Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Morning Poster Session I
Monday, 21/Nov/2022:
11:00am - 12:00pm

Location: Hall

Lausanne University Hospital: CHUV | Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois Rue du Bugnon 46 CH-1011 Lausanne, Vaud, Suisse

Meet the presenter 11:00am - 11:30am

Session Abstract

To all poster presenters, please note: This year there will be three Poster Sessions (please check the Conference Agenda for time slots) during those you can present your poster (even if you have been assigned to Morning Poster Session I). Click here for Afternoon Poster Session I and here for Morning Poster Session II).

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Parental Early Life Adversities and Child Behavioral Difficulties: Investigating the Mediating Role of Parental Mental Well-Being, Partner Relationship Quality, and Parenting Practices in German-Speaking Parents

Pascale Mueller, Christina Stadler, Eva Unternaehrer, SMARTIES Study Team

University Psychiatric Clinics Basel, Switzerland

Early life adversities (ELA), such as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and physical and emotional neglect, are major risk factors for later psychopathology. In addition, ELA might be transmitted from one generation to the next. This study investigated potential mechanisms in this intergenerational transmission of ELA, specifically parental mental well-being, partner relationship quality, parental stress, and parenting practices.

German-speaking parents (N = 121, age 25 to 60 years, M=40.2±6.7 years; 88.4% female) were invited to participate in an ongoing cross-sectional online study that started in November 2020. Children had to be aged between 2 to 16 years (M= 6.8±3.9 years, 52.1% female). We assessed ELA using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), symptoms of depression and anxiety using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI-18), parenting stress and relationship quality using the German Parent Stress Questionnaire (ESF), parenting using the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire (APQ), and child behavioral problems using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

Preliminary results showed that parental ELA was associated with child internalizing, but not externalizing difficulties. Bootstrap mediation analyses suggested that parental symptoms of depression and anxiety mediated the effect of parental ELA on child internalizing difficulties. Parental ELA and child total difficulties were indirectly associated through parental symptoms of depression and anxiety. All other investigated mediators did not show any indirect effects.

Our findings suggest that promoting the mental well-being of parents who have experienced ELA might prevent behavioral difficulties in their children, particularly internalizing problems.

Cerebral magnetic resonance imaging correlates of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR): a systematic review and meta-analysis

Seline Coraj1,2, Cornelia Hagmann3,4, Tilman Reinelt1, Debora Suppiger1,2, Ninib Yakoub1,5, Giancarlo Natalucci1

1Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Center for Neurodevelopment, Growth and Nutrition of the Newborn. Department of Neonatology, University of Zurich and University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 2Neuroscience Center Zurich, Faculty of Science, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 3Department of Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care, Children's University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 4Children's Research Center, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 5Clinical Science Doctoral Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Background: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a condition characterized by impaired fetal growth due to maternal, placental or fetal factors, which has been associated with abnormal brain imaging findings. However, this relationship remains unclear because of the heterogeneity of IUGR definitions applied in the literature and the confounding concurrence of low gestational age at birth.

Aim: To summarize the current evidence on the association between IUGR (based on the consensus definition by Gordijn et al., 2016) and brain development as assessed by cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) as compared to subjects with normal intrauterine growth.

Methods: Observational and intervention studies (when standard of care is used for the control group) reporting magnetic resonance imaging data of subjects from intrauterine life up to 18 years of age, who were exposed to IUGR compared to normal intrauterine growth will be included. Web of Science, Medline Ovid, PsycINFO, COCHRANE library, CINAHL, Scopus, and EMBASE will be searched using search terms relating to the population, exposure, comparator and outcomes of interest. The quality of evidence will be assessed using the NOS method for observational studies.

The outcomes will include data on grey and white matter structure, metabolic composition, diffusion, perfusion and connectivity. In addition, any associated functional outcomes will be described separately in a narrative form.

Discussion: This systematic review will report data on cMRI based parameters as a surrogate of neurodevelopmental outcome after IUGR and will inform clinical practice and parental counseling.

Home learning activities during the pandemic-related daycare closures: Additional burden or quality child time?

Sonja Lorusso1,2, Axinja Hachfeld1,2

1Universität Konstanz, Germany; 2Pädagogische Hochschule Thurgau

Parents who consider daycare centers as highly responsible for their children's cognitive development compensated for the pandemic-related daycare closures by engaging in more home learning activities (HLA) with their child (Lorusso & Hachfeld, 2022). Considering that studies reported increases in parents' stress experience during the pandemic (Aguiar et al., 2021; Chung et al., 2022), this study aimed to understand whether (1) compensating for closures contributed to parents' emotional exhaustion and whether (2) perceived educational responsibility (parent/daycare) moderated that relationship. Data come from a survey of parents (Mage= 38.0 years, SD = 4.57) of 320 children aged 4-6 years (Mage = 5.34, SD = 0.84) attending daycare in a German county town. Regression analyses showed (R2 = .10, F(6, 192) = 3.55, p = .002) that changes in HLA during lockdown (b = 0.36 [0.14, 0.57], p = .001) and home office (b = 0.21 [0.03, 0.39], p = .001) positively predicted emotional exhaustion, while more frequent HLA allone had a protective effect (b = -0.44 [-0.69, -0.20], p = .001). Perceived daycare educational responsibility significantly enhanced the influence of changes in HLA on emotional exhaustion (b = 0.07 [0.02, 0.012], p = .007). Weekly worktime, education level, partner´s home office, and perceived parental educational responsibility had no effect on emotional exhaustion. We conclude that parents who consider daycare as highly responsible for their children's cognitive development may feel greater pressure to compensate for the closures, thus increasing parental stress rather than perceiving HLA as quality time with the child.

Is Parenting Style related to Eating Behavior in Preschool Children?

Anaëlle L Leuba1,2, Andrea H Meyer2,3, Tanja H Kakebeeke4, Kerstin Stuelb2, Annina Zysset4, Amar Arhab5, Claudia S Leeger-Aschmann6, Einat A Schmutz6, Susi Kriemler6, Oskar G Jenni4, Jardena J Puder5, Simone Munsch2, Nadine Messerli-Bürgy1

1University of Lausanne, Switzerland; 2University of Fribourg, Switzerland; 3University of Basel, Switzerland; 4University Children’s Hospital Zurich, Switzerland; 5Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland; 6University of Zurich, Switzerland

Introduction: Eating behavior represents individual appetitive traits which are related to the individual’s regulation of food intake. Eating behavior develops at an early age. There is some evidence that parenting styles might impact on the child’s eating behavior. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of different dimensions of positive and negative parenting styles and of the child’s eating behavior at a critical age period of the child’s early development. Methods: Parents of 511 preschool children (aged 2 to 6 years) completed the Children Eating Behavior Questionnaire and the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire. Results: Analyses revealed that different dimensions of negative parenting styles were associated with eating behavior of the child. In details, inconsistent parenting showed a consistent association with eating behavior of a child (i.e. higher emotional eating, higher food responsiveness, higher food fussiness, higher satiety responsiveness and more enjoyment of food), whereas corporal punishment was associated with more emotional overeating and more food responsiveness but less satiety responsiveness. Further, powerful implementation was related to higher food responsiveness and less enjoyment of food and low monitoring was associated with higher emotional overeating and more slowness in eating. There was no such consistent association of positive parenting and eating behavior. Discussion: More negative parenting styles were associated with more negative eating behavior, whereas positive parenting did not show such a consistent relationship. Conclusion: Negative parenting should be in the focus of prevention and treatment of eating behavior problems in young children.

Single-case studies on the effect of early childhood special education on parental well-being

Christina Koch, Simone Schaub

University of Teacher Education in Special Needs, Switzerland

This pilot study tested the feasibility of conducting single-case experimental studies in early childhood special education (ECSE). Over a total of 10 weeks, 20 parents (n = 17 mothers, 3 fathers) filled out a questionnaire on their smartphones every weekday (i.e., 50 measurement points), asking about one specific aspect of parental well-being (e.g., self-efficacy), each. The questionnaires were sent at a random time during the day (n = 13) or at a specific time (n = 7), with a sound signal indicating the oncoming questionnaire. In addition to the questions about well-being, parents were asked about the current setting (e.g., people present, activities), which resulted in approximately 15 questions per measurement point.

All parents were about to start ECSE for their child with disability or developmental delay. The research design covered the period prior to the beginning of ECSE (baseline, A-phase), the beginning of ECSE (B-phase), and a standardized family-centered intervention (C-phase). Number of measurement points varied from 9-22 (Mdn = 14.5) during the A-phase and 8-32 (Mdn = 22) during the B-phase (i.e., multiple-baseline design). Preliminary analyses indicate that single-case studies are a suitable means of providing evidence of effectiveness in ECSE. All parents completed the questionnaires until the end of the survey period, with 0 to 60% measurement points missing (Mdn = 9%). Analyses of the quality of the questionnaire data on parental well-being will provide additional information on the feasibility of such studies. Finally, first findings on the effectiveness of ECSE will be presented and discussed.

Tell Me What Happened: Validation of a New Measurement Tool to Assess the Narrative Skills of Kindergarten Aged Children

Judith Maier

Thurgau University of Teacher Education, Switzerland

Children’s oral language proficiency is crucial to their classroom participation and academic success. In particular narratives play an important role at school. The children are expected not only to understand the teacher’s narratives but also to tell or recall stories. In addition, narrative skills are essential for reading and writing. Hence, an assessment that can measure these skills provide an important new tool to investigate the development and education of narrative skills and an useful indicator for the children’s later academic development. Therefore, a new instrument was designed and tested in a pilot study on 109 children. The aim of the current study is a further validation. The sample consisted of 293 kindergarten children (Mage=58.5 months; SDage=4.4 at wave 1; 53.9% girls) who were drawn from the intervention study «promoting oral texts in kindergarten classrooms». The children were tested three times. Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted and path analyses were used to examine the associations of the construct with relevant variables at study wave 1. In addition, longitudinal measurement invariance was assessed. The confirmatory factor analyses showed a good fit for the expected four-factor structure. The narrative skills were predicted by age, executive function and the familiarity with the German language at home, but surprisingly not by the parents’ educational level. Further full configural and partial metric and scalar longitudinal invariance was achieved. These findings support the validity of this newly developed instrument and it is concluded that this could be a promising way to assess narrative skills.

Self-Regulation Development in At-Risk Families: The Role of Familial Resources

Patsawee Rodcharoen1, Niamh Oeri2, Peter Klaver1, Alex Neuhauser1, Isabelle Kalkusch1, Minna Törmänen1, Simone Schaub1, Claudia Roebers2, Andrea Lanfranchi1

1Interkantonale Hochschule für Heilpädagogik Zürich, Switzerland; 2Universität Bern, Switzerland

The ability to regulate one’s behavior marks an essential developmental milestone in early child development. Behavioral self-regulation is crucial for children to adapt to the kindergarten setting and was found to be a strong indicator for later academic achievement. However, in the context of adversity the development of behavioral self-regulation is not yet well understood. Whereas many studies have addressed the effect of the social background such as socioeconomic status (SES), ethnic background or maternal education on behavioral self-regulation, the effect of social resources has been neglected. Understanding the relative importance of these different resources is a crucial step to understand how behavioral self-regulation develops under adverse conditions. The present study investigates the relative importance of familial resources, namely economic, cultural, and social resources on behavioral self-regulation (HTKS) in a high-risk sample of 261 children from 248 families. The hierarchical regression analysis showed that every family resource is positively related to behavioral self-regulation in kindergarten. The final model revealed household income, maternal education and received help in child rearing in early childhood to be the strongest predictors for behavioral self-regulation in kindergarten. To sum up, considering different types of resources in one comprehensive analysis suggest that under adverse circumstances household income, maternal education and the received help seem to play an essential role in the development of behavioral self-regulation and that children's ability to self-regulate in 1st kindergarten depend on the availability of resources within a family.

Infants Born During COVID-19 Lockdown in Switzerland: Influence on Physiological Regulation during Mother-Father-Infant Interactions

Valentine Rattaz1, Hervé Tissot1,2, Nilo Puglisi1, Manuella Epiney3, Chantal Razurel4, Nicolas Favez1

1Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva; 2Center for Family Studies, Department of Psychiatry, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Switzerland; 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Geneva Hospitals; 4Department of Midwifery, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland

Introduction. We investigated the physiological regulation of vagal tone during dyadic and triadic interactions in infants born before or during COVID-19 lockdown in Switzerland. We hypothesized that there would be a decrease in vagal tone in triadic interactions compared with dyadic interactions, as triadic interactions are more resource-demanding. We expected this difference to be smaller for infants born during COVID-19 lockdown, as parents spent more time at home. We also hypothesized that there would be less stressful interactional events (SIEs) in triadic interaction, as parents would be used to interacting with the child together. Method. This study included 36 families and their 3-month-old infants, 18 families met before the pandemic (pre-COVID) and 18 families having experienced a period of confinement (COVID). Parents were asked to interact with their infant. Infant’s ECG was recorded to assess vagal tone. SIEs are coded every five seconds. Results. Results showed that the COVID group had no decrease in vagal tone during triadic interactions, whereas the pre-COVID group did. This could not be explained by less stressful interactional events in triadic interactions, as the COVID group showed more stressful interactional events in triadic interactions. Discussion. Infants may have developed more effective strategies to deal with triadic interactions as they could be more used to interact with both parents. As the main difference caused by COVID-19 lockdown was the greater presence of the father with the mother and the infant, fathers may have had a specific contribution in the development of infants’ emotion regulation. .

Within-Person Variability of Infant Temperament

Tilman Reinelt1,2, Lisa Wagner1, Debora Suppiger1,2, Giancarlo Natalucci1,2

1University of Zurich, Switzerland; 2University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland

Intensive longitudinal studies investigating variability in human behavior have recently turned to infant research. In addition, models on adult personality argue that personality traits can be derived from the distribution of personality states. The question remains whether this assumption holds for infant temperament and how the relation of temperamental traits and states develops over time. As there are no state measures of infant temperament yet, the present study analyzed whether current trait measures of infant temperament can also be used to assess within-person variability in infant temperament.

Parents (N= 126, M = 35.06 years, SD = 4.15 years, 2 fathers) of infants (57.1% female, M = 10.90 months, SD = 3.12 months; age range: 6-18 months) participated in a larger pilot study on early child development and nutrition. During the evenings of ten consecutive days, parents reported on daily infant temperament by responding to the Infant Behavior Questionnaire (NEPS version; IBQ-NEPS).

On average, parents reported on their infant’s temperament on M = 7.76 days (SD = 2.56 days, median: 9 days). All items of the IBQ-NEPS showed substantial variability both on the between- and within-person level. Within-person variability was higher on items measuring negative affectivity than on items measuring orienting/regulatory capacity (d = .54). The results indicate that child temperament, particularly daily negative affectivity, might not be best described by stable traits only. We conclude that studying variability is a promising direction for future research.

Behavioral Outcomes of Children with Former Intrauterine Growth-Restriction: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Ninib Yakoub1,2, Tilman Reinelt1,2, Seline Coraj1,2, Giancarlo Natalucci1,2

1Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation Center for Neurodevelopment, Growth and Nutrition of the Newborn. Department of Neonatology, University Hospital Zurich Zurich, Switzerland; 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich Zurich, Switzerland


Intrauterine growth-restriction (IUGR) is a pregnancy condition, in which the fetus does not reach its biological growth potential (Resnik, 2002). It is associated with poor perinatal outcome and long-term neurodevelopmental impairment. The impact of IUGR on child behavior has not been extensively studied yet. While low birth weight has been associated with internalizing (depression, anxiety) and externalizing (conduct problems, attention deficit) behavior, the mediating role of low gestational age and of concurrent cognitive deficit, often related to IUGR, remains unclear.


To summarize the current evidence regarding the relationship between IUGR and behavioral outcomes from early childhood to young adulthood. Additionally, to explore the mediating role of prematurity and cognitive performance in this relationship.


Search strategy: Electronic databases including Web of Science, Medline Ovid, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, Scopus and EMBASE will be searched.

Inclusion criteria: observational (e.g., cohort studies and case-control studies) and intervention studies (if standard care used and norm values are assessed for the control group) will be included if they quantitatively compare subject with and without IUGR from the age of 2 to 18 years. The main outcomes are internalizing and externalizing behavior and competences. The secondary outcome is cognitive development.


The results of this systematic review will summarize the body of knowledge on behavioral outcomes after IUGR and will provide guidance for clinical practice and patient and parental counseling. Registration in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews is in progress.

External assessment to measure and predict teacher active role behaviour during free play

Cornelia Rüdisüli1, Corina Wustmann Seiler1, Patricia Lannnen2

1Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland; 2Marie Meierhofer Institut für das Kind Zürich, assoziiertes Institut der Universität Zürich

Teachers in early childhood education and care (ECEC) assume different roles during children's play (e.g., co-player or onlooker). Recent research shows, that personal and structural characteristics, such as work experience or group composition, are significant predictors of self-reported role behaviour during free play (Ivrendi, 2020; Wustmann Seiler et al., 2022). However, to date, little is known about predictors of externally assessed role behaviour during free play due to small sample sizes in previous studies. Furthermore, it is unclear whether teachers’ role behaviour depends on the children’s play processes (exploratory play, construction play, dramatic play, games with rules) in a given situation.

This paper examines the relationships between teachers’ externally assessed role behaviour during free play and structural, and situational characteristics.

The study is based on 79 live observations in 33 childcare centers and 46 kindergartens in Switzerland. For this purpose, an external observation instrument was developed to assess teachers’ situational role behaviour during children’s free play. In addition, structural (e.g., group composition) and situational (children's play processes) characteristics were recorded.

Interrater reliability for teacher’s roles during free play is satisfactory (ICC = 0.67-0.93). Analyses of 291 observation cycles are carried out based on a path analysis considering the clustered data structure. Implications for the field of playful pedagogy in ECEC are discussed.

The Impact of Premature Birth on Multisensory Processes in Very-preterm Schoolchildren

Marion Décaillet1,2,3, Solange Denervaud4,5, Laureline Besuchet2,3, Cléo Huguenin-Virchaux2,3, Céline Fischer3, Micah Murray1,2,5, Juliane Schneider2,3

1The Laboratory for Investigative Neurophysiology (The LINE), Department of Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 2The Sense Innovation and Research Center, Lausanne and Sion, Switzerland; 3Department of Woman-Mother-Child, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 4Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 5CIBM Center for Biomedical Imaging, Lausanne, Switzerland

Interactions between stimuli from different sensory modalities and their integration are central to daily life. Being born prematurely and the experience of being in the NICU can have an impact not only on sensory processes, but also on the manner in which information from different senses is combined – i.e. multisensory processes. Very-preterm children (<32 weeks gestational age) present impaired multisensory processes in early childhood persisting at least through the age of five. However, it remains largely unknown whether and how theses consequences persist into later childhood. Here, we evaluated the integrity of auditory-visual multisensory processes in schoolchildren.

Very-preterm children (N=28; aged 8-10 years) received a standardized cognitive assessment and performed a simple detection task at their routine follow-up appointment. The simple detection task involved pressing a button as quickly as possible upon presentation of an auditory, visual, or simultaneous audio-visual stimulus.

Compared to full-term children (N=23; aged 6-11 years), very-preterm children were generally slower, regardless of sensory modality. Both groups were generally faster for visual than auditory stimuli. Likewise, both groups benefited from the multisensory presentation and exhibited similar percentages of multisensory gains on reaction times. By contrast, only the full-term children exhibited evidence of underlying neural co-activation. Finally, no standardized cognitive or clinical measures predicted the multisensory gain in very-preterm children.

These findings provide the first evidence that very-preterm children persist to show atypical multisensory profiles at school age. Therefore, it supports the aim of studying in-depth the underlying neural substrates of multisensory integration in very-preterm children.

Is Poor Sleep Related to Diurnal Cortisol and Behavioral Problems in Young Children?

Alexander Ariu1, Andrea H. Meyer2,3, Tanja H. Kakebeeke4, Kerstin Stuelb2, Annina Zysset4, Amar Arhab5, Claudia S. Leeger-Aschmann6, Einat A. Schmutz6, Susi Kriemler6, Oskar G. Jenni4, Jardena J. Puder5, Simone Munsch2, Nadine Messerli-Bürgy1

1University of Lausanne, Switzerland; 2University of Fribourg, Switzerland; 3University of Basel, Switzerland; 4University Children's Hospital Zurich, Switzerland; 5Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland; 6University of Zurich, Switzerland

Introduction: Poor sleep is associated with dysregulated diurnal cortisol which may contribute to poor mental health in children. However, this relationship between diurnal cortisol, sleep and mental health is still not well understood in young children. Given the persistence of sleep and behavioral problems, this study aimed at investigating the association of diurnal cortisol, poor sleep, and behavior problems in preschool children.

Methods: Parents of 555 preschoolers (aged 2-6 years, m/f 52/48%) completed a set of questionnaires on poor sleep and behavioral problems (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire). Diurnal total cortisol release was measured by repeated saliva sampling on two days using 5 time points each day (awake, +30min, noon, 4pm and bedtime).

Results: Analyses revealed associations between poor sleep and behavioral problems (emotional problems: R2 = .010, F(1, 503) = 6.33, p = .012; conduct problems: R2 = .023, F(1, 503) = 12.78, p = .001; hyperactivity/ inattention: R2 = .030, F(1, 502) = 16.48, p = .001). Children with poor sleep showed more emotional and conduct problems and more hyperactivity. However, poor sleep wasn’t related to diurnal cortisol release in these young children.

Discussion: Poor sleep was related to behavioral problems in healthy children, but effects were small. However, diurnal cortisol was not related to poor sleep and potential physiological changes might only be expected in persistent mental health problems.

Conclusion: Poor sleep might be an early indicator of mental health issues and should be targeted in prevention and treatment of young children.

NEODOL: Translation and Cultural Adaptation

Erika Saint Paul1,2, Colette Balice3, Maya Zumstein-Shaha1, Mark Marston4

1Berner Fachhochschule, Departement Gesundheit, Switzerland; 2Kantonsspital Aarau AG, Switzerland; 3Institute of Pediatrics of Southern Switzerland, EOC, Switzerland; 4Universitäts-Kinderspital beider Basel (UKBB), Switzerland

Background: Premature and sick newborns treated in neonatology (NICU) experience painful interventions several times a day. This pain is often undertreated, which can affect the premature infants negatively. To systematically relieve procedural pain, the NEODOL intervention was developed in the Italian part of Switzerland. This complex intervention involves health professionals, parents and newborns alike. Aims: In this study, NEODOL will be translated from Italian to German and adapted to the NICU of a pediatric university hospital in the German part of Switzerland. Methods: The translation procedure will follow Wild’s recommendations. In a subsequent qualitative explorative study with a Delphi approach will be conducted to interview the health professionals and parents on the German version of NEODOL. In this process, the participants will also be asked about necessary adaptations for implementation in practice. Data collection will be conducted between November 2022 and February 2023. Expected results: It is anticipated that this study will provide a German translation of the NEODOL that is adapted to the predominant culture. Thus, the implementation of NEODOL in a pediatric university hospital in the German part of Switzerland can be undertaken.

The Influence of Dyadic Gender Composition on Emotion Expression, Emotion Modulation and Responses to Emotion-Eliciting Play Situations in Preschoolers

Pablo Nischak1, Tatiana Diebold1, Carine Burkhardt Bossi1, Sonja Perren2

1Thurgau University of Teacher Education, Switzerland; 2University of Konstanz, Germany

Boys are reported to show more difficulties in emotion regulation and tend to exhibit more externalizing emotion expressions (e.g., anger, frustration, excitement). Girls on the other hand tend to display more internalizing emotion expressions (e.g., sadness, anxiety) and expressions of joy or inner balance. The present study aims to address the question if the gender specific composition of dyads in play situations has an effect on boys’ and girls’ emotion expression, emotion modulation and responses to emotion-eliciting situations.

The sample consists of 28 children (50% girls) from 5 Swiss kindergartens aged 55 to 69 months (M=62.40; SD=3.45) who played 3 to 4 times with randomly assigned peers in semi-standardized dyadic play situations. The children played 28 times in female dyads, 22 times in male dyads and 46 times in mixed-sex dyads. Children’s play situations were videotaped and rated with a newly developed instrument (Emotion Regulation Scoring System) to assess observable markers of children’s emotion related behavior.

Preliminary results show gender differences regarding emotion expression and behavioral responses: Boys show more anger / frustration (d(94)=0.40) and more interpersonal aggression (d(94)=0.21) than girls. Girls on the other hand exhibit more pride (d(94)=0.26), anxiety / fear (d(94)=0.23) and setting limits (d(94)=0.28). The data will be analyzed with linear mixed models, investigating the moderating effect of partner child gender.

Reliability and Validity of the German Version of the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS-G), prediction of current feeding method and reasons for weaning

Debora Suppiger1,2, Tilman Reinelt1,2, Giancarlo Natalucci1,2

1University of Zurich; 2University Hospital Zurich


Despite its benefits, breastfeeding rates are declining in Western societies. As the intention to breastfeed is among the strongest predictors for breastfeeding duration reliable tools for measuring intention to breastfeed are needed. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) measures attitudes towards infant feeding and is used in various languages and across different cultures. However, there has been no German Version of the IIFAS so far. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about how attitudes towards breastfeeding influence current feeding method or reasons for weaning.

Participants and Procedure:

Between April and June 2021, mothers (N= 306, Mage = 34.74 years, SDage = 4.35 years) of singleton infants (50.65% female, Mage = 9.54 months, SDage = 4.83 months, age range: 4-547 days) participated in an online survey. As part of a larger study on early child development and nutrition, the translated IIFAS was administered. Participants were highly educated (76.47% with tertiary education) and mostly working (16.34% full-time; 46.97% part-time) at the time the survey was conducted. Of those 50.33% were primiparous.

Additionally, a subsample of mothers (N= 166, Mage = 34.85 years, SDage = 4.39 years) participated in a 10-day diary on their infant’s nutrition.

Intended Analysis:

The translated IIFAS-G will be compared with the original version with regard to its factor structure and internal consistency. Criterion validity will be examined through the association between IIFAS-G score and current infant feeding method (breastfeeding vs. other forms of nutrition). Lastly, differences on IIFAS-G score depending on infant age, maternal variables, child feeding behavior, work status and reasons for weaning will be analysed.

Artificial letter training performance is associated with individual differences in reading skills in beginning readers

Iliana I. Karipidis, Christina Lutz, Lison Spaenlehauer, Martina Röthlisberger, Georgette Pleisch, Silvia Brem

University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Deficits in learning and automatizing letter-speech sound associations are discussed as a key factor for developing reading disabilities. Artificial letter trainings (ALTs) can measure letter-speech sound binding abilities. We developed an app-based ALT for beginning readers to clarify whether performance in accuracy and speed was associated with reading abilities. 96 children in 2nd and 3rd grade (8.8+/-0.65y) performed the ALT and were grouped into typical (n=37), intermediate (n=17), and poor readers (n=42) based on their reading skills. In 111 trials, German speech sounds or words were presented, and the correctly associated artificial letters had to be selected from a set of four unknown falsefont characters. Training duration varied (623+/-171s) because poor performers received additional trials. Performance of artificial letter recognition (20 trials) and word recognition (21 trials) was analyzed, and all children completed reading and rapid automatized naming (RAN) tests. Using training duration and accuracy scores, we performed ANOVAs with the factors group and school grade. We found a significant main effect of group for overall accuracy (P=0.003) and training duration (P=0.011), demonstrating that poor readers needed significantly more time for the ALT than typical readers. The significant interaction between group and school grade for word recognition performance (P=0.00007), suggested that in 2nd grade typical readers performed significantly better than intermediate and poor readers. Training duration and overall accuracy was significantly correlated with individual reading fluency scores and RAN (P<0.05). Based on our results, ALTs represent promising screening tools to identify struggling readers at very early stages of reading acquisition.

Early intervention for Children with pediatric feeding disorder in the Canton of Zurich

Alina Luzia LeBow1, Corina Müllner1, Daniela Jepathavakumar1, Leila Toumi1, Myriam Schnider2, Oskar Jenni2, Jakob Etterlin1, Sara Saona Ramirez1, Michael von Rhein2

1University of Zurich, Switzerland; 2Childrens Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland

<p><strong>Introduction:</strong> Parallel to significant improvements in the care of critically sick infants, Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) has received increasing attention in the past years. Risk factors are preterm birth, genetic syndromes, congenital abnormalities, or neurological diseases. Early interventions (EI) should be initiated, and include a specific training by specialized speech therapists. Our aim is to describe the preschool children with PFD including their underlying disease in the canton of Zurich and their speech therapy care. Furthermore, the results will be compared with the data of all preschool children registered for speech therapy in 2016.<br /> <strong>Methods: </strong>We analyzed the data of all preschool children (n=?) referred for EI in 2016.<br /> <strong>Results: </strong>Out of the<strong> </strong>1491 preschool children referred for speech therapy, 97 were diagnosed with PFD (3;4 years, SD 1;2, 62.5% male). Within the PFD group, 17.4% had genetic syndromes or congenital pathologies, 15.4% neurological diseases, 13.4% were former preterm infants and 9.2% had ORL or respiratory pathologies. In average, 43 (SD 26) hours of therapy per year were granted, and therapy started after 68 (SD 64) days. Within all children enrolled for speech therapy, the 50 hours of therapy per year was granted and the waiting time lasted 130 hours.<br /> <strong>Discussion/Conclusion:</strong> Children with PFD who are referred to a speech therapy mostly have a syndromal or neurological disease. Their waiting time is half as long and their therapy intensity in hours per year is lower than the average of the 1491 children in total.</p>

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