Advertisement

International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 327–337 | Cite as

Weather daily variation in winter and its effect on behavior and affective states in day-care children

  • Enrica CiucciEmail author
  • Pamela Calussi
  • Ersilia Menesini
  • Alessandra Mattei
  • Martina Petralli
  • Simone Orlandini
Original Paper

Abstract

This study aimed to analyze the impact of winter weather conditions on young children’s behavior and affective states by examining a group of 61 children attending day-care centers in Florence (Italy). Participants were 33 males, 28 females and their 11 teachers. The mean age of the children at the beginning of the observation period was 24.1 months. The day-care teachers observed the children’s behavioral and emotional states during the morning before their sleeping time and filled in a questionnaire for each baby five times over a winter period of 3 weeks. Air temperature, relative humidity, air pressure and solar radiation data were collected every 15 min from a weather station located in the city center of Florence. At the same time, air temperature and relative humidity data were collected in the classroom and in the garden of each day-care center. We used multilevel linear models to evaluate the extent to which children’s emotional and behavioral states could be predicted by weather conditions, controlling for child characteristics (gender and age). The data showed that relative humidity and solar radiation were the main predictors of the children’s emotional and behavioral states. The outdoor humidity had a significant positive effect on frustration, sadness and aggression; solar radiation had a significant negative effect only on sadness, suggesting that a sunny winter day makes children more cheerful. The results are discussed in term of implications for parents and teachers to improve children’s ecological environment.

Keywords

Temperature Solar radiation Relative humidity Aggression Emotional states Day-care children 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank the Servizio Asili Nidi e Servizi Complementari alla Prima Infanzia of the Municipality of Florence, Italy and the teachers of the day-care centers (Brucaliffo, Farfalla, Nuvola Maga, Palloncino) involved in this study. This study was supported and financed by a grant from Servizio Sanitario Regionale of Tuscany “MeteoSalute Project” and by a grant from the University of Florence “Progetto di ricerca scientifico d’Ateneo (ex quota 60%) anno 2009”.

References

  1. Achenbach TM, Rescorla LA (2000) Manual for ASEBA preschool forms and profiles. University of Vermont, Research Center for Children, Youth and Families, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  2. Alink LRA, Mesman J, van Zeijl J, Stolk MN, Juffer F, Koot HM, Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ, van IJzendoorn MH (2006) The early childhood aggression curve: development of physical aggression in 10- to 50-month-old children. Child Dev 77(4):954–966CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson CA (2001) Heat and violence. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 10:33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Archer J, Cotè S (2005) Sex differences in aggressive behavior: a developmental and evolutionary perspective. In: Tremblay RE, Hartup WW, Archer J (eds) Developmental origins of aggression behavior. Guilford, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashrae (1989) Ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Publications Sales Department, Atlanta (ASHRAE Standard 62-1989)Google Scholar
  6. Badger B, O’Hare E (1989) Disruptive behavior and weather patterns in a west Cumbria Secondary School. Br Educ Res J 15(1):89–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baron RA, Ransberger VM (1978) Ambient temperature and the occurrence of collective violence: the long, hot summer revisited. J Pers Soc Psychol 36:351–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bell PA (1992) In defense of the negative affect escape model of heat and aggression. Psychol Bull 111:324–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brooker RJ, Buss K (2006) Gender differences in affective behavior in toddlers. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the XVth Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies, Westin Miyako, Kyoto, Japan, from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p94325_index.html
  10. Campbell DW, Eaton WO (1999) Sex differences in the activity level of infants. Infant Child Dev 8:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Card NA, Stucky BD, Sawalani GM, Little TD (2008) Direct and indirect aggression during childhood and adolescence: a meta-analytic review of gender differences, intercorrelations, and to maladjustment. Child Dev 79(5):1185–1229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ciesielczyk K, Pracka D, Pracki T, Tafil-Klawe M, Ziółkowska-Kochan M (2004) Changes of sleep quality and mood disorders under the influence of phototherapy in patients with seasonal affective disorders SAD. Psychiatr Pol 38(6):1105–1114Google Scholar
  13. Cohn EG (1990) Weather and violent crime, a reply to Perry and Simpson. Environ Behav 22:288–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cunningham MR (1979) Weather, mood, and helping behavior: quasi experiments with the sunshine samaritan. J Pers Soc Psychol 37(11):1947–1956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cyr K (1985) Geophysical variables and behavior: XXVII. Group health-care seeking behavior and meteorological variables. Percept Mot Skills 60:863–866Google Scholar
  16. Dexter EG (1904) Weather influences: an empirical study of the mental and physiological effects of definite meteorological conditions. Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Essa EL, Hilton JM, Murray CI (1990) The relationship between weather and preschooler’s behavior. Child Environ Q 7:32–36Google Scholar
  18. Goldstein H (2003) Multilevel statistical models, 3rd edn. Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Howarth E, Hoffman MS (1984) A multidimensional approach to the relationship between mood and weather. Br J Psychol 75:15–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kalkstein LS (1991) A new approach to evaluate the impact of climate on human mortality. Environ Health Perspect 96:145–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Keller MC, Fredrickson BL, Ybarra O, Côte’ S, Johnson K, Mikels J, Conway A, Wager T (2005) A warm heart and a clear head. The contingent effects of weather on mood and cognition. Psychol Sci 16(9):724–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kumar VP, Bindi M, Crisci A, Maracchi G (2005) Detection of variations in air temperature at different time scales during the period 1889–1998 at Firenze, Italy. Clim Change 72:123–150. doi: 10.1007/s10584-005-5970-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lagacé-Séguin DG, Coplan RJ (2001) Winter weather go away, come again another day! Meteorology and mothers’ perceptions of children’s emotions during the winter season. Can J Res Child Educ 8(4):39–50Google Scholar
  24. Lagacé-Séguin DG, d’Entremont MRL (2005) Weathering the preschool environment: affect moderates the relations between meteorology and preschool behaviors. Early Child Dev Care 17(5):379–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lambert GW, Reid C, Kaye DM, Jennings GL, Esler MD (2002) Effects of sunlight and season on serotonin turnover in the brain. Lancet 360:1840–1842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Leppamaki S, Partonen T, Lonnquist J (2002) Bright-light exposure combined with physical exercise elevates mood. J Affect Disord 72:139–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leppamaki S, Partonen T, Piiroinen P, Haukka J, Lonnquist J (2003) Timed bright-light exposure and complaints related toshift work among women. Scand J Work Environ Health 29:22–26Google Scholar
  28. Matlin MW (1995) Psychology. Harcourt Brace College, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Morabito M, Crisci A, Orlandini S, Maracchi G, Gensini GF, Modesti PA (2008) A synoptic approach to weather conditions discloses a relationship with ambulatory blood pressure in hypertensives. Am J Hypertens 21(7):748–752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Oke TR (1981) Canyon geometry and the nocturnal urba heat island: comparison of scale model and field observations. J Climatol 1:237–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Persinger MA (1980) The weather matrix and human behavior. Praeger, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Petralli M, Prokopp A, Morabito M, Bartolini G, Torrigiani T, Orlandini S (2006) Ruolo delle aree verdi nella mitigazione dell’isola di calore urbana: uno studio nella città di Firenze. Ital J Agrometeorol 1:51–58Google Scholar
  33. Petralli M, Menesini E, Ciucci E, Calussi P, Orlandini S (2008) Weather and nursery children behaviour: a preliminary study in Florence (Italy). Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Biometeorology. Tokyo (Japan)Google Scholar
  34. Poest CA, Williams JR, Witt DD, Atwood ME (1989) Physical activity patterns of preschool children. Early Child Res Q 4:367–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Posner MI, Rothbart MK (2000) Developing mechanisms of self-regulation. Dev Psychopathol 12:427–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Putnam SP, Gartstein MA, Rothbart MK (2006) Measurement of fine-grained aspects of toddler temperament: the early childhood behavior questionnaire. Infant Behav Dev 29:386–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rohan K, Sigmon S (2003) Cognitive behavioral factors in seasonal affective disorder. J Consult Clin Psychol 71(1):22–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sanders JL, Brizzolara MS (1982) Relationships between weather and mood. J Gen Psychol 107:155–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sanson A, Hemphill SA, Smart D (2004) Connections between temperament and social development: a review. Soc Dev 13(1):142–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Scharlau K (1950) Einführung eines Schwülemasstabes und Abgrenzung von Schwülezonen durch Isohygrothermen. Erdkunde 4:188–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schneider FW, Lesko WA, Garrett WA (1980) Helping behavior in hot, comfortable and cold temperature: a field study. Environ Behav 2:231–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Steadman RG (1979) The assessment of sultriness. Part I: a temperature-humidity index based on human physiology and clothing science. J Appl Meteorol 18:861–873CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Thom EC, Bosen JF (1959) The discomfort index. Weatherwise 12:57–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Unger J (2004) Intra-urban relationship between surface geometry and urban heat island: review and new approach. Clim Res 27:253–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Watson D (2000) Mood and temperament. Guilford, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  46. Watson D, Clark LA, Tellegen A (1988) Development and validation of a brief measure of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. J Pers Soc Psychol 54:1063–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Whitton JL, Kramer P, Eastwood R (1982) Weather and infradian rhythms in self-reports of health, sleep and mood measures. J Psychosom Res 26:231–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Worfolk JB (1997) Keep frail elders warm! Geriatr Nurs 18(1):7–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ISB 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrica Ciucci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pamela Calussi
    • 1
  • Ersilia Menesini
    • 1
  • Alessandra Mattei
    • 2
  • Martina Petralli
    • 3
  • Simone Orlandini
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Department of Statistics “Giuseppe Parenti”University of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Interdepartmental Center of BioclimatologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

Personalised recommendations