English summaries

English Summaries (04/2016)

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Eija Väisänen & Pirjo Aunio

The calculation fluency from second to fourth grade and relations to reading fluency and naming speed

The aim of this longitudinal study was to investigate the development of calculation fluency from second to fourth grade and the relationship between reading fluency and naming speed. At the beginning of the study children (= 43) were eight years old and their calculation and reading fluency was measured twice every school year, altogether eight times. Calculation fluency was measured by mental arithmetic and algorithmic computation tasks, with all tasks time-limited. Reading fluency was measured by text reading speed and word recognition. Children’s naming speed (RAN) was measured in the fourth grade. The differences between children in calculation fluency were stable during the research period, and calculation fluency was best predicted by previous calculation fluency. Reading fluency and naming speed had no direct effects on calculation fluency. There were significant effects between calculation and reading fluency, but no significant effects between calculation fluency and naming speed. The results show that monitoring of developmental process in calculation and reading fluency during early grades is important. Then it is possible to achieve the necessary support aiming to avoid permanent learning difficulties originating from the fluency problems. There are some potentially shared components in calculation and reading fluency. The screening for at-risk development in reading and calculation should be done at the same time and early enough and support offered combining both fluency types.

Keywords: calculation fluency, longitudinal study, naming speed, reading fluency

Kari Kähönen, Joona Muotka, Petri Näätänen & Katariina Salmela-Aro

Psychological well-being in a group psychotherapy intervention for employees with burnout

Our aim was to examine psychological well-being in the group psychotherapy interventions designed for persons suffering from severe burnout. The participants were 90 employees aged 31 to 59 working in diverse public service occupations, for example, as police officers and tax officials. The participants were assigned to three different groups: analytic (N = 32), psychodramatic (N = 30) and controls (N = 28). The group intervention comprised 16 separate days over a nine-month period. Group methods were group analytic and psychodramatic. Psychological well-being was measured by the 84-item Ryff Inventory before the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the therapy, and at six months post intervention. Well-being improved in all groups both among intervention and controls in self-acceptance, positive relations, environmental mastery, autonomy, sense of purpose in life and personal growth. Changes developed faster in the psychodrama groups than in the analytic groups, but the results in the analytic groups were more stable during the follow-up than in the psychodrama groups.

Keywords: group intervention, psychological well-being, rehabilitation, burnout, psychotherapy

Valentina Kieseppä

The special features and background mechanisms of autistic cognition

The cognitive profile in autism spectrum disorders is characterized by discrepancy. These disorders can severely complicate social development and development of communication, but at the same time performance in other cognitive areas may be intact or even superior. Mental retardation is associated with autism, even though exceptionally high IQ is not unheard-of. Autism is also linked with mystical savant abilities, such as the ability to do lightning-quick calculations or remarkable musical talent. This cognitive discrepancy is especially apparent in results of IQ assessments. Typically people with autism spectrum disorders obtain very uneven profiles in standard IQ tests. In this review, I will take a look at autistic cognition and the uneven cognitive profile that it is linked to. I will present two theories of mechanisms that might enable this cognitive peculiarity. Even though autistic cognition is different compared to that of non-autistic cognition, it is not inferior by definition, and standard IQ tests may give a misleading impression of it.

Keywords: autism, cognition, intelligence