in secondary schools in both countries. Within a social cognitive framework of dual-process theories, bias is explained by heuristic information processing, which, in contrast to information-integrating processing, relies on stereotype-based expectations to form judgments about students. A series of experimental studies investigated the information processing strategies of teachers, identifying a low accountability of the decision setting and a high consistency of student information as key moderators that promote stereotype-based information processing strategies in teachers’ school track decisions. Similar effects were shown for novice teachers at the beginning of their professional career. Further research evaluated intervention modules based on increased accountability, feedback, and increased knowledge about judgment formation processes. Results demonstrated that all evaluated intervention modules led to higher judgment accuracy and more information-integrating processing. Reviewing current models of teachers’ diagnostic competence, the findings on teachers’ information processing emphasized the need to include situational and process-oriented components into models of diagnostic competence. Beside a cognitive component – the ability to form accurate and unbiased judgments – diagnostic competence includes an adaptive choice of information processing strategies, depending on the accountability and information consistency of the judgment setting. Results on intervention modules gave insights how to increase diagnostic competence in teacher education programs.
in Research in Developmental Disabilities (2018), 75
Background: Students with special educational needs (SEN) remain one of the most socially excluded and vulnerable groups. To this extent, negative attitudes and stereotypes may impede their inclusion. Theoretical frameworks have suggested that stereotypes and attitudes elicit differential expectations and judgments, which in turn affect (social) behaviors. Aims: In this study, we aimed to investigate the stereotypes and implicit attitudes held by a sample of Luxemburgish adults toward students with learning difficulties and challenging behavior. We also explored the adults’ explicit attitudes towards inclusion. Method and procedures: Participants (N=103) completed an evaluative priming task and rated students on the stereotype dimensions of warmth and competence. In addition, they completed the German version of The Opinions Relative to Integration of Students with Disabilities questionnaire and provided demographic information. Outcomes and results: Results showed differential stereotype content with respect to students with learning difficulties and challenging behavior. Results further indicated that participants’ implicit attitudes toward both challenging behavior and learning difficulties were negative. By contrast, participants expressed positive attitudes towards inclusion. Conclusions and implications: The results of the current study contribute to the understanding of why some people accept, whereas others reject students with SEN. Understanding prevalent stereotypes and attitudes can inform the development of targeted interventions to promote and facilitate the social inclusion of students with SEN.
Presentation (2017, October 23)
Scientific Conference (2017, September)
„Stereotypen“ werden als sozial geteilte Meinungen über Verhaltensweisen und Persönlichkeitsmerkmale von Mitgliedern einer bestimmten Gruppe verstanden. Stereotypen beeinflussen nicht nur unser Denken und Verhalten, sondern haben auch Auswirkungen darauf, wie unsere Mitmenschen über sich selber denken und sich dementsprechend verhalten (z.B. Pygmalion Effekt). Aus den stereotyp-basierten Erwartungen gegenüber SchülerInnen mit Förderbedarf können Bildungsungleichheiten und eine reduzierte soziale Partizipation resultieren. Lehrerurteile können beispielsweise von Stereotypen geprägt sein und dementsprechend Bildungswege unangemessen beeinflussen. Ebenso können Schüler, geleitet von ihren stereotyp-basierten Überzeugungen, weniger bereit sein Freundschaften mit MitschülerInnen mit Förderbedarf einzugehen. Gemäss dem „Stereotyp Content Model“ (Fiske u.a., 2002) finden Einschätzungen von Aussengruppen entlang der Dimensionen „Wärme“ und „Kompetenz“ statt. Die „Wärme“ bestimmt dabei ob eine Person als negativ oder positiv wahrgenommen wird, wobei die „Kompetenz“ die Extremität dieses Eindrucks festlegt. Stereotypen sind verbunden mit differenziellen Emotionen. So werden z.B. warme Menschen mit niedriger Kompetenz als angenehm wahrgenommen. Ziel dieser Studie war die Ermittlung ob Überzeugungen über SchülerInnen mit Förderbedarf durch Stereotypen geprägt sind und diese je nach Förderbedarf variieren. Zusätzlich wurde untersucht ob Stereotypen zwischen den verschiedenen Akteuren in der Schule variieren (z.B. abhängig von professioneller Kompetenz). Lehrkräfte, Lehramtsstudierende und Schüler (N=103) bewerteten Schüler mit Verhaltensproblemen und Lernschwierigkeiten anhand von Vignetten in den beiden Dimensionen „Wärme und „Kompetenz“. SchülerInnen sowie Lehramtsstudierende kategorisierten Schüler mit Lernschwierigkeiten und Verhaltensproblemen beide als inkompetent. Schüler mit Verhaltensproblemen wurden zusätzlich auch als relativ kalt eingeschätzt, während Schüler mit Lernschwierigkeiten eher als warm wahrgenommen wurden. Erfahrene Lehrkräfte dagegen, bewerteten die Schüler mit Lernschwierigkeiten als warm aber inkompetent und die Schüler mit Verhaltensproblemen in beiden Dimensionen neutral. Unsere Befunde sind im Einklang mit vorherigen Forschungsergebnissen die belegen, dass Stereotypen je nach Förderbedarf varieren. Da Stereotypen Urteile und Verhalten beeinflussen, deuten unsere Befunde darauf hin, dass sich die Interaktionen mit SchülerInnen mit Lernschwierigkeiten und Verhaltensproblemen voneinander unterscheiden.
in BMJ Open (2017), 7(9),
ABSTRACT Objectives: The current study aimed to identify factors that could predict attrition in youth starting ambulatory treatment to control or lose weight. Design: retrospective longitudinal study Setting: paediatric clinic: ambulatory treatment program Patients and measures: A youth sample (N=191; 89 boys; age 7-17 years) completed measures of demographic characteristics, health and psychosocial traits before starting an ambulatory weight management program. Anthropometric and biological markers related to obesity were also obtained. Test of mean differences and regression analyses were used to investigate the relationship between these variables and attrition after one year. Results: Chi-square and t-test results showed both psychosocial and health indicators differentiated between participants who continued attending the treatment program and those that dropped out. More specifically, youth that dropped out of treatment were significantly older, had higher BMI-Z scores, higher levels of insulin, triglycerides and HOMA-IR, reported poorer health and more conduct problems, and were more dissatisfied with themselves and their bodies before starting treatment. Results of regression analyses revealed that weight status (anthropometric and biological markers), age and body dissatisfaction predict attrition (overall prediction success 73%; prediction success for continued attendance 90/91%; prediction success for dropout 42/44%). Conclusion: Attrition, but especially the continued attendance in treatment, can be successfully predicted by age, weight status and body dissatisfaction. For patients who present with one or more risk factors, careful consideration is needed to decide which (combination of) in- or outpatient program may facilitate prolonged engagement of the patient and hence may be most effective in establishing weight loss.
Scientific Conference (2017, August 30)
This paper focuses on intervention modules to improve teachers’ diagnostic competence, especially in regards to decisions on students’ transition from primary to secondary education. Although these transition decisions should be based on academic achievement, research has shown non-academic variables to influence decisions, leading to disadvantages for specific groups of students. Using an experimental pre-post design, we investigated the short and long term effects of accountability, theoretical knowledge and the application of prediction rules on teachers’ judgment accuracy, respectively. Pre-intervention data showed that although teachers’ decision accuracy was of high standard, decision accuracy for ethnic majority students was significantly higher than for ethnic minority students. Increased accountability resulted in increased decision accuracy, especially in regards to decisions for ethnic minority students. Similarly, the introduction of theoretical models of decision making and judgment formation and the application of prediction rules also resulted in an improvement of transition decisions but only for ethnic minority students. Unfortunately, the differential intervention effects of the intervention modules could not be maintained over time, that is, at follow up, the ethnicity bias reappeared. From these studies we can conclude that all three intervention modules can improve the accuracy of teachers’ transition decisions. In line with the intention of the interventions, the disproportionally high rate of decision errors for ethnic minority students observed pre-intervention was eliminated post-intervention and in line with error rates for ethnic majority students. However, training or instruction should be repeated briefly before making such judgments as their influence was not maintained over time.
Scientific Conference (2017, August 30)
Decisions concerning the educational instruction and pathways of students with special educational needs (SEN) may be affected by general stereotypes and associated teachers´ attitudes. Both stereotypes and attitudes affect judgments and behavior and hence may be pivotal for the success of inclusive education. More specifically, stereotypes and attitudes can elicit positive or negative expectations and judgments, which in turn can enhance or limit the successful inclusion of students with SEN in regular classrooms. The current study investigated stereotypes of and teachers´ implicit attitudes toward students with SEN in relation to teachers´ explicit attitudes towards inclusive education. Results show that teachers hold ambivalent views of students with learning difficulties (i.e. low competence, high warmth), whereas students with behavioral problems are perceived as neither particularly (in)competent nor warm. These stereotypes matched teachers´ implicit attitudes to the extent that implicit attitudes towards students with learning difficulties were more negative than towards students with behavioral problems. Although teachers expressed positive attitudes towards the benefits of inclusion they reported negative attitudes in regards to their ability to teach students with SEN. No associations were found between stereotypes and implicit attitudes. Implicit attitudes towards students with SEN were also not associated with explicit attitudes towards inclusive education. The warmth dimension of stereotype was however positively correlated with perceived ability to teach students with SEN. That is, perceived ability to successfully teach these students may rely on perceptions of these students´ alleged sociability.
Scientific Conference (2017, August 29)
Scientific Conference (2017, August 24)
Following the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities a drive towards inclusive education can be observed. Inclusive education not only aims to reduce educational inequalities but also promotes social participation. Although social participation partly depends on the opportunity of social interaction with peers (Kirpalani et al., 2000), other factors such as social competence and peer acceptance are important too (e.g. Schwab et al., 2013). Children with special needs are often found to be socially excluded by peers (Garrote & Dessemontet, 2015) and have fewer friends than their typically developing peers (e.g. Eriksson et al., 2007). Research has also indicated that the incidence of social maladjustment problems in children with disabilities is at least twice of that for typically developing children (Goodman & Graham, 1996; Wallander et al., 1989). Hence children with disabilities may be particularly vulnerable in regards to their peer relationships and social participation. Method: Data were collected for a clinical sample of 87 children (aged 6-18 years) with disabilities (i.e. hydrocephalus with or without spina bifida) and 57 typical developing children. Children or parents completed measures on social acceptance (the Self-Perception Profile, Harter, 1985; Harter & Pike, 1984), peer problems and prosocial behaviour (SDQ; Goodman, 1997, 1999), friendship (Berndt et al., 1986) and perceived quality of life (Graham, Stevenson, & Flynn, 1997). Results: Parent and child ratings of social acceptance and peer problems indicated children with disabilities felt less accepted and experienced more peer problems than typically developing children. No differences in prosocial behaviour were found. Although parents of children with disabilities rated the quality of life regarding friendships lower than parents of typically developing children, no differences in child ratings were found. Children with disabilities rated their friendships as less positive compared to typically developing children. Variance in the perceived quality of life could be explained by peer problems and friendship ratings but not social acceptance or peer problems. Conclusion: Friendship and peer relationships emerged as an area of specific difficulty for children with disabilities. These problems were reflected in reports of lower social acceptance, more peer problems and less positive friendship ratings. Child rated quality of life in the domain of friendship was predicted by peer problems and quality of friendship but not social acceptance. Although parents and children were generally in agreement, this study demonstrates the importance of collecting data from different sources, including the children with disabilities themselves.
Scientific Conference (2017, August 23)
Theoretical background: Although more than twenty years have passed since the Salamanca statement (UNESCO, 1994), research still shows that children with special educational needs (SEN) are often socially excluded by peers (Garrote & Dessemontet, 2015) and have fewer friends than their typically developing peers (e.g. Eriksson, Welander, & Granlund, 2007). Following UN conventions (UN, 2006; UNESCO, 2000) there is a drive to a more inclusive society and hence inclusive education is on the political agenda of many countries. Inclusive education not only aims to reduce educational inequalities but also promotes social participation as being accepted and appreciated by typically developing peers facilitates the development of social relations and creates opportunities for participating in peer groups (Hartup, 1996). However, social participation not only depends on the opportunity of social interaction with peers but is also affected by social competence and peer acceptance (e.g. Schwab, Gebhardt, & Gasteiger-Klicpera, 2013). To this extent, children with SEN seem to have poorer social skills than their peers and experience more problems in creating and maintaining social relations (Carlson, 1987). Students with SEN are also more vulnerable of being bullied by their typically developing peers (Rose, Monda-Amaya, & Espelage, 2011). Studies comparing the social participation of groups of students having different types of SEN suggest that the risk of being less well accepted by peers is higher for students with behavioural problems than for students with learning difficulties (Avramidis, 2010; Bossaert, Colpin, Pijl, & Petry, 2013a). Social participation includes the extent of social interactions, peer acceptance, friendships as well as social self-concept (Bossaert et al., 2013a; 2013b). As merely including these students in regular classes alone cannot guarantee social participation, the question arises to what extent different person variables contribute to social inclusion or rejection. To this extent Bossaert et al (2013a) reported that not all students with SEN experience difficulties, and that especially boys with social-emotional difficulties (i.e. autistic spectrum disorders) and girls with motor and sensory difficulties were at risk. Similarly, Schwab et al (2013) concluded that social participation was associated with specific behavioural difficulties of some students with SEN. Students with learning difficulties may also be at risk as research generally has found that these students often have problems with social skills (Wight & Chapparo, 2008), which may affect their friendships and social participation. The current study therefore first aimed to investigate the social participation of primary school students with SEN (i.e bahvioural problems or learning difficulties) attending regular schools. Second, we investigated to what extent social participation was related to academic performance, behavioural problems, and prosocial behaviour. Method: Preservice teachers completed measures of social participation, behavior and academic performance for a total of 50 primary students. Students attended different primary school classes and were described as having learning difficulties, behavioural difficulties, or both. More specifically, preservice teachers completed the Perceptions of Inclusion Questionnaire (Venetz, et al., 2015), the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman, 1997) and estimated the students´ academic performance in German, French and Mathematics. The PIQ is a brief measure to assess the emotional, social and competence-based relatedness of students aged 8-16 years. The 12 items comprise 3 scales: social inclusion, emotional inclusion and academic self-concept. Each item is rated on a 4-point scale from 1 (not at all true) to 4 (certainly true). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire consists of 25 statements of behavior. For each statement the degree to which this behavior is typical of their child Is rated on a 3-point scale (0 = not true, 1 = somewhat true, 2 = certainly true). The scale contains four behaviour difficulty subscales (conduct problems; hyperactivity; peer problems; and emotional symptoms) and one strength category (prosocial behavior). A total behaviour score is calculated by adding the scores of the four problem domains. Academic performance was assessed by estimates of students´ academic performance in German, French and Mathematics. Preliminary Results: Frequency distributions indicate that although the social participation of students with learning difficulties and behavioural problems, nearly one third experiences problems. In addition preservice teachers reported behavioural difficulties for a large proportion of their students (34-42%). Furthermore, for 46% of the students, prosocial behavior was rated low (i.e. scores less than 5). No differences in social inclusion were found for students with behavioural or learning difficulties. However, students with behavioural problems had significantly higher SDQ scores (i.e. more behavioural problems) than students with learning difficulties Social inclusion was negatively correlated with peer problems and conduct problems, that is students with more peer or conduct problems are less socially integrated. In contrast, a positive correlation between prosocial behavior and social inclusion indicated that students displaying kindness and support towards others are more successful in participating in their social group. No relationships were found between academic performance and social participation. Conclusion: Students with SEN may have difficulties to be fully accepted in social groups, even when educated in inclusive schools, whereby especially students with conduct and peer problems may be vulnerable. Prosocial behavior however may facilitate social participation.
Scientific Conference (2017, August 22)
Scientific Conference (2017, March 13)
Scientific Conference (2017, March)
Scientific Conference (2016, November 12)
Article for general public (2016)
Scientific Conference (2016, August 26)
Scientific Conference (2016, August 23)
Scientific Conference (2016, July 08)
Poster (2016, June)
Conference given outside the academic context (2016)
Scientific Conference (2016)
in European Journal of Psychology of Education (2016), 31(2), 225-243
Scientific Conference (2016)
in Hughes, Gary (Ed.) Student Achievement: Perspectives, Assessment and Improvement Strategies (2016)
Social cognition research has demonstrated that processes of memory and judgment formation are not only affected by information type but also by the sequence in which this information is received. These sequence (i.e. primacy and recency) effects are of special interest if the first or last information activates a social category, as this may increase the risk of stereotypical biases in decision making. This may be especially pertinent to the educational domain as studies have shown teachers´ judgments are influenced not only by students´ academic achievement but also their social background. Therefore, this study investigated primacy effects in the assessment of student performance. This study not only assessed the impact of sequence on memory and judgment, but also measured attention via eye-tracking techniques, hence offering a more detailed test of the assumption of the primacy effect (i.e. increased attention to the first piece of information). Forty participants were presented four student descriptions, containing information on the student’s grades, standardized test results, working behavior and social background. For half of the participants, social background information was presented in the top left position on the screen and grade information in the top right position. For the other half these positions were switched. The sequence of information was therefore not predefined by the experimenter, but left to the participant, however, given the left-to-right and top-to-bottom orientation common in Western European languages, the information in the top-left position was expected to draw initial attention of participants. After reading each student description, participants recommended a fitting secondary school track and later recalled student information. The design of the study is a 2×2 factorial design, with the position order (social background vs. grades in top-left position) as a between-subject factor and type of information (social background vs. grades) as a within-subject factor. According our expectations, eye-movements (i.e. fixations during the first second of presentation), showed a significant effect of the position order. Information in the top-left position received not only more initial attention, but also more attention throughout, than the same information positioned in the top-right position, thus indicating a primacy effect in attention. This result was only partially reflected in the recall data, and no differences resulted in the accuracy of judgments. The results confirmed that the positioning of simultaneously presented information leads to a primacy effect in attention, but does not produce primacy effects in subsequent memory and judgments. In regard to the common structure of various dossiers and records, which first list a student’s name and personal information, these findings imply that such structure may maximize teachers’ attention to social background information, stating a potential source of social disparities in educational systems.
in Journal of Experimental Education (2015)
Drawing on social cognition frameworks, we experimentally examined preservice teachers’ implicit attitudes toward students with special educational needs (SEN) from different ethnic backgrounds and preservice teachers’ explicit attitudes toward inclusive education. Preservice teachers (N = 46) completed an evaluative priming task and questionnaires. Results showed indifferent implicit attitudes toward students with SEN with immigrant backgrounds and positive implicit attitudes toward those without immigrant backgrounds. Furthermore, participants reported a high motivation to act without prejudice toward minorities but held less favorable explicit attitudes toward inclusion of students with SEN, especially students with behavioral problems. Differential patterns of implicit and explicit evaluations could bias teachers’ interactions with students. Findings are discussed with respect to implications for educational practice and research.
Presentation (2015, November)
in European Journal of Psychology of Education (2015), 30(2), 169-188
Educational research has provided evidence that racial and ethnic minority students are disadvantaged in today’s educational systems. Teachers’ stereotypical expectations are believed to contribute to these disadvantages because teachers make decisions about grades, special education, tracking, and school placement. Research so far has shown that teachers’ stereotypical expectations might lead to biased judgments, but the cognitive processes underlying those judgments are less clear. Using an experimental design, we investigated whether inservice and preservice teachers’ judgment accuracy depended on the ethnicity of the students. Moreover, in employing a recognition task, we were able to investigate the kinds of information teachers’ took into account about ethnic minority students when making school placement recommendations. In a sample of 64 inservice and preservice teachers, judgments were found to be less accurate for ethnic minority students than for ethnic majority students, and teachers felt less confident about the judgments they made for ethnic minority students. This lower accuracy of school placement recommendations involved recommendations of ethnic minority students to both higher and lower placements than could be justified academically. The recognition data revealed that under- and overestimation of ethnic minority students were due to a less accurate encoding of the information about ethnic minority students than about ethnic majority students and that grade information for ethnic minority students in particular was not strongly encoded. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for tracked systems and in terms of interventions that might have the potential to reduce stereotype application.
The TRANSINTER project focused on intervention modules to improve teachers’ diagnostic competence, especially in regards to decisions on students’ transition from primary to secondary education in Luxembourg. The main aims of the project were to investigate the effect of three different intervention / training modules, separately and in combination, as well as the influence of group constellation on decision making processes. In order to address the aims, several steps were taken. First, we conducted a thorough literature review, which provided a solid theoretical framework for the studies within the project. Second we developed materials and a criterion to evaluate changes in teachers’ decision making accuracy. At the individual level, we conducted 3 studies to investigate the short and long term effects of accountability, theoretical knowledge and the application of prediction rules on teachers’ decision accuracy. All 3 studies showed at the baseline that teachers’ general decision accuracy was of high standard but also that decision accuracy for ethnic majority students was significantly better than for ethnic minority students. Similarly, teachers were generally more accurate in decisions for students with typical academic profiles compared to mixed profiles. The study on the effects of accountability showed that increased accountability resulted in increased decision accuracy, especially in regards to decisions for ethnic minority students with typical profiles. The studies concerning the introduction of theoretical models of decision making and judgment formation and the application of SPRs resulted in an improvement of transition decisions for ethnic minority students only. Unfortunately, the differential intervention effects of increased accountability, the introduction of theoretical models, and the application of SPRs could not be maintained over time, that is, at follow up, the ethnicity bias reappeared. Interestingly, when we combined the intervention modules to investigate their combined effect on the accuracy of transition decisions, the training in the application of formal decision rules seemed most effective in reducing ethnicity bias. It should be noted that this training was delivered to preservice teachers whilst the intervention studies were conducted with experienced inservice teachers. At the inter-individual level, we investigated the effect of group constellation on the accuracy of transition decisions. In contrast to our hypothesis, we did neither detect a social loafing nor a social facilitation effect and decisions taken in groups did not differ from decisions taken alone. From these studies we can conclude that teachers’ transition decisions can be improved by providing experienced teachers with theoretical knowledge and by increasing accountability. Preservice teachers may profit most from training in the application of formal decision rules as part of a comprehensive training concerning diagnostic competence.
in Lenz, Thomas; Bertemes, Jos (Eds.) Bildungsbericht Luxembourg 2015 Band 2:Analysen und Befunde (2015)
The transition from primary school to secondary school is an important event both for pupils and their parents and is a major determinant of further educational and professional progress. The transition decision by primary school teachers in Luxembourg is largely based on a pupil‘s marks, but is also (unconsciously) influenced by information that is not performance-related, such as social background, a pupil‘s immigration background and the educational attainment of their parents. Luxembourg school grades and test results in the three core subjects have the strongest influence on the binding transition decision. Most pupils remain with the school type to which they were assigned at the end of fundamental school. Throughout the observation period, only 6% of the pupils changed to a different kind of school. However, both the parents‘ socio-economic status and the pupil‘s immigrant background exerted an influence on the transition decision. It must therefore be assumed that not only the pupil‘s individual performance will determine to which type of school they will go, but also their family background. This raises the question of how a performance-related, less socially selective transition decision can be promoted. In a school system in which the transition decisions are binding and the freedom of choice is very low, the accuracy of the assessment is particularly important. Therefore teachers should: (1) be explicitly reminded of their responsibility for the decision in the period in which transition decisions are being made. (2) have the opportunity to learn about decision models and factors that reduce the quality of decisions and actively question them during the period in which the transition decisions are taken. (3) be taught about optimum decision-making models, which include adequate weighting of the student‘s characteristics and incorporate them appropriately.
in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology (2014), 56(3), 204-205
in Krolak-Schwerdt, Sabine; Glock, Sabine; Böhmer, Matthias (Eds.) Teachers' professional development: Assessment, training, & learning (2014)
in Jin, Z (Ed.) Exploring implicit cognition: Learning, memory, and social-cognitive processes (2014)
The focus on implicit attitudes toward smoking is relatively novel and this chapter provides the first systematic review of research in this domain. The review summarizes empirical studies focusing on implicit attitudes toward smoking. Implicit attitudes are suggested to guide automatic behavior, thereby playing a pivotal role for automatic processes inherent in addictive behaviors. The chapter further explores the extent to which implicit attitudes are sensitive to context. More specifically it reviews studies that have focused on the differential effects of external cues such as warning labels as well as internal cues such as deprivation. Overall 32 studies were analyzed, including studies focusing on implicit attitudes toward smoking compared to positive, negative or neutral categories; implicit attitudes in relation to situational context such as TV advertisement, warning labels and (non)smoking settings; and implicit attitudes in relation to nicotine dependence and nicotine deprivation. Results of these studies show that although smokers generally have more positive implicit attitudes than non-smokers, the valence of the implicit attitude depends on the contrasting category and hence varies as a result of the applied method or stimuli. Studies considering situational contexts revealed that implicit attitudes toward smoking are partly dependent on external cues, especially outcome expectancies. Similarly, internal cues are shown to affect implicit attitudes whereby not so much the level of nicotine dependency but more the level of nicotine deprivation seems vital. Only one study investigated the combined effect of external and internal cues on implicit attitudes toward smoking, not only highlighting the complexity of the relationships, but also the importance of considering implicit attitudes when developing and evaluating intervention. Implications for intervention and future research are indicated in the discussion.
Scientific Conference (2014)
Presentation (2013, November 14)
Scientific Conference (2013, September 25)
Forschung zeigt, dass Kompetenz, Erfahrung und arbeitsbezogener Stress die Qualität der Betreuung in inklusiven Bildungseinrichtungen beeinflusst, wobei die Beziehung zwischen Kompetenz und erlebtem Stress negativ ist. Theoretische Modelle gehen davon aus, dass professionelle Unterstützung und Selbstwirksamkeit Stress reduzieren. In dieser Studie wurden die Beziehungen zwischen Kompetenz, Selbstwirksamkeit und professioneller Unterstützung in Bezug auf die Betreuung von Schülern mit besonderem Förderbedarf und arbeitsbezogenem Stress in einer Stichprobe von sonderpädagogischen Fachkräfte in Luxemburg (N=143) untersucht. Die Ergebnisse zeigen Kompetenz und Selbstwirksamkeit als negative Prädiktoren für erlebten Stress, wobei Selbstwirksamkeit die Beziehung zwischen Kompetenz und erlebtem Stress vermittelte. Professionelle Unterstützung war positiv mit Kompetenz und Wirksamkeit und negativ mit Stress verbunden. Diese Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass erlebter Stress, der im Zusammenhang mit niedrigerer Kompetenz und Selbstwirksamkeit besteht, möglicherweise durch professionelle Unterstützung reduziert werden kann.
Scientific Conference (2013, September)
Scientific Conference (2013, August)
Scientific Conference (2013, March)
Scientific Conference (2013, March)
Scientific Conference (2013, January)
Conference given outside the academic context (2013)
Scientific Conference (2013)
Poster (2012, September)
Scientific Conference (2012, September)
in Aphasiology (2011)
Background: The need to support carers of stroke survivors is widely recognised. However, research on which to base recommendations is scarce. Little research has focused on carers of stroke survivors with aphasia, and that which exists suffers from problems with sample size and methodology. More information is needed about methods used by carers to manage communication difficulties and about coping strategies that promote emotional wellbeing. Aims: To assess the coping strategies used by informal carers of stroke survivors with aphasia to manage communication problems, and their association with depressive symptoms. To assess whether a problem-specific coping inventory offers an advantage over a generic coping questionnaire for this purpose. Methods & Procedures: Questionnaires were completed by 150 informal caregivers of stroke survivors with aphasia. The Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale measured depressive symptoms. Coping was assessed with the Brief COPE and a problem- specific questionnaire on coping with communication difficulties. Level of social support was also assessed. Multiple regression analysis explored associations between coping and depressive symptoms. Mediation analysis assessed the significance of the indirect effect of coping between the level of communication impairment in the stroke survivor and the degree of depressive symptoms in the carer. Outcomes & Results: Participants reported a wide range of coping strategies. Avoidant styles of coping were associated with increased depressive symptomatology. Coping by use of positive reframing was linked with fewer symptoms of depression. Anticipated level of social support was also associated with less depressive symptomology. The level of communication impairment of the stroke survivor was not predictive of depressive symptoms in carers after controlling for coping and social support. Limited support was found for a mediating model of coping. Inclusion of one subscale from the problem-specific questionnaire improved the amount of variance accounted for in depressive symptoms, above that explained by the Brief COPE. Conclusions: The results verify that the impairment of the stroke survivor has less effect on carers’ psychosocial functioning compared to coping. Assessment of coping can help to identify carers presenting with increased risk of depression. A traditional coping inventory provides an adequate assessment of the coping strategies used to manage communication problems, and can be supplemented by specific questions about avoidance. Interventions that develop some emotion-focused coping strategies in carers may support adaptation. Interventions should also aim to decrease the use of unhelpful coping strategies rather than solely focusing on increasing problem-focused forms of coping.
in Neuropsychology (2009), 23
Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) is a genetic disorder characterized by partial loss of growth control that affects the central nervous system. NF1 has been consistently associated with cognitive dysfunction, although there is no consensus on the cognitive profile in NF1 or on brain-cognition relationships. To clarify the pattern of cognitive dysfunction, performance of 16 NF1 patients and 16 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age = 14.5 years, SD = 1.3) was compared on computerized tasks measuring perception, executive functioning (inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility, and working memory), and motor control. A further aim of this study was to contrast performance on tasks or task parts requiring varying levels of cognitive control to find out whether this could explain potential difficulties experienced by this population in different cognitive domains or at different stages of information processing. Repeated measures analyses of variance showed that group differences, indicating poorer performance of NF1 patients, varied as a function of the level of cognitive control required. Evidence was also found for more basic motor skill problems in NF1 patients. Furthermore, NF1 patients were generally slower than controls. Results are discussed in the context of what is known about brain-cognition relationships in NF1.
in International Journal of Behavioral Development (2008), 32(3), 199-206
Children born very prematurely are at risk of low average IQ and behaviour difficulties throughout childhood and adolescence. Associations among preterm birth, IQ and behaviour have been reported; however, the nature of the relationship among these outcomes is not fully understood. Some studies have proposed that the consequences of preterm birth, such as low average IQ, mediate the association between preterm birth and later behaviour difficulties. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship among preterm birth, IQ and childhood behaviour problems, by testing mediation and moderation models. We assessed a UK sample of 69 very preterm (< 32 weeks gestational age) and 70 term born children aged between 6 and 12 years on an abbreviated IQ test. Parental behaviour ratings were obtained using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Mediation and moderation models were tested using hierarchical regression analyses. The findings indicate that IQ mediates the relationship between birth status and emotional behaviour problems. Furthermore, the results indicate that birth status moderates the relationship between IQ and behavioural difficulties, i.e., that the relationship between low IQ and behaviour problems is most pronounced for the preterm children. The findings highlight the importance of considering indirect effects in the study of outcome after very preterm birth.
in Psychological Assessment (2008), 20(3), 305-309
In this study, we investigated a new instrument: the Southampton Test of Empathy for Preschoolers (STEP). The test incorporated 8 video vignettes of children in emotional scenarios, assessing a child's ability to understand (STEP-UND) and share (STEP-SHA) in the emotional experience of a story protagonist. Each vignette included 4 emotions (angry, happy, fearful, sad) that reflected emotion judgments based on the protagonist's facial expression, situation, verbal cues, and desire. The STEP was administered to 39 preschool children, and internal reliability, concurrent validity, and construct validity were addressed. The results showed good internal consistency. They also highlighted moderate concurrent validity with parent-rated empathy, a measure of facial indices, and construct validity with teacher-rated prosocial behavior.
in Ayers, S.; Baum, A.; McManus, C.; Newman, S.; Wallston, K.; Weinman, J.; West, R. (Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health, & Medicine (2007)
in Families in Society (2007), 88(1), 141-146
Grandparents' support to families of children with disabilities is generally associated with improved parental well-being. Little research addresses the question of quantitative differences in grandparent support to families of children with and without disabilities. This article examines such differences. Data was collected on 50 mothers of children with spina bifida and 43 mothers of children without disabilities and results showed how mothers rated perceived maternal and paternal grandparent support. No differences were found between mothers of children with and without disabilities. These results confirm previous findings that grandparent support appears to be no more frequent in families of children with disabilities than in other families. These findings are discussed with reference to sampling limitations and implications for further research.
Presentation (2006, June 13)
in Wyszynski, D. F. (Ed.) Neural Tube defects: From origin to treatment (2006)
in Developmental Science (2006), 9(4), 379-387
Lowered intelligence relative to controls is evident by mid-childhood in children with sickle cell disease. There is consensus that brain infarct contributes to this deficit, but the subtle lowering of IQ in children with normal MRI scans might be accounted for by chronic systemic complications leading to insufficient oxygen delivery to the brain. We investigated the relationship between daytime oxyhaemoglobin saturation (SpO(2)), cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) and intellectual function (IQ) using path-analysis in 30 adolescents with sickle cell disease (mean age 17.4 years, SD 4.2). Initial analyses revealed that the association between SpO(2) and Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) was fully mediated by increased CBFV, whereby SpO(2) was negatively correlated with CBFV and CBFV was negatively correlated with FSIQ, i.e. decreases in oxygen saturation are associated with increases in velocity, and increased velocity is associated with lowered IQ scores. The mediated relationship suggests that lowered IQ may be a function of abnormal oxygen delivery to the brain. Further analyses showed that the association between CBFV and IQ was significant for verbal but not for performance IQ. The pathophysiology characteristic of SCD can interfere with brain function and constrain intellectual development, even in the absence of an infarct. This supports the hypothesis that lowered intellectual function is partly explained by chronic hypoxia, and has wider implications for our understanding of SCD pathophysiology.
Poster (2004, April)
Doctoral thesis (2004)
in Neural Plasticity (2004), 11(1-2), 13-21
To determine the strength and nature of the association between hydrocephalus and hyperactivity and to test the dual pathway model (DPM) of AD/HD, we compared a group of 51 children and adolescents with hydrocephalus with 57 normally developing controls from the general population on a battery of neuropsychological assessments. The mean hyperactivity scores were significantly greater in the group with hydrocephalus (effect size = 0.94). This association was not just part of a general elevated rate of behavior problems and was not affected by sex or age. Variation in the clinical features of hydrocephalus was not related to the severity of hyperactivity. Path analysis was used to examine the relation between IQ, delay aversion, and executive function. In accordance with the DPM, the effect of hydrocephalus on hyperactivity was completely mediated via delay aversion and executive functions.
Scientific Conference (2002, October)
Scientific Conference (2002, October)
Poster (2002, October)
Scientific Conference (2002, September)
in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. Supplement (2002), 44(5), 317-322
This study examined the impact of severity and type of condition and family resources on quality of life in children with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. A national UK sample of children aged between 6 and 13 years with spina bifida (n=62), hydrocephalus (n=354), and spina bifida plus hydrocephalus (n=128) were identified via the register of the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH). Parents completed standardized measures of Child Health Related Quality Of Life (CQOL), family needs survey (FNS), and caregiving self-efficacy scale (CSES) as well as questions on children's health and physical ability. Results showed there were no significant differences in the overall quality of life for the three disability conditions. The overall CQOL was over 1 SD lower for those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus than for children with other physical conditions. Sex and age were not related to overall CQOL. Specific aspects of CQOL differentiated the three groups. Children with spina. bifida had poorer CQOL scores on self-care, continence, and mobility/activities whilst those with hydrocephalus had poorer scores on school activities, worries, sight, and communication. Severity of condition and family resources, i.e. CSES and FNS, predicted 32% of the variance in CQOL. Associations were also found between overall CQOL and problems discernible at birth as well as epilepsy. Other factors, including those related to shunts, were not significantly related to CQOL. It was concluded that hydrocephalus is just as great a threat to CQOL as spina bifida. Beyond the general effect of condition severity on CQOL, family resources (as measured by the CSES and FNS) represent an additional influence on CQOL.
Poster (2001, September)
in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology. Supplement (2001), 43(3), 214-216
Scientific Conference (2000, June)
in Disability and Rehabilitation (2000), 22(9), 399-408
PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the experiences of Dutch siblings of children with physical disabilities (n=43). METHOD: Interviews were conducted to investigate experiences of siblings in 3 areas: the sibling relationship, the relationship with parents, and the relationship with others. The siblings also completed a coping response inventory. RESULTS: The siblings reported difficulties in undertaking activities and in communicating with their brother/sister with a disability. Most siblings worried about the future and the health of their brother/sister with a disability. The siblings reported open communication and trust as the main characteristics of the relationship with their parents. They acknowledged their parents' attempts to treat all children equally, although parents were not always successful in doing so. Having a sibling with a disability did not cause problems in the relationship with friends. The awkward reactions of strangers caused the siblings much annoyance and distress. Siblings in this sample used more approach coping strategies than avoidance strategies, t(34) = 2.37, p < 0.05. CONCLUSION: The brothers and sisters generally did not experience many significant problems, however, a minority of the children did experience problems for which they would like help. In addition, they reported joys as well as problems.
Scientific Conference (1999, November)
in Pediatric Dermatology (1999), 16(3), 190-197
A cross-sectional survey was employed to assess parenting stress, family satisfaction, and parental concerns and to determine predictors of stress in parents of children with port-wine stains (PWSs). The participants were 46 parents of 24 children receiving treatment with pulsed dye laser photocoagulation for facial PWS at an outpatient dermatology clinic based at a university medical center. Outcome measures used were self-report instruments assessing psychosocial adjustment (Parenting Stress Index, Family Satisfaction Scale, and Parental Concerns Questionnaire). As a group, parents scored in the average range on the stress and family satisfaction measures when compared with a normative sample; five parents (11%) scored in the clinical range for stress. Forty-nine percent of the variance in parenting stress was accounted for by four variables: the child's age (beta = 0.34; p = 0.031), the parents' degree of family satisfaction (beta = -0.27; p = 0.077), the level of parental concern regarding the child's facial PWS (beta = 0.45; p = 0.005), and the parents' satisfaction with staff communication (beta = -0.51; p = 0.002). The data suggest that while, as a group, parents of children with a facial PWS report to be in the average range for psychological stress, some do not fare as well as others. Factors associated with lower stress include younger children, more family cohesion and adaptation, fewer parental concerns, and greater satisfaction with parent-staff communication. The potential for the development of medical complications and psychological problems over time suggests the need for treatment of the PWS at an early age. Health care providers should be prepared to screen for clinical levels of distress and to refer parents for psychological intervention when needed.
Scientific Conference (1998, October)
in Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Kinderrevalidatie (1998), (2), 33-37
in Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (1998), 79(4), 430-434
Objective: To investigate differences in team functioning between the multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary models when treating children with disabilities. Design: A crossover trial. Setting: An outpatient educational and rehabilitation program in a rehabilitation institute based at a university medical center. Participants: A population-based sample of 19 rehabilitation specialists and educators. Intervention: Participants attended four team meetings using the multidisciplinary approach and then attended four team meetings using the transdisciplinary approach. Outcome Measures: Behavioral ratings of team participation (Transdisciplinary Team Rating Scale) and self-report instruments of team development (Team Assessment Questionnaire) and treatment planning and goal development (Staff Perception Questionnaire). Results: Results of t tests confirmed the hypothesis that there was more team member participation during transdisciplinary meetings than during multidisciplinary meetings (p = .027), There were no differences in levels of team development (p = .329); however, staff members favored the transdisciplinary model for treatment planning and goal development (p < .001). Conclusion: This study provides evidence of the effectiveness of the transdisciplinary model. Further research is now needed to investigate outcome variables such as rate of success in attaining treatment goals when using this model.
in Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment (1998), 16(1), 4-14
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability and validity of the Southern California Ordinal Scales of Development (SCOSD) . The SCOSD is a criterion-referenced test that assesses six domains of development and was designed for use with children with disabilities. Results found that the SCOSD alpha internal consistency coefficients ranged from .94 to .98; percent agreement between raters ranged from 85% to 100%; and inter rater correlations ranged from .96 to .99. Strong intercorrelations were found between the SCOSD and standardized domain-specific instruments (.65 to .92), providing evidence of concurrent validity. The secondary purpose was to investigate patterns of development across domains of the children's functioning. As expected, results revealed a hierarchy of skill development, with the children showing relatively less development in gross-motor skills and practical abilities.
Article for general public (1997)
in Rehabilitation Outllook (1997)
in Journal of Pediatric Psychology (1997), 22(5), 689-705
Assessed pain, anxiety, physical functioning, and cooperativeness in 32 children with spastic cerebral palsy. This is the first study to assess children throughout rehabilitation following selective posterior rhizotomy. Results of the Observational Scale of Behavioral Distress and observer Liken ratings confirmed the hypothesis that children's pain and anxiety decrease over time. Children's physical functioning and cooperativeness improve over time. No significant correlation was found between pain and changes in physical functioning. Cognitive impairment, parental involvement, and children's pain behaviors explained 77% and 56% of the variance in two forms of cooperativeness. Research and clinical implications are discussed, and special considerations regarding pain assessment and management in this population are addressed.
Scientific Conference (1995, August)