Day care and aggression

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  • Day Care and Aggression
    • NICHD (1991)
      • Started a longitudinal study in 1991. Over 1000 children from varied family backgrounds and from different locations continue to be involved
        • The parents and their children have been assessed at regular intervals in order to establish the effects of day care on the childrens development
          • When a cohort of children were studied at age 5, the data showed that the more time a child spent in day care of any kind of quality, the more likely they were to be rated as aggressive, assertive and disobedient
            • Children in full time day care were almost three times as likely to show behavioural problems than those cared for at home by their mothers
              • Behavioural problems included; frequent arguing, temper tantrums, lying, hitting and unpredictable conduct
    • Belsky (2001)
      • Found that the more time a child spent in day care the more likely they were to show aggressive behaviours during the early primary school years
        • Belsky asked teachers, mothers and other carers to rate the behaviour of children in their sample
          • Of those children who spent more then 30 hours a week in day care, 17% were rated as being aggressive towards their peers
            • Of the children who spent less than 10 hours a week in day care, only 6% were considered aggressive
    • Borge (2004)
      • Did not find any major increase in aggressive behaviour that could be clearly attributed to attending day care
        • He gave questionnaires to 3,431 mothers of 2 to 3 year old children who were either in group day care or cared for at home, measuring levels of physical aggression and the social and economic family circumstances
          • He found that in general, levels of aggression were higher in children who were cared for by their own mothers than in children experiencing day care
            • In particular, aggression was more strongly linked to home care provided by families rated 'high risk'
              • A family labelled as 'high risk' was one where the mother was poorly educated, work was low pair/unskilled, there was larger than average family and there was poor family functioning
    • Field (1991)
      • Found that the amount of time children spent in day care was positively correlated to the number of friends children had once they went to school
    • Shea (1981)
      • Observed and videotaped 3 and 4 year olds in the playground during their first 10 weeks of nursery
        • Children assessed on aggression, rough and tumble play, frequency of peer interactions, distance from teacher and distance from peers
          • Some attended 5 times a week, other twice a week
            • Found that the children became more sociable over time. Decrease in distance from the nearest child, and in aggression. Increase in rough and tumble play, frequency of peer interactions and distance from teacher
              • Increases in sociability greater than those who were attending 5 days a week than those attending for 2 days a week


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