Many thesis circles accomplish a culture of reflective (. non-rhetorical) questioning and dialogue (Damen, 2007; Van Seggelen-Damen & Romme, 2014). The supervision style of the professor appears to have a strong impact on whether this culture of reflection comes about: in thesis circles with a coaching rather than instruction oriented supervisor, more reflective questioning and dialogue was observed (Van Seggelen-Damen & Romme, 2014). Furthermore, reflective questioning among participants in thesis circles enhances learning in terms of so-called multi-perspective cognitive outcomes (Suedfeld et al., 1992; Curşeu and Rus, 2005). Moreover, students with a stronger need for cognition (Cacioppo et al., 1996) and more openness to experience (McCrae & Costa Jr., 1997) engage more in reflection (Van Seggelen-Damen & Romme, 2014).
The research presented in this thesis indicates that maternal characteristics – like high maternal pBMI, an atherogenic early pregnancy lipid profile, both a maternal and paternal family history of diabetes – and postnatal growth are all independently associated with an adverse cardiometabolic profile at age 5-6 years. The association between maternal pBMI and offspring’s cardiometabolic profile is not mediated by maternal early pregnancy lipid profile or postnatal growth, but is modified by postnatal growth, with the most detrimental outcomes found in children of overweight mothers with accelerated postnatal growth. The effects of maternal overweight on faster postnatal growth and an adverse cardiometabolic profile in childhood seem stronger among girls than boys.