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Biological sensitivity to family income: Differential effects on early executive functioning

Date Added to Library: 
Monday, April 29, 2019 - 11:34
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 
Individual Author: 
Obradovic, Jelena
Portilla, Ximena A.
Ballard, Parissa J.
Reference Type: 
Published Date: 
March/April 2016
Published Date (Text): 
March/April 2016
Child Development
Issue Number: 
Page Range: 

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. (Author abstract)

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