Long‐Term Stability of Individual Differences in Sustained Attention in the Early Years

Holly A. Ruff, Katharine R. Lawson, Roseanne Parrinello, Renata Weissberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goal of this longitudinal study was to explore whether early measures of attention and inattention would be predictive of later attentiveness and whether there was any evidence of stable individual differences in attentiveness. Both full‐term and preterm children were observed at 1, 2, and 3.5 years in free play and in more structured situations. For the group as a whole, and for full‐terms separately, quantitative measures of inattention at 2 years were predictive of comparable measures at 3.5 years. For preterms separately, quantitative measures of inattention at 1 year were predictive of both behavior and the mothers' rating on the Conners Hyperactivity subscale at 3.5 years. Global, qualitative ratings of attentiveness at 1 and 2 years were predictive of mothers' ratings on the Conners at 3.5 years for the group as a whole and for full‐terms separately. For full‐terms only, the global ratings of attentiveness at 1 and 2 years were also predictive of 3.5‐year quantitative measures of behavior. These data provide an encouraging base for further investigation of early individual differences in attentiveness and of possible early precursors of later attention deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-75
Number of pages16
JournalChild Development
Volume61
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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