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Individual Differences in Newborn Visual Attention Associate with Temperament and Behavioral Difficulties in Later Childhood.


ABSTRACT: Recently it was shown that individual differences in attention style in infants are associated with childhood effortful control, surgency, and hyperactivity-inattention. Here we investigated whether effortful control, surgency and behavioral problems in childhood can be predicted even earlier, from individual differences in newborns' average duration of gaze to stimuli. Eighty newborns participated in visual preference and habituation studies. Parents completed questionnaires at follow up (mean age?=?7.5 years, SD?=?1.0 year). Newborns' average dwell time was negatively associated with childhood surgency (??=?-.25, R(2)?=?.04, p?=?.02) and total behavioral difficulties (??=?-.28, R(2)?=?.05, p?=?.04) but not with effortful control (??=?.03, R(2)?=?.001, p?=?.76). Individual differences in newborn visual attention significantly associated with individual variation in childhood surgency and behavioral problems, showing that some of the factors responsible for this variation are present at birth.

SUBMITTER: Papageorgiou KA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4480143 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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