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close this bookEarly Supplementary Feeding and Cognition (Society for Research in Child Development, 1993, 123 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentAbstract
View the documentI. Introduction
Open this folder and view contentsII. Methodology and findings of the longitudinal study
Open this folder and view contentsIII. Conceptual rationale for the follow-up
Open this folder and view contentsIV. Methodological and substantive considerations
Open this folder and view contentsV. Methods of the cross-sectional follow-up
Open this folder and view contentsVI. Results from the cross-sectional follow-up
Open this folder and view contentsVII. Discussion
View the documentAppendix A: Average nutrient intakes of Atole and Fresco subjects
View the documentAppendix B: Descriptions of tests used in the analysis of the preschool battery
View the documentReferences
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentCommentary - Going beyond nutrition: Nutrition, context, and development
View the documentCommentary - Early supplementary feeding and cognition: A retrospective comment
View the documentReply - Nutrition and development: Considerations for intervention
View the documentContributors
View the documentStatement of editorial policy

Appendix B: Descriptions of tests used in the analysis of the preschool battery

Embedded Figures. - This test assesses children's ability to distinguish a figure from among a meaningful visual array. It was developed by Witkin, Dyk, Faterson, Goodenough, and Karp (1962) as a measure of the tendency to be field dependent (influenced by the context) or field independent. There were two versions of the test. In the 3-year-old version, the child was first shown a picture of a common figure, then a larger picture with that figure embedded in it, and asked to point to the figure. The first nine items required the child to select the target figure from a group of other forms, and the second nine required the child to locate the embedded figure. The version administered to 4-7-year-olds used a red triangle as the target figure. After practice, a copy of the triangle remained visible to the child, who was asked to find where it was hidden in each of 12 pictures. The score was the number of items located correctly.

Memory for Digits. - This test is similar to those included in the Stanford-Binet and the WISC. The child was asked to repeat sequences of numbers read by the tester at a rate of two per sec. The lowest number of digits per span was two, and there were four series at each length of span. The score was the total number of digits recalled correctly, plus one point for each span totally correct.

Memory for Sentences. - The child was asked to repeat meaningful sentences after the examiner, who read them at a rate of two words per sec. The items were a series of sentences of differing length, with 2 items at each length (number of words); all words were two syllables long. The score was the total number of words correctly recalled, plus one point for a correct sentence.

Vocabulary Naming and Recognition. - This was a picture vocabulary test, similar to the early items of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. None of the items in this test required inferences about actions. The child was shown a notebook containing about four pictures per page, all of which depicted objects common in the village. The child was first asked to name each picture; various synonyms were acceptable. The total number correct was the Naming score. After seeing all the pictures, the name of each picture that had not been named or had been named incorrectly was supplied, and the child was asked to point to the appropriate picture. The Recognition score was the total number of items named, plus the number recognized.

Draw-a-Line Slowly. - This test was developed by Maccoby, Dowley, Hagen, and Degerman (1965) to measure impulse control. As reported by the authors, this measure was significantly associated with Stanford-Binet scores in a preschool population but was unrelated to overall activity level measured by "actometers"; it may measure ability to follow instructions as well as impulse control. The child was asked to draw a line between two marks on a page as fast as possible and then to do it as slowly as possible. The score was derived from the latter; it represents the velocity of the line, that is, its length divided by the time taken to draw it. A lower score indicated greater impulse control.

Persistence on a Puzzle. - This test attempted to measure persistence in an impossible situation. The child was given a puzzle with 18 pieces, which he or she was supposed to fit into the board; in reality, this could not be accomplished by any means. The child was given a maximum of 3 min to work on the puzzle. The score was the number of 10-see intervals that the child continued to work on the puzzle.

Memory for Objects. - This test was both a standard memory test and a measure of a child's ability to use categories of objects in order to enhance recall. The children were shown a large round circular tablet with 12 familiar objects placed around the edge of the circle. These items belonged to three conceptual categories (animals, clothing, and kitchen utensils). The children were asked to look at the objects; the objects were then covered with a cloth, and the child was asked to recall as many as possible. The score was the number of objects recalled.

Verbal Inferences. - This test was a Guatemalan adaptation of a verbal analogies test used in both the Stanford-Binet and the WISC. The child was first given two simple test items; corrections were given if the child could not complete the item or completed it incorrectly. A partial sentence was read to the child, who was expected to complete the idea by supplying the missing word. The first two examples were the following: "Shoes go on feet; a hat goes on - "; and, "Water is to drink, tortillas are to." If the child did not understand these first two, the test was not administered.

Knox Cubes, Slow Version. - This test was an adaptation of the Leiter (1940) International Performance Scale. The child was asked to repeat a series of taps on four stimuli. A board with four small familiar miniature objects (fan, bow, etc.) lined up in a row was shown to the child. With a stick the length of a pencil, the tester tapped these objects in a particular order; the child was then asked to tap them in the same order. The slow presentation had 1 tap per sec (the subsequent fast presentation with 4 taps per sec was not used). The score was the number of series of taps correctly completed.

Incomplete Figures. - Both the Stanford-Binet and the WPSSI contain a measure of the child's ability to identify a missing part of a common object in a picture. The child was shown 16 items common to Guatemalan village life and asked to point to where the missing part should be. The score was the total number of missing parts correctly identified.

Elimination of the Odd Figure. - The child was shown a series of five drawings in a row and was asked to point to the one that was different. Some differed on perceptual grounds (e.g., a girl with black rather than white shoes) and some on conceptual grounds (e.g., one child in the picture was doing a different kind of activity from the other children). The score was the total number of items correctly identified.

Block Design. - This test was similar to one of the subtests of the WPSSI. The child was asked to replicate a design displayed on a card by using a series of small blocks. Some of the more difficult designs use blocks with diagonal lines. The score was based on points for each correct cube's color, position, and orientation, plus one point for a completely correct design.

Memory for Designs. - This test was designed to assess children's ability to remember a design and replicate it using 1-inch cubic blocks, painted a different color on each side. The examiner constructed a design using four colored blocks (red, green, yellow, and blue, plus some blocks with diagonals) and allowed the child to inspect it for 5 sec. The blocks were then scrambled, and the child was asked to reconstruct the design from memory. Three trials were allowed per design. The first two items had only two blocks. The score was the number of points based on the color and the position of the blocks.