Research Topic 1:Contagious Personality

Preschool children become more similar to their closest playmates over time, finds a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Researchers observed 53 three and four year-olds over the course of a school year, analyzing social networks and personality traits in the children. They found that the children were more likely to play with classmates with similar levels of sociability and positive emotions. They also found that over the year, the children’s levels of positive emotionality and effortful control (a measure of behavioral and attentional regulation) adjusted to become more similar to those of their closest playmates. Therefore, it is important and crucial to have children play around all different types of socioeconomic levels and races.

Research Topic 2: Naptime

Taking a nap can help preschoolers cement new knowledge, suggests a study in Child Development. Researchers taught 39 three and four year-olds new made-up verbs (blicking and roping) by showing them a video in which actors performed actions corresponding with each new word. Immediately after watching the videos, half of the children were allowed to nap for at least a half an hour, while the other half were kept awake. The next day, the children were shown videos of two new actors performing the same actions and were asked which person was “blicking” and which was “rooping.” Children who had napped performed significantly better than those who had not, regardless of whether they regularly napped at home. We must remember that children’s brains develop during sleep and for this reason, teens need as much sleep as infants to preschoolers. Lack of sleep in children can cause significant behavior problems, lack of focus/attention, and lack of brain development and/or knowledge acquisition.

Susie Bean Gives