Skip to comments.Study: Day care ups odds of school behavior woes
Posted on 03/26/2007 2:41:17 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
A much-anticipated report from the largest and longest-running study of American child care has found that keeping a preschooler in a day care center for a year or more increased the likelihood that the child would become disruptive in class and that the effect persisted through the sixth grade.
The finding held up regardless of the child's sex or family income, and regardless of the quality of the day care center. With more than 2 million U.S. preschoolers attending day care, the increased disruptiveness very likely contributes to the load on teachers who must manage large classrooms, the authors argue.
On the positive side, they also found that time spent in high-quality day care centers was correlated with higher vocabulary scores through elementary school.
The research, being reported today as part of the federally financed Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, tracked more than 1,300 children in various arrangements, including staying home with a parent; being cared for by a nanny or a relative; or attending a large day care center. Once the subjects reached school, the study used teacher ratings of each child to assess behaviors like interrupting class, teasing and bullying.
The findings are certain to feed a long-running debate about day care, experts say.
"I have accused the study authors of doing everything they could to make this negative finding go away, but they couldn't do it," said Sharon Landesman Ramey, director of the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education. "They knew this would be disturbing news for parents ... if that's what you're finding, then you have to report it."
The debate reached a high pitch in the late 1980s, during the so-called day care wars, when social scientists questioned whether it was better for mothers to work or stay home. Day care workers and their clients, mostly working parents, argued it was the quality of the care that mattered and not the setting. But the new report affirms similar results from smaller studies in the past decade suggesting setting matters.
"This study makes it clear that it is not just quality that matters," said Jay Belsky, one of the study's principal authors, who helped set off the debate in 1986 with a paper suggesting that nonparental child care could cause developmental problems. Belsky was then at Pennsylvania State University and has since moved to the University of London.
That the troublesome behaviors lasted through at least sixth grade, he said, should raise a broader question: "So what happens in classrooms, schools, playgrounds and communities when more and more children, at younger and younger ages, spend more and more time in centers, many that are indisputably of limited quality?"
Report has its critics
Others experts were quick to question the results. The researchers could not randomly assign children to one kind of care or another; parents chose the care that suited them. That meant there was no control group, so determining cause and effect was not possible.
The study did not take into account employee turnover, a reality in many day care centers, said Marci Young, deputy director of the Center for the Child Care Workforce, which represents day care workers.
The study, a $200 million project financed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, recruited families in 10 cities from hospitals, after mothers gave birth. The researchers regularly contacted the mothers to find out where their children were being cared for, and visited those caregivers to see how attentive and how skilled they were.
Every year spent in day care centers for at least 10 hours per week was associated with a 1 percent higher score on a standardized assessment of problem behaviors completed by teachers, said Dr. Margaret Burchinal, a co-author of the study and a psychologist at the University of North Carolina.
So they grow up to be ARTICULATE, disruptive brats. :)
Ping for reference. Substitute teachers are as aware of diruptive children as anyone on the planet.
He missed traditional day care so he is a less boisterous, articulate disruptive.
Just shows t' go ya' that the same results will occur outside of day care if the same socialist values exist in a 'home' setting.
LOL!!! Perhaps a reason why these kids are disruptive is because they're bored. I've got a five year old that will enter kindergarten in August. He can write his name, and was reading the letters to me from the TV screen last night.
It was pretty funny, because he got mad at me when the screen changed (there was a delay in the On-Demand, and Nathan was reading the letters while waiting for the next batch of movies to display).
I noticed TBN was showing the story of Joseph, and I was pretty impressed with the multitude and depth of the questions he was asking.
I can see disruptions from the "one size fits all" public school mentality. You place a kid like my Nate, who's basically lived with 4 adults his entire life (his older siblings are now 18 and 20), in a class with less advanced children, and he's going to get bored.
We'll be looking for more challenging learning environments for him. However, our school district has a good handle on it.
Didn't the University of Wisconsin publish a study in 2000 that stated much of the same? If I remember correctly, it was quite the buzz for a few days, then the women's lib groups started to bring out their experts to quickly repudiate it and it just went away.
Oddly, most of these articulate disruptive brats still only use 4-letter words to express themselves.
It is vital to the left to keep trying to convince the public that mothers and fathers are not important and that a village can better raise a child.
I just finished reading "Generation ME" by Jean Twenge (the book got some major press a few weeks back in a story about her research into increasing narcissism among college students). She makes sense in the first few chapters, and even suggests that the increasing epidemic of ADD among kids is the obvious result of poor parenting by GenME's, but in the latter chapters she goes off the deep feminist end, trashing all studies such as this and the one you mentioned, and fiercely advocating for state-sponsored daycare and public pre-preschools so all those highly-educated womyn with high-powered positions can reproduce and drop the kids into the taxpayers' lap. She also advocates for extended maternity leave -- but no so eloquently, since, in her words, "you might find yourself cooped up with young children every day and let's face it -- who is really prepared for that?"
The obvious question, of course, is: why have kids if you don't want to be to be bothered raising them?
And the Dems will still insist on "free" schooling from birth through age 22. Why?
(Hint: School is not about learning.)
I find it interesting that they had to do a study, but as pointed out in the article, they tried not to come to this conclusion.
For years I've felt there are so many brats and bullies because they had to fight for attention and for personal space in a day care setting.
Good sarcastic point.
Our son had no daycare or preschool before kindergarten. And despite people telling us he needed prep for "socialization" purposes, he is very well behaved in class. Educators really devalue the importance of a child's contact and emotional development with their parents.
Didn't Obama Al Husseini have Muslim daycare?
Did he have separation anxiety when he finally went to school? Our 3 year old son does not like to be out of our presence for more than a few minutes although he is otherwise happy and healthy (knock on wood). I've been wondering how he will be able to transition to go to school.
As do too many parents.
I grew up before the daycare era. But I had two parents with professional jobs at a time when this was uncommon. There were times when I was disruptive in class. That these things are connected is entirely believable.
My daughter had no pre-school. She walked into kindergarten, and didn't even bother saying good-bye to Mommy. *I* was the one who was traumatized. :)