Seasonal variation, weather and behavior in day-care children: a multilevel approach
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- Ciucci, E., Calussi, P., Menesini, E. et al. Int J Biometeorol (2013) 57: 845. doi:10.1007/s00484-012-0612-0
This study analyzes the effect of weather variables, such as solar radiation, indoor and outdoor air temperature, relative humidity and time spent outdoor, on the behavior of 2-year-old children and their affects across different seasons: winter, spring and summer. Participants were a group of 61 children (33 males and 28 females) attending four day-care centers in Florence (Central Italy). Mean age of children at the beginning of the study was 24.1 months (SD = 3.6). We used multilevel linear analyses to account for the hierarchical structure of our data. The study analyzed the following behavioral variables: Activity Level, Attentional Focusing, Frustration, and Aggression. Results showed a different impact of some weather variables on children’s behavior across seasons, indicating that the weather variable that affects children’s behavior is usually the one that shows extreme values during the studied seasons, such as air temperature and relative humidity in winter and summer. Studying children and their reactions to weather conditions could have potentially wide-reaching implications for parenting and teaching practices, as well as for researchers studying social relationships development.