day care and social development


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  • Created on: 11-01-11 18:14
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Day care and Social Development
This is a tricky area as the Specification is not, in my view, well written. It says:
"The impact of different forms of day care on children's social development,
including the effects on aggression and peer relations"
This give the possibility of a range of very specific questions which would require a lot of
detailed knowledge on different types of day care, and awareness of aggression and peer
relations. This detail represents about half the total attachment spec! There has not been a
question on this in the 4 exam papers so far and this may be why. It seems a good idea to be
able to answer a general question on day care and social development which is very likely
what a question will be. If the question is more specific then you need to make social
relationships = aggression and peer relations and suggest how for example child minding might
be more effective in improving social development than a nursery school.
Outline Evaluation
Anderrson conducted a longitudinal study in These studies show that the evidence about
Sweden. He found a positive correlation the effects of child care are contradictory.
between participants who spent time in child
care in the first years in life with better social Anderrson's study is ethnocentric and, as a
skills in childhood, so this would include betterlongitudinal study, there may be other factors
peer relations and less aggression. causing the social progress made by those
On the other hand, Belsky (1988): 464
children were assessed for their attachment Belsky's study depended on the selfreport of
type using the Strange Situation. The results parents in terms of the hours they worked
were correlated with their experiences of and the social behaviour of the children. This
care. The findings were that children who may have made the findings unreliable.
had started care in day nurseries before their
first birthday or if they spent more than 20 Problems such as these suggest that the
hours a week in a day nursery then they were research methodology may not be good
more likely to be insecurely attached. If it is enough for definite answers to be given on
accepted that insecure attachment is a the effect of child care. Another issue might
predictor of poor social behaviour/peer be that researchers are biased as they
relations then the conclusion is that nursery become associated with particular points of
care in those conditions is harmful. view on the issue.
Borge et al (2004) asked the mothers of 341 Some research has suggested that the quality
23 year old children to report on their of day care is very important in terms of
aggressive behaviour. The study found that whether it has beneficial effects. For
aggression was significantly more common in example, a caring, stimulating environment
children looked after by their own mothers. and a low staff /child ratio will maximise the
This suggests that the social environment of chance of childcare being socially beneficial
daycare acts as a restraint to the aggression to the children. This makes it difficult to
of infant. make general conclusions about which type
of child care is most beneficial.

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