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The role of inhibitory control, attention and vocabulary in physical aggression trajectories from infancy to toddlerhood

van Adrichem, Dide S., Huijbregts, Stephan, van den Heijden, Kristiaan B., van Goozen, Stephanie and Swaab, Hanna 2020. The role of inhibitory control, attention and vocabulary in physical aggression trajectories from infancy to toddlerhood. Frontiers in Psychology 11 , 1079. 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01079

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Physical aggression has its origin very early in development, but no studies to date have examined physical aggression trajectories starting before the age of 1.5 years. This study examined whether cognition plays a role in the development of physical aggression from infancy onward. In a sample of 182 mother-child dyads (94 boys; 88 girls), child physical aggression was assessed by maternal report using the Physical Aggression Scale for Early Childhood at 12, 20, and 30 months. Children performed cognitive tasks measuring inhibitory control and attention, and mothers rated children’s vocabulary at 12 and 30 months. Results showed that differential development of physical aggression already starts at 12 months of age: low-stable, low-increasing, moderate-decreasing and high-stable trajectory groups were identified. Inhibitory control, attention and vocabulary at 12 months and development of these abilities from 12 to 30 months were selectively related to the likelihood of following the low-increasing and moderate-decreasing trajectories compared to the low-stable physical aggression trajectory. This study is the first to show that specific aspects of cognition and cognitive development are related to differential physical aggression development from infancy onward.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Frontiers
ISSN: 1664-1078
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 May 2020
Date of Acceptance: 28 April 2020
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 13:04

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