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Archive for Monday, March 26, 2007

Study links child care to aggressive behavior

March 26, 2007

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— Children who got quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores in the fifth grade than did youngsters who received lower quality care.

Also, the more time that children spent in child care, the more likely their sixth grade teachers were to report problem behavior.

The findings come from the largest study of child care and development conducted in the United States. The 1,364 children in the analysis had been tracked since birth as part of a study by the National Institutes of Health.

In the study's latest installment, being released today, researchers evaluated whether characteristics observed between kindergarten and third grade still were present in fifth grade or sixth grade. The researchers found that the vocabulary and behavior patterns did continue, though many other characteristics dissipated.

The researchers said that the increase in vocabulary and problem behaviors was small and that parenting quality was a much more important predictor of child development.

In the study, child care was defined as care by anyone other than the child's mother who was regularly scheduled for at least 10 hours per week.

The researchers said the enduring effect of child-care quality is consistent with other evidence showing that children's early experiences matter to their language development.

The long-term effect on behavior also may have a logical explanation, researchers said.

"One possible reason why relations between center care and problem behavior may endure is that primary school teachers lack the training as well as the time to address behavior problems, given their primary focus on academics," the researchers said.

Comments

jeanbean 7 years ago

Ouch 3of5 - your definition of mother seems to be pretty strict! I wonder if you had encoutered some tragedy that forced you to be a single mom of 4 and go to "work constantly to make ends meet" would you have thought yourself less of a "mother". Probably not.

Furthermore, the vast amount of reasearch (over the past 20 years beyond this one study) indicates that the most important factors in how maternal employment affects children are 1) the quality of outside care, 2) father involvement and shared workload with children, and 3) the happiness of the parents with their choices - i.e. a stay-at-home mom who wishes she weren't there or an employed mom who wishes she were at home are equally detrimental.

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EdieC 7 years ago

The article's opening words are, "Children who got quality child care before entering kindergarten had better vocabulary scores... ". I find it strange that its headline is not something like, "Good child care promotes language development"!

To number3of5: You seem to have overlooked a key sentence in this article: "The researchers said that the increase in vocabulary and problem behaviors was small and that parenting quality was a much more important predictor of child development."

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Confrontation 7 years ago

"one of them is a phd in art history" Now isn't that exciting. Yeah, right. Must have been a boring child, too.

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Kathy Gates 7 years ago

Come on 3of5! For every examples of perfect children of stay at home moms I can come up with just as many examples of perfect children of working moms. My husband and I are both children of working mothers. We both have advanced degrees and both are working professionals in our fields--and we both spent time in child care. It's about the quality of the care, not the fact that kids are in child care.

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Linda Endicott 7 years ago

That was the point of the article, being that children who spent time in day care were more likely to have behavior problems in school later on.

I would say that your own story holds that to be true...since only one of your children spent time with a baby sitter, and she was the one who had the most behavior problems...

How long have you known you were Borg?

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number3of5 7 years ago

What a crock!! It all depends on the mother and I do mean "mother". Not the women of today who are self centered or have to work constantly to make ends meet. My four eldest children were cared for by me, not some baby sitter or child care. They did well in school, one of them is a phd in art history. Another is an apartment complex manager. The fifth child did spend time with a baby sitter during her early years, but she was actually the wildest of my children and now she is a nurse. It all comes down the the discipline and love a child gets at home.

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