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Title: A preliminary exploration of children's physiological arousal levels in regular preschool settings
Contributor(s): Sajaniemi, Nina (author); Suhonen, Eira (author); Sims, Margaret  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2011
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Abstract: Learning new things is challenging. In these moments, children are functioning in the upper limits of their acquired capability: in Vygotskian terms, children are functioning in their zone of proximal development (ZPD). Acting in the ZPD is cognitively loading and stress-provoking, thus the ability to function optimally in this state of increased stress has fundamental effects on the development of learning abilities. Physiological measures of arousal have become more common and pave the way to understanding not only how children develop regulation but also the role of the environment (social and physical) in supporting that development. While cortisol has become a popular measure of arousal, it is only one component of the physiobiology of arousal. It is important to develop a more holistic understanding of arousal. Our study aimed to evaluate both cortisol and alpha-amylase responses in preschool-aged children in response to both an unusually challenging task as well as to normal early childhood activities. We have used these to develop a model linking activation of the HPA and SAM systems to children's cognitive performance, including the mediating impact of daily activities.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 36(3), p. 91-99
Publisher: Early Childhood Australia Inc
Place of Publication: Canberra, Australia
ISSN: 1836-9391
Field of Research (FOR): 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 940105 Childrens/Youth Services and Childcare
930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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