Academic Appointments

2016-17 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Linking executive function skills and physiological challenge response: Piecewise growth curve modeling. Developmental science Obradovic, J., Finch, J. E. 2016


    This study employed piecewise growth curve modeling to examine how children's executive function (EF) skills relate to different components of children's physiological response trajectory - initial arousal, reactivity, and recovery. The sample included 102 ethnically diverse kindergarteners, whose EF skills were measured using standard tasks and observer ratings. Physiological response was measured via changes in respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) in response to a laboratory socio-cognitive challenge. Children's cool and hot EF skills were differentially related to both linear and quadratic components of RSA response during the challenge. Greater hot EF skills and assessor report of EF skills during laboratory visit were related to quicker RSA recovery after the challenge. These findings demonstrate that children's physiological response is a dynamic process that encompasses physiological recovery and relates to children's self-regulation abilities.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/desc.12476

    View details for PubMedID 27748016

  • Maternal scaffolding and home stimulation: Key mediators of early intervention effects on children's cognitive development. Developmental psychology Obradovic, J., Yousafzai, A. K., Finch, J. E., Rasheed, M. A. 2016; 52 (9): 1409-1421


    This study contributes to the understanding of how early parenting interventions implemented in low- and middle-income countries during the first 2 years of children's lives are sustained longitudinally to promote cognitive skills in preschoolers. We employed path analytic procedures to examine 2 family processes-the quality of home stimulation and maternal scaffolding behaviors-as underlying mechanisms through which a responsive stimulation intervention uniquely predicted children's verbal intelligence, performance intelligence, and executive functioning. The sample included 1,302 highly disadvantaged children and their mothers living in rural Pakistan, who from birth participated in a 2-year, community-based, cluster-randomized, controlled trial designed to promote sensitive and responsive caregiving. Family processes were assessed at 2 developmental time points using parent reports, ratings of home environments, and observed parent-child interactions. Cognitive skills at age 4 were assessed using standardized tests. Controlling for socioeconomic risk (e.g., wealth, maternal education, food insecurity) and individual factors (e.g., gender, growth status), the quality of current home stimulation as well as both earlier and concurrent measures of maternal scaffolding independently mediated the intervention effects on cognitive skills at age 4. In addition, the intervention had a significant direct effect on executive functioning and performance intelligence over and above significant family processes and other covariates. We highlight implications for future program design and evaluation studies. (PsycINFO Database Record

    View details for DOI 10.1037/dev0000182

    View details for PubMedID 27505702

  • Effects of responsive stimulation and nutrition interventions on children's development and growth at age 4 years in a disadvantaged population in Pakistan: a longitudinal follow-up of a cluster-randomised factorial effectiveness trial. The Lancet. Global health Yousafzai, A. K., Obradovic, J., Rasheed, M. A., Rizvi, A., Portilla, X. A., Tirado-Strayer, N., Siyal, S., Memon, U. 2016; 4 (8): e548-58


    A previous study in Pakistan assessed the effectiveness of delivering responsive stimulation and enhanced nutrition interventions to young children. Responsive stimulation significantly improved children's cognitive, language, and motor development at 2 years of age. Both interventions significantly improved parenting skills, with responsive stimulation showing larger effects. In this follow-up study, we investigated whether interventions had benefits on children's healthy development and care at 4 years of age.We implemented a follow-up study of the initial, community-based cluster-randomised effectiveness trial, which was conducted through the Lady Health Worker programme in Sindh, Pakistan. We re-enrolled 1302 mother-child dyads (87% of the 1489 dyads in the original enrolment) for assessment when the child was 4 years of age. The children were originally randomised in the following groups: nutrition education and multiple micronutrient powders (enhanced nutrition; n=311), responsive stimulation (n=345), combined responsive stimulation and enhanced nutrition (n=315), and routine health and nutrition services (control; n=331). The data collection team were masked to the allocated intervention. The original enrolment period included children born in the study area between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010, if they were up to 2·5 months old without signs of severe impairments. The primary endpoints for children were development and growth at 4 years of age. Interventions were given in monthly group sessions and in home visits. The primary endpoint for mothers was wellbeing and caregiving knowledge, practices, and skills when the child was 4 years of age. Analysis was by intention to treat. The original trial is registered with, number NCT00715936.1302 mother-child dyads were re-enrolled between Jan 1, 2013, and March 31, 2013, all of whom were followed up at 4 years of age. Children who received responsive stimulation (with or without enhanced nutrition) had significantly higher cognition, language, and motor skills at 4 years of age than children who did not receive responsive stimulation. For children who received responsive stimulation plus enhanced nutrition, effect sizes (Cohen's d) were 0·1 for IQ (mean difference from control 1·2, 95% CI -0·3 to 2·7), 0·3 for executive functioning (0·18, -0·07 to 0·29), 0·5 for pre-academic skills (7·53, 5·14 to 9·92) and 0·2 for pro-social behaviours (0·08, 0·03 to 0·13). For children who received responsive stimulation alone, effect sizes were 0·1 for IQ (mean difference with controls 1·7, -0·3 to 3·7), 0·3 for executive functioning (0·17, 0·07 to 0·27), 0·2 for pre-academic skills (3·86, 1·41 to 6·31), and 0·2 for pro-social behaviours (0·07, 0·02 to 0·12). Enhanced nutrition improved child motor development, with effect size of 0·2 for responsive stimulation plus enhanced nutrition (0·56, -0·03 to 1·15), and for enhanced nutrition alone (0·82, 0·18 to 1·46). Mothers who received responsive stimulation (with or without enhanced nutrition) had significantly better responsive caregiving behaviours at 4 years of child age than those who did not receive intervention. Effect size was 0·3 for responsive stimulation plus enhanced nutrition (1·95, 0·75 to 3·15) and 0·2 for responsive stimulation (2·01, 0·74 to 3·28). The caregiving environment had a medium effect size of 0·3 for all interventions (responsive stimulation plus enhanced nutrition 2·99, 1·50 to 4·48; responsive stimulation alone 2·82, 1·21 to 4·43; enhanced nutrition 3·52, 1·70 to 5·34).Responsive stimulation delivered in a community health service can improve child development and care, 2 years after the end of intervention. Future analyses of these data are needed to identify which children and families benefit more or less over time.Grand Challenges Canada.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/S2214-109X(16)30100-0

    View details for PubMedID 27342433

  • Academic resilience of immigrant youth in Greek schools: Personal and family resources EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Anagnostaki, L., Pavlopoulos, V., Obradovic, J., Masten, A., Motti-Stefanidi, F. 2016; 13 (3): 377-393
  • Biological Sensitivity to Family Income: Differential Effects on Early Executive Functioning CHILD DEVELOPMENT Obradovic, J., Portilla, X. A., Ballard, P. J. 2016; 87 (2): 374-384


    The study examined how the interplay between children's cortisol response and family income is related to executive function (EF) skills. The sample included one hundred and two 5- to 6-year-olds (64% minority). EF skills were measured using laboratory tasks and observer ratings. Physiological reactivity was assessed via cortisol response during a laboratory visit. A consistent, positive association between family income and EF skills emerged only for children who showed high cortisol response, a marker of biological sensitivity to context. In contrast, family income was not related to EF skills in children who displayed low cortisol response. Follow-up analyses revealed a disordinal interaction, suggesting that differential susceptibility can be detected at the level of basic cognitive and self-regulatory skills that support adaptive functioning.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.12475

    View details for Web of Science ID 000373398500003

    View details for PubMedID 26709089

  • Physiological Responsivity and Executive Functioning: Implications for Adaptation and Resilience in Early Childhood CHILD DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVES Obradovic, J. 2016; 10 (1): 65-70

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdep.12164

    View details for Web of Science ID 000371097500011

  • Academic Risk and Resilience in the Context of Homelessness CHILD DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVES Masten, A. S., Cutuli, J. J., Herbers, J. E., Hinz, E., Obradovic, J., Wenzel, A. J. 2014; 8 (4): 201-206

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdep.12088

    View details for Web of Science ID 000344781900003

  • The symphonic structure of childhood stress reactivity: Patterns of sympathetic, parasympathetic, and adrenocortical responses to psychological challenge DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Quas, J. A., Yim, I. S., Oberlander, T. F., Nordstokke, D., Essex, M. J., Armstrong, J. M., Bush, N., Obradovic, J., Boyce, W. T. 2014; 26 (4): 963-982
  • The symphonic structure of childhood stress reactivity: patterns of sympathetic, parasympathetic, and adrenocortical responses to psychological challenge. Development and psychopathology Quas, J. A., Yim, I. S., Oberlander, T. F., Nordstokke, D., Essex, M. J., Armstrong, J. M., Bush, N., Obradovic, J., Boyce, W. T. 2014; 26 (4): 963-982


    Despite widespread recognition that the physiological systems underlying stress reactivity are well coordinated at a neurobiological level, surprisingly little empirical attention has been given to delineating precisely how the systems actually interact with one another when confronted with stress. We examined cross-system response proclivities in anticipation of and following standardized laboratory challenges in 664 4- to 14-year-olds from four independent studies. In each study, measures of stress reactivity within both the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system (i.e., the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system) and the corticotrophin releasing hormone system (i.e., the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) were collected. Latent profile analyses revealed six distinctive patterns that recurred across the samples: moderate reactivity (average cross-system activation; 52%-80% of children across samples), parasympathetic-specific reactivity (2%-36%), anticipatory arousal (4%-9%), multisystem reactivity (7%-14%), hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis specific reactivity (6%-7%), and underarousal (0%-2%). Groups meaningfully differed in socioeconomic status, family adversity, and age. Results highlight the sample-level reliability of children's neuroendocrine responses to stress and suggest important cross-system regularities that are linked to development and prior experiences and may have implications for subsequent physical and mental morbidity.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0954579414000480

    View details for PubMedID 24909883

  • An Integrative View of School Functioning: Transactions Between Self-Regulation, School Engagement, and Teacher-Child Relationship Quality CHILD DEVELOPMENT Portilla, X. A., Ballard, P. J., Adler, N. E., Boyce, W. T., Obradovic, J. 2014; 85 (5): 1915-1931

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.12259

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342820100014

  • An integrative view of school functioning: transactions between self-regulation, school engagement, and teacher-child relationship quality. Child development Portilla, X. A., Ballard, P. J., Adler, N. E., Boyce, W. T., Obradovic, J. 2014; 85 (5): 1915-1931


    This study investigates the dynamic interplay between teacher-child relationship quality and children's behaviors across kindergarten and first grade to predict academic competence in first grade. Using a sample of 338 ethnically diverse 5-year-old children, nested path analytic models were conducted to examine bidirectional pathways between children's behaviors and teacher-child relationship quality. Low self-regulation in kindergarten fall, as indexed by inattention and impulsive behaviors, predicted more conflict with teachers in kindergarten spring and this effect persisted into first grade. Conflict and low self-regulation jointly predicted decreases in school engagement which in turn predicted first-grade academic competence. Findings illustrate the importance of considering transactions between self-regulation, teacher-child relationship quality, and school engagement in predicting academic competence.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/cdev.12259

    View details for PubMedID 24916608

  • The Importance of Family and Friend Relationships for the Mental Health of Asian Immigrant Young Adults and Their Nonimmigrant Peers RESEARCH IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT Obradovic, J., Tirado-Strayer, N., Leu, J. 2013; 10 (2): 163-183
  • The construct of psychophysiological reactivity: Statistical and psychometric issues DEVELOPMENTAL REVIEW Burt, K. B., Obradovic, J. 2013; 33 (1): 29-57
  • Social stratification, classroom climate, and the behavioral adaptation of kindergarten children PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Boyce, W. T., Obradovic, J., Bush, N. R., Stamperdahl, J., Kim, Y. S., Adler, N. 2012; 109: 17168-17173


    Socioeconomic status (SES) is the single most potent determinant of health within human populations, from infancy through old age. Although the social stratification of health is nearly universal, there is persistent uncertainty regarding the dimensions of SES that effect such inequalities and thus little clarity about the principles of intervention by which inequalities might be abated. Guided by animal models of hierarchical organization and the health correlates of subordination, this prospective study examined the partitioning of children's adaptive behavioral development by their positions within kindergarten classroom hierarchies. A sample of 338 5-y-old children was recruited from 29 Berkeley, California public school classrooms. A naturalistic observational measure of social position, parent-reported family SES, and child-reported classroom climate were used in estimating multilevel, random-effects models of children's adaptive behavior at the end of the kindergarten year. Children occupying subordinate positions had significantly more maladaptive behavioral outcomes than their dominant peers. Further, interaction terms revealed that low family SES and female sex magnified, and teachers' child-centered pedagogical practices diminished, the adverse influences of social subordination. Taken together, results suggest that, even within early childhood groups, social stratification is associated with a partitioning of adaptive behavioral outcomes and that the character of larger societal and school structures in which such groups are nested can moderate rank-behavior associations.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1201730109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310510500005

    View details for PubMedID 23045637

  • Family Assistance Attitudes and Family Cultural Conflict: A Comparative Study of Second-Generation Asian American and Native-Born European American Emerging Adults ASIAN AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY Leu, J., Schroth, C., Obradovic, J., Cruz, R. A. 2012; 3 (3): 133-144

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0029636

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314777400002

  • How can the study of physiological reactivity contribute to our understanding of adversity and resilience processes in development? DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Obradovic, J. 2012; 24 (2): 371-387


    The focus of this article is to present current progress in understanding the interplay among adversity, physiological sensitivity to context, and adaptive functioning, with an emphasis on implications and future directions for resilience researchers. It includes a review of current literature that demonstrates (a) links between various levels of adversity exposure and variability in physiological reactivity, (b) how the interplay between children's physiological reactivity and different sources of risk and adversity relates to variability in adaptive functioning, and (c) various approaches for capturing a more dynamic nature of physiological reactivity and related processes. Throughout, important conceptual and empirical issues are highlighted.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0954579412000053

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302915900005

    View details for PubMedID 22559120

  • Kindergarten stressors and cumulative adrenocortical activation: The "first straws" of allostatic load? DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Bush, N. R., Obradovic, J., Adler, N., Boyce, W. T. 2011; 23 (4): 1089-1106


    Using an ethnically diverse longitudinal sample of 338 kindergarten children, this study examined the effects of cumulative contextual stressors on children's developing hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis regulation as an early life indicator of allostatic load. Chronic HPA axis regulation was assessed using cumulative, multiday measures of cortisol in both the fall and spring seasons of the kindergarten year. Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that contextual stressors related to ethnic minority status, socioeconomic status, and family adversity each uniquely predicted children's daily HPA activity and that some of those associations were curvilinear in conformation. Results showed that the quadratic, U-shaped influences of family socioeconomic status and family adversity operate in different directions to predict children's HPA axis regulation. Results further suggested that these associations differ for White and ethnic minority children. In total, this study revealed that early childhood experiences contribute to shifts in one of the principal neurobiological systems thought to generate allostatic load, confirming the importance of early prevention and intervention efforts. Moreover, findings suggested that analyses of allostatic load and developmental theories accounting for its accrual would benefit from an inclusion of curvilinear associations in tested predictive models.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0954579411000514

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296606600008

    View details for PubMedID 22018083

  • Autonomic and Adrenocortical Reactivity and Buccal Cell Telomere Length in Kindergarten Children PSYCHOSOMATIC MEDICINE Kroenke, C. H., Epel, E., Adler, N., Bush, N. R., Obradovic, J., Lin, J., Blackburn, E., Stamperdahl, J. L., Boyce, W. T. 2011; 73 (7): 533-540


    To examine associations between autonomic nervous system and adrenocortical reactivity to laboratory stressors and buccal cell telomere length (BTL) in children.The study sample comprised 78 children, aged 5 to 6 years, from a longitudinal cohort study of kindergarten social hierarchies, biologic responses to adversity, and child health. Buccal cell samples and reactivity measures were collected in the spring of the kindergarten year. BTL was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction, as the telomere-to-single-copy gene ratio. Parents provided demographic information; parents and teachers reported children's internalizing and externalizing behavior problems. Components of children's autonomic (heart rate, respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA], and preejection period [PEP]) and adrenocortical (salivary cortisol) responses were monitored during standardized laboratory challenges. We examined relationships between reactivity, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, and BTL, adjusted for age, race, and sex.Heart rate and cortisol reactivity were inversely related to BTL, PEP was positively related to BTL, and RSA was unrelated to BTL. Internalizing behaviors were also inversely related to BTL (standardized ? = -0.33, p = .004). Split at the median of reactivity parameters, children with high sympathetic activation (decreasing PEP), and parasympathetic withdrawal (decreasing RSA) did not differ with regard to BTL. However, children with both this profile and high cortisol reactivity (n = 12) had significantly shorter BTL (0.80 versus 1.00; ?² = 7.6, p = .006), compared with other children.The combination of autonomic and adrenocortical reactivity was associated with shorter BTL in children. These data suggest that psychophysiological processes may influence, and that BTL may be a useful marker of, early biologic aging.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PSY.0b013e318229acfc

    View details for Web of Science ID 000295122300003

    View details for PubMedID 21873585

  • Differentiating challenge reactivity from psychomotor activity in studies of children's psychophysiology: Considerations for theory and measurement JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL CHILD PSYCHOLOGY Bush, N. R., Alkon, A., Obradovic, J., Starnperdahl, J., Boyce, W. T. 2011; 110 (1): 62-79


    Current methods of assessing children's physiological "stress reactivity" may be confounded by psychomotor activity, biasing estimates of the relation between reactivity and health. We examined the joint and independent contributions of psychomotor activity and challenge reactivity during a protocol for 5- and 6-year-old children (N = 338). Measures of parasympathetic reactivity (respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA]) and sympathetic reactivity (preejection period [PEP]) were calculated for social, cognitive, sensory, and emotional challenge tasks. Reactivity was calculated relative to both resting and a paired comparison task that accounted for psychomotor activity effects during each challenge. Results indicated that comparison tasks themselves elicited RSA and PEP responses, and reactivity adjusted for psychomotor activity was incongruent with reactivity calculated using rest. Findings demonstrate the importance of accounting for confounding psychomotor activity effects on physiological reactivity.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jecp.2011.03.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292172900005

    View details for PubMedID 21524757

  • The interactive effect of marital conflict and stress reactivity on externalizing and internalizing symptoms: The role of laboratory stressors DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Obradovic, J., Bush, N. R., Boyce, W. T. 2011; 23 (1): 101-114


    Growing evidence supports the biological sensitivity to context theory, which posits that physiologically reactive children, as indexed by autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity to laboratory stressors, are more susceptible to both negative and positive environmental influences than their low reactive peers. High biological sensitivity is a risk factor for behavioral and health problems in the context of high adversity, whereas in contexts of low adversity it has been found to promote positive adaptation. However, several studies have shown the opposite effect, finding that children who exhibited high ANS reactivity in response to interpersonal stressors were buffered from the deleterious effects of marital conflict, whereas children who showed low ANS reactivity were more vulnerable to high levels of marital conflict. Using an ethnically diverse sample of 260 kindergartners (130 girls, 130 boys), the current study investigated whether the interaction effect of marital conflict and the two branches of ANS reactivity on children's externalizing and internalizing symptoms differs with the nature of the laboratory challenge task used to measure children's stress response. As hypothesized, results indicate that the interaction between ANS reactivity and marital conflict significantly predicted children's behavior problems, but the direction of the effect varied with the nature of the challenge task (i.e., interpersonal or cognitive). This study illustrates the importance of considering the effect of laboratory stimuli when assessing whether children's ANS reactivity moderates the effects of adversity exposure on adaptation.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0954579410000672

    View details for Web of Science ID 000286699900008

    View details for PubMedID 21262042

  • Direct and Indirect Effects of Parenting on the Academic Functioning of Young Homeless Children EARLY EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT Herbers, J. E., Cutuli, J. J., Lafavor, T. L., Vrieze, D., Leibel, C., Obradovic, J., Masten, A. S. 2011; 22 (1): 77-104
  • Transactional relations across contextual strain, parenting quality, and early childhood regulation and adaptation in a high-risk sample DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Yates, T. M., Obradovic, J., Egeland, B. 2010; 22 (3): 539-555


    This investigation examined transactional relations across contextual strain, parenting quality, and child adjustment in 209 mothers and children at 24, 42, and 72 months of age. Independent ratings of mothers' stressful life events, social support, and relationship quality provided an objective measure of maternal contextual strain. Observers evaluated parenting quality during parent-child interactions at each time point. Child regulatory functioning during laboratory tasks at 24 and 42 months was evaluated by independent observers based on both behavioral (e.g., noncompliance, distractibility) and emotional (e.g., frustration, anger) indices. At 72 months, teachers reported on children's externalizing behaviors, and children completed objective measures of academic achievement. Nested path analyses were used to evaluate increasingly complex models of influence, including transactional relations between child and parent, effects from contextual strain to parenting and child adaptation, and reciprocal effects from child and parent behavior to contextual strain. Over and above stability within each domain and cross-sectional cross-domain covariation, significant paths emerged from maternal contextual strain to subsequent child adjustment. Bidirectional relations between parenting and child adjustment were especially prominent among boys. These findings counter unidirectional models of parent-mediated contextual effects by highlighting the direct influences of contextual strain and parent-child transactions on early childhood behavioral and academic adjustment, respectively.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S095457941000026X

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279517900005

    View details for PubMedID 20576177

  • Psychopathology and social competence during the transition to adolescence: The role of family adversity and pubertal development DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY Obradovic, J., Hipwell, A. 2010; 22 (3): 621-634


    This study examined developmental processes linking competence and psychopathology in an urban sample of girls during their transition to adolescence. Longitudinal associations among indices of externalizing symptoms, social competence, and internalizing symptoms were also tested within contexts of family adversity and girls' pubertal status. Child, parent, and teacher report were employed to assess core constructs across six annual assessment waves, starting at age 9. Results revealed the significant effect of prior levels of externalizing symptoms on changes in social competence and internalizing symptoms, as well as reciprocal relations between social competence and internalizing symptoms. In addition, girl's maladaptive functioning predicted increases in family adversity exposure over time. Last, more mature pubertal status in early assessment waves was linked to an increase in internalizing symptoms; however, this association was reversed by the last assessment, when most girls had reached advance stages of puberty. The timing of these effects reveals important targets for future interventions aimed at promoting the successful adaptation of girls in adolescence.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S0954579410000325

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279517900011

    View details for PubMedID 20576183

  • Effortful control and adaptive functioning of homeless children: Variable-focused and person-focused analyses JOURNAL OF APPLIED DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY Obradovic, J. 2010; 31 (2): 109-117


    Homeless children show significant developmental delays across major domains of adaptation, yet research on protective processes that may contribute to resilient adaptation in this highly disadvantaged group of children is extremely rare. This study examined the role of effortful control for adaption in 58 homeless children, ages 5-6, during their transition to school. Effortful control skills were assessed using children's performance on four standard executive functioning tasks. Adaptive functioning was assessed by teacher report of academic competence, peer competence, and internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Variable-focused and person-focused results indicate that effortful control may be an important marker of school readiness and resilience. Controlling for child IQ, parenting quality, and socio-demographic risks, effortful control emerged as the most significant predictor of all four salient developmental domains of adaptation as well as of resilient status of homeless children. Implications of these findings are discussed for future research and design of interventions.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.appdev.2009.09.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276090300001

    View details for PubMedID 20401161

  • Biological Sensitivity to Context: The Interactive Effects of Stress Reactivity and Family Adversity on Socioemotional Behavior and School Readiness CHILD DEVELOPMENT Obradovic, J., Bush, N. R., Stamperdahl, J., Adler, N. E., Boyce, W. T. 2010; 81 (1): 270-289


    This study examined the direct and interactive effects of stress reactivity and family adversity on socioemotional and cognitive development in three hundred and thirty-eight 5- to 6-year-old children. Neurobiological stress reactivity was measured as respiratory sinus arrhythmia and salivary cortisol responses to social, cognitive, sensory, and emotional challenges. Adaptation was assessed using child, parent, and teacher reports of externalizing symptoms, prosocial behaviors, school engagement, and academic competence. Results revealed significant interactions between reactivity and adversity. High stress reactivity was associated with more maladaptive outcomes in the context of high adversity but with better adaption in the context of low adversity. The findings corroborate a reconceptualization of stress reactivity as biological sensitivity to context by showing that high reactivity can both hinder and promote adaptive functioning.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274308300017

    View details for PubMedID 20331667

  • Testing a Dual Cascade Model Linking Competence and Symptoms Over 20 Years from Childhood to Adulthood JOURNAL OF CLINICAL CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY Obradovic, J., Burt, K. B., Masten, A. S. 2010; 39 (1): 90-102


    This study examined the unique longitudinal effects linking academic competence, social competence, and internalizing symptoms from childhood to adulthood. A multimethod and multi-informant approach was used to assess psychopathology and competence in 205 participants during four developmental periods. Social competence in childhood had a cascading effect on internalizing symptoms in adolescence, whereas social and academic competence in emerging adulthood had dual cascading effects on internalizing in young adulthood. Results suggested a developmental cascade beginning with externalizing symptoms in childhood, which contributed to lower academic achievement in adolescence, which in turn influenced social competence in emerging adulthood and internalizing symptoms in young adulthood.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/15374410903401120

    View details for Web of Science ID 000274411600008

    View details for PubMedID 20390801