State Institute of Early Childhood Research

Germany

State Institute of Early Childhood Research

Germany
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Beckh K.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | Becker-Stoll F.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research
International Journal of Developmental Sciences | Year: 2016

The aim of this article is to demonstrate how relational experiences with parents and preschool teachers provide children with a feeling of security that facilitates the development of competence in different domains. We first focus on the mechanisms regarding how secure attachments to parents serve as an important foundation for later development. We then provide a short review of the literature on teacherchild relationships, including results of our own research, which emphasizes the unique role relationship experiences with teachers play in shaping children's development. Teachers sensitivity seems to be of particular importance in helping children with less favorable caregiving experiences at home to become engaged in corrective relational experiences, and there is evidence that interventions aimed at increasing teachers sensitivity can be successful.


Mouratidou T.,University of Zaragoza | Miguel M.L.,University of Zaragoza | Androutsos O.,Harokopio University | Manios Y.,Harokopio University | And 63 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

The ToyBox-intervention is a kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention targeting multiple lifestyle behaviours in preschool children, their teachers and their families. This intervention was conducted in six European countries, namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain. The aim of this paper is to provide a descriptive overview of the harmonization and standardization procedures of the baseline and follow-up evaluation of the study (and substudies). Steps related to the study's operational, standardization and harmonization procedures as well as the impact and outcome evaluation assessment tools used are presented. Experiences from the project highlight the importance of safeguarding the measurement process to minimize data heterogeneity derived from potential measurement error and country-by-country differences. In addition, it was made clear that continuing quality control and support is an important component of such studies. For this reason, well-supported communication channels, such as regular email updates and teleconferences, and regular internal and external meetings to ensure smooth and accurate implementation were in place during the study. The ToyBox-intervention and its harmonized and standardized procedures can serve as a successful case study for future studies evaluating the efficacy of similar interventions. © 2014 World Obesity.


Manios Y.,Harokopio University | Androutsos O.,Harokopio University | Katsarou C.,Harokopio University | Iotova V.,Medical University-Varna | And 63 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

The development of the ToyBox-intervention was based on the outcomes of the preliminary phase of the ToyBox-study, aiming to identify young children's key behaviours and their determinants related to early childhood obesity. The ToyBox-intervention is a multi-component, kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention with a cluster-randomized design, focusing on the promotion of water consumption, healthy snacking, physical activity and the reduction/ breaking up of sedentary time in preschool children and their families. The intervention was implemented during the academic year 2012-2013 in six European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain. Standardized protocols, methods, tools and material were used in all countries for the implementation of the intervention, as well as for the process, impact, outcome evaluation and the assessment of its cost-effectiveness. A total sample of 7,056 preschool children and their parents/caregivers, stratified by socioeconomic level, provided data during baseline measurements and participated in the intervention. The results of the ToyBox-study are expected to provide a better insight on behaviours associated with early childhood obesity and their determinants and identify effective strategies for its prevention. The aim of the current paper is to describe the design of the ToyBox-intervention and present the characteristics of the study sample as assessed at baseline, prior to the implementation of the intervention. © 2014 World Obesity.


De Miguel-Etayo P.,University of Zaragoza | Mesana M.I.,University of Zaragoza | Cardon G.,Ghent University | De Bourdeaudhuij I.,Ghent University | And 62 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

The ToyBox-study aims to develop and test an innovative and evidence-based obesity prevention programme for preschoolers in six European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain. In multicentre studies, anthropometric measurements using standardized procedures that minimize errors in the data collection are essential to maximize reliability of measurements. The aim of this paper is to describe the standardization process and reliability (intra- and inter-observer) of height, weight and waist circumference (WC) measurements in preschoolers. All technical procedures and devices were standardized and centralized training was given to the fieldworkers. At least seven children per country participated in the intra- and inter-observer reliability testing. Intra-observer technical error ranged from 0.00 to 0.03kg for weight and from 0.07 to 0.20cm for height, with the overall reliability being above 99%. A second training was organized for WC due to low reliability observed in the first training. Intra-observer technical error for WC ranged from 0.12 to 0.71cm during the first training and from 0.05 to 1.11cm during the second training, and reliability above 92% was achieved. Epidemiological surveys need standardized procedures and training of researchers to reduce measurement error. In the ToyBox-study, very good intra- and-inter-observer agreement was achieved for all anthropometric measurements performed. © 2014 World Obesity.


De Craemer M.,Ghent University | De Decker E.,Ghent University | De Bourdeaudhuij I.,Ghent University | Verloigne M.,Ghent University | And 61 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

Although sufficient physical activity is beneficial for preschoolers' health, activity levels in most preschoolers are low. As preschoolers spend a considerable amount of time at home and at kindergarten, interventions should target both environments to increase their activity levels. The aim of the current paper was to describe the six different steps of the Intervention Mapping protocol towards the systematic development and implementation of the physical activity component of the ToyBox-intervention. This intervention is a kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention implemented across six European countries. Based on the results of literature reviews and focus groups with parents/caregivers and kindergarten teachers, matrices of change objectives were created. Then, theory-based methods and practical strategies were selected to develop intervention materials at three different levels: (i) individual level (preschoolers); (ii) interpersonal level (parents/caregivers) and (iii) organizational level (teachers). This resulted in a standardized intervention with room for local and cultural adaptations in each participating country. Although the Intervention Mapping protocol is a time-consuming process, using this systematic approach may lead to an increase in intervention effectiveness. The presented matrices of change objectives are useful for future programme planners to develop and implement an intervention based on the Intervention Mapping protocol to increase physical activity levels in preschoolers. © 2014 World Obesity.


Androutsos O.,Harokopio University | Apostolidou E.,Harokopio University | Iotova V.,Medical University-Varna | Socha P.,The Childrens Memorial Health Institute | And 62 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

Summary: Process evaluation (PE) is used for the in-depth evaluation of the implementation process of health promotion programmes. The aim of the current paper was to present the PE design and tools used in the ToyBox-intervention. The PE design was based on a three-step approach, including the identification of ToyBox-specific PE elements (step 1), the development of PE tools and harmonization of procedures (step 2), and the implementation of PE using standardized protocol and tools across the intervention countries (step 3). Specifically, to evaluate the implementation of the intervention, teachers' monthly logbooks were recorded (dose delivered, fidelity, dose received); post-intervention questionnaires were completed by parents/caregivers and teachers (dose received); participation and attrition rates were recorded (recruitment, reach); and audit questionnaires and retrospective information on weather conditions were collected (physical and social environment within which the intervention was implemented). Regarding the teachers' training sessions, the researchers who performed the trainings completed evaluation forms and documented teachers' attendance after each training (dose delivered, fidelity, dose received) and teachers completed evaluation forms after each training (dose received). The PE performed in the ToyBox-intervention may contribute in the evaluation of its effectiveness, guide the revision of the intervention material and provide insights for future health promotion programmes and public health policy. © 2014 World Obesity.


Gibson E.L.,Roehampton University | Kreichauf S.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | Wildgruber A.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | Vogele C.,University of Luxembourg | And 5 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2012

Strategies to reduce risk of obesity by influencing preschool children's eating behaviour are reviewed. The studies are placed in the context of relevant psychological processes, including inherited and acquired preferences, and behavioural traits, such as food neophobia, 'enjoyment of food' and 'satiety responsiveness'. These are important influences on how children respond to feeding practices, as well as predictors of obesity risk. Nevertheless, in young children, food environment and experience are especially important for establishing eating habits and food preferences. Providing information to parents, or to children, on healthy feeding is insufficient. Acceptance of healthy foods can be encouraged by five to ten repeated tastes. Recent evidence suggests rewarding healthy eating can be successful, even for verbal praise alone, but that palatable foods should not be used as rewards for eating. Intake of healthier foods can be promoted by increasing portion size, especially in the beginning of the meal. Parental strategies of pressuring to eat and restriction do not appear to be causally linked to obesity, but are instead primarily responses to children's eating tendencies and weight. Moderate rather than frequent restriction may improve healthy eating in children. Actively positive social modelling by adults and peers can be effective in encouraging healthier eating. © 2012 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity.


Kreichauf S.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | Wildgruber A.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | Krombholz H.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | Gibson E.L.,Roehampton University | And 6 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2012

The aim of this narrative review is critically to evaluate educational strategies promoting physical activity that are used in the preschool setting in the context of obesity prevention programmes. Literature search was conducted between April and August 2010 in English and German databases (PubMED, PsychINFO, PSYNDEX, ERIC, FIS Bildung). Outcomes considered were time and intensity of physical activity, motor skills or measures of body composition. A total of 19 studies were included. Ten studies added physical activity lessons into their curriculum, one study provided more time for free play, eight studies focused on the social and play environment. Studies reporting positive outcomes implemented physical activity sessions that lasted at least 30mind -1. Several studies showed that children are most active in the first 10-15min. The existence or installation of playground markings or fixed play equipment had no effect, whereas the presence or addition of portable play equipment was positively correlated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Teacher training may be a key element for successful interventions. To overcome time constraints, a suggested solution is to integrate physical activity into daily routines and other areas of the preschool curriculum. © 2012 The Authors. obesity reviews © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity.

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