[Solved] Address the concerns of parents of bilingual children

Nutrition, Learning and Memory
The Division of Developmental Psychology focuses on human development from infancy to adulthood. Developmental psychologists examine how people adjust physically, cognitively, socially, intellectually, and emotionally to the different stages of life (American Psychological Association, 2016b). In an effort to address the concerns of parents of bilingual children, researchers have investigated whether teaching children a second language at home will hinder their language and cognitive development in the long run. Research suggests that the disadvantages of bilingualism are minor in comparison to its advantages (Bialystok, 2011). Bialystok (2006) concluded that bilingualism enriches language and cognitive development and is a factor in the enhancement of processes which involve attention and control. Bialystok (2011) noted that the effects of bilingualism, such as superior functioning in tasks that require executive control, carry over from infancy to adulthood. In a recent study, Barac, and Bialystok (2012) examined whether similarity in language, cultural upbringing, and scholastic experience has an impact on oral and written aspects of bilingualism in children with diverse ethnic backgrounds. Findings from the study support the assertion that similarities in language, cultural upbringing, and language taught in school are not directly related to language bilingualism. That is, bilingualism is independent of these variables. Researchers have hypothesized that bilingualism has a positive effect on the structure of the brain, specifically, the white matter, and is a protective factor against the decline of cognitive functions (Bialystok, Craik, & Luk, 2012). Luk, Bialystok, Craik, and Grady (2011) suggested that bilingualism throughout the individual’s lifetime protects the white matter through adulthood. They found a greater amount of white matter integrity in older bilingual adults than in monolinguals. This finding supports the notion that enhanced experiences add to the brain’s resilience, which protects white matter from deterioration due to the aging process (Luk et al., 2011). Similarly, Pliatsikas, Moschopoulou, and Saddy (2015) investigated whether the changes that occur in the structure of the brain, specifically in the white matter of older bilingual individuals can also be found in young bilingual individuals who learned a second language at an older age. Pliatsikas et al. (2015) showed that bilingual individuals who learn a second language later in life have similar white matter effects. They concluded that bilingualism provides added cognitive stimulation which is beneficial to areas of the brain that handle language processing and protects the brain from deterioration that occurs in old age. Further evidence of the effect of bilingualism on the structure of the brain was demonstrated by Mohades et al. (2012), who examined whether the age at which a second language is learned and the way in which that language is learned has an impact on the circuitry of the brain when processing language. Their study provided supporting evidence for the adaptation of white matter in the brain as a result of bilingualism. In addition to examining the fractional anisotropy values in the brain, researchers have also studied the thickness of the layers of the cerebral cortex, also referred to as cortical thickness, and its relation to acquisition of a second language. Klein, Mok, Chen, & Watkins (2014) observed that chronological age has an effect on cortical thickness. They found a positive correlation between the age the second language was acquired and cortical thickness in bilingual participants. They noted that cortical thickness increased in relation to late second language acquisition. There is mounting evidence that intricate activities that involve mental agility and complexity across the lifespan protect against cognitive decline associated with aging (Bialystok, Craik & Freedman, 2007). In a study designed to determine whether bilingualism was a protective factor for dementia in older adults, Bialystok et al. (2007) illustrated how bilingualism can positively affect a biological disease by delaying its symptoms. However, researchers caution that the findings from this study cannot be extrapolated to individuals who are not fluent in a second language. In summary, the Division of Developmental Psychology is very important as it impacts human development across the lifespan. Due to its focus on research, advances have been made in the area of human development that have propelled knowledge and the implementation of scientific findings, especially in the area of bilingualism and its impact on cognitive development. Benefits of bilingualism have been studied and documented across the individual’s life span, with main differences found in brain organization and cognitive performance (Bialystok, 2011). Researchers have examined the changes in the structure of the brain as a result of bilingualism. Findings from the articles reviewed revealed that there are added advantages to bilingualism than previously thought. Researchers have identified specific tasks for which speakers of a second language have an advantage. They have also shown how the positive effects of bilingualism continue into adulthood and protect against cognitive decline. Researchers continue to explore the mechanism responsible for this advantage and the impact on cognitive abilities. References American Psychological Association. (2016a). Developmental Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/division/div7.aspx American Psychological Association. (2016b). Pursuing a career in developmental psychology. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/action/science/developmental/education-training.aspx Barac, R. & Bialystok, E. (2012). Bilingual effects on cognitive and linguistic development: Role of language, cultural background, and education. Child Development, 83, 413–422. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01707.x Bialystok, E. (2006). Second-language acquisition and bilingualism at an early age and the impact on early cognitive development. In R.E. Tremblay, R.G. Barr, & R. DeV. Peters (Eds.), Encyclopedia on early childhood development [online] (pp. 1-4). Montreal, QC: Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development. Bialystok, E. (2011). Reshaping the Mind: The benefits of bilingualism. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(4), 229-235. Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I., & Freedman, M. (2007). Bilingualism as a protection against the onset of symptoms of dementia. Neuropsychologia, 45(2), 459-464. Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I., & Luk, G. (2012). Bilingualism: consequences for mind and brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(4), 240-250. Klein, D., Mok, K., Chen, J. K., & Watkins, K. E. (2014). Age of language learning shapes brain structure: a cortical thickness study of bilingual and monolingual individuals. Brain and Language, 131, 20-24. Luk, G., Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I., & Grady, C. L. (2011). Lifelong bilingualism maintains white matter integrity in older adults. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(46), 16808-16813. Mohades, S. G., Struys, E., Van Schuerbeek, P., Mondt, K., Van De Craen, P., & Luypaert, R. (2012). DTI reveals structural differences in white matter tracts between bilingual and monolingual children. Brain Research, 1435, 72-80. Pliatsikas, C., Moschopoulou, E., & Saddy, J. D. (2015). The effects of bilingualism on the white matter structure of the brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(5), 1334-1337. #2Example: (Student’s Sample Summary) Social capital has a number of, often contradictory, definitions. For the purpose of the present analysis, the focus was on the ties and networks that bind individuals together into a coherent whole (Dekker and Uslaner, 2001). The goal of social capital research is generally to measure the degree to which communities are bound and interlinked. While the concept of social capital—and the related concepts of networking and network-building—may not be as obviously of interest for psychology as for some other disciplines, social capital, and its antecedents of networking or network-building, may be explored in such a context as to see its functions within and between groups in affecting the decision-making and ultimate outcomes of individuals, organizations, and communities. Wolff and Moser (2009) explored the very important issue of how an individual’s decisions as to whether, and to what degree, to build his or her base of contacts, and to engage in interactions that may be considered networking are predictive of either concurrent or growth rates of both salary and career satisfaction over time. What they found, in this German, three-year, panel data, was that all measured aspects of networking impact salary, satisfaction, and salary growth. Interestingly, the simple act of socializing in a non-professional manner was found to affect salary growth, but not its level, and external networks were found to be harmful to salary growth, presumably due to the implication of a lack of competence (Wolff & Moser, 2009). Ballinger, Cross, and Holtom (2016) examined how the density and expansiveness of network structures for individuals at various levels of the organizational hierarchy affects their likelihood of leaving the firm. Using two large multinational firms as data, they find that executive, but not lower-level employees, are strongly affected by the density and expansiveness of their contacts with regard to employee turnover (Ballinger et al., 2016). It is clear from the analysis and exposition that individuals who have more power and internal contacts are less likely to be motivated to leave—clearly a larger incentive given the higher rank and managerial position of the employee (Ballinger et al., 2016). Keri (2011) examines social capital as it applies to the connections an individual has, and can employ to their advantage with regard to their creative functioning. Keri (2011) employed a volunteer sample of Hungarian individuals. Then, the revised Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-R) was employed as the relevant IQ test, the Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences was used as the measure of schizotypal personality, and interview questions were implemented to check for social connectedness and social capital, as well as latent inhibition. What was discovered in this study is that creative individuals are more likely to have larger, close networks of friends and family, but not larger informal networks, such as what we would measure with social media (Keri, 2011). Notice, however, that the magnitude of the effect was not explicitly delineated in this study. This finding underscores the importance of firm innovation when encouraging higher social capital, which cannot be achieved by simply acquiring larger networks of acquaintances. In contrast with some of the previous works, it would thus appear that this facet of performance, the ability to be creative, is fostered by a different type of social capital that may not be improved by wider networking. It is possible that it could even be hindered by it if there are time constraints between various types of interaction at play. Ng and Feldman (2010) next treat the larger question of social capital-building of employees in organizations. These authors examined the effect of individual institutional embeddedness within an organization on social or human capital, which in turn is presumed – although not proven – to improve firm outcomes. They find that highly embedded, in the sense of being more tied to the firm and feeling themselves less likely to leave, employees consider the benefits to their self-improvement to be low and, consequently, do not engage in as much social or human capital-building behavior such as obtaining additional training as one example of human capital building. From an organizational perspective, this would imply that while firms may want to retain workers, doing so too strongly may discourage their further productivity and usefulness to the firm (Ng & Feldman, 2010). Finally, Praszkier, Nowak, and Coleman (2010) examine the community-based concept of using and building social capital in order to benefit an entire community as a whole from a social entrepreneur’s perspective, and to reduce situations of conflict. The authors examined the organization of the “Ashoka Fellows,” which is devoted to providing solutions to situations of community-wide conflict by employing techniques of social entrepreneurship. They discussed five case studies that uniquely and differentially show the importance and interesting facets of social capital as it can be built and applied in a community structure. The emerging concept of social capital, and, in a number of instances, its precursor of networking, bolsters various measures of individual, organizational, and, by extension or in some situations directly, success of larger communities. Taken together, all of the enumerated works serve to highlight the emerging importance of social capital, both in terms of its role as the next step after network building, as well as the individual-level and the larger community or organization-focused structures on positive outcomes. Whether it is decreasing conflict, improving individual salaries, or helping with innovation, it is clear that this issue, heretofore not particularly important to the psychology literature, has begun to make inroads due to its increasing recognition as a vehicle for positive change. Where psychology goes next with the concept of social capital and its antecedents will be interesting to see. Ballinger, G.A., Cross, R., & Holtom, B.C. (2016). The right friends in the right places: Understanding network structure as a predictor of voluntary turnover. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(4), 535-548. doi: 10.1037/apl0000061 Dekker, P., & Uslaner, E.M. (2001). Social Capital and Participation in Everyday Life. Uslaner, London: Routledge. Keri, S. (2011). Solitary minds and social capital: Latent inhibition, general intellectual functions and social network size predict creative achievements. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 5(3), 215-221. doi: 10.1037/a0022000 Ng, T.W.H., & Feldman, D.C. (2010). The effects of organizational embeddedness on development of social capital and human capital. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(4), 696-712. doi: 10.1037/a0019150 Praszkier, R., Nowak, A., & Coleman, P.T. (2010). Social entrepreneurs and constructive change: The wisdom of circumventing conflict. Peace and Conflict, 16, 153-174. doi: 10.1080/10781911003691633 Wolff, H.G., & Moser, K. (2009). Effects of networking on career success: A longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(1), 196-206. doi: 10.1037/a0013350

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