Printer Friendly

Good parents still make the difference.

Are parents who put a lot of effort into sensitive, warm involvement with their child negating the benefits when they wave bye-bye at the day care door?

"One fear that parents have is that children in child care might lose out" on advantages derived from home, says Alison Clarke-Stewart of the University of California, Irvine.

Her latest results should reassure parents. Confirming previous work, she says that, overall, a good family influence "is not lost."

The influences on language and cognitive development is one issue addressed in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's study of 1- to 3-year-olds. Clarke-Stewart and her colleagues are analyzing how more than 1,300 families care for their children, ranging from alone with Mom to platoons of toddlers in centers.

Clarke-Stewart studied home backgrounds, videotaped mothers, and tested kids for language and cognitive development. She compared a group of youngsters who stayed with Mom all day to youngsters who went to day care full-time.

Overall, the power of a good home predominated. Regardless of care arrangements, higher scores correlated with the more affluent homes and the mothers whom researchers ranked as warm, sensitive, and more positively involved.

Clarke-Stewart did notice other cases where the quality of day care made a difference. For children from average homes, high-quality care seemed to boost development and lousy care stunted it. However, effects of good or poor day care seem modest compared with home influences, she reports.

As part of the same research initiative, Cathryn L. Booth of the University of Washington in Seattle and her colleagues rated care in nine states and extrapolated the results to the whole country. Booth says the study is unusual because it relied on direct observations of children and caregivers. About 53 percent of U.S. child care ranks as "fair," Booth estimates. About 8 percent of care ranks as "poor," 30 percent as "good," and 9 percent as "excellent."
COPYRIGHT 1999 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:study proves the value of good home backgrounds for children
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 6, 1999
Previous Article:What will ease the pain? Ask a frog.
Next Article:A modest but universal map of the nearby cosmos proves its power.

Related Articles
Talkative parents make kids smarter.
The effects of parental involvement in homework on student achievement in Portugal and Luxembourg.
Know your patient. (Review).
Happy but sad: Outcomes at Morry's Camp.
Be strategic to boost family involvement.
1980: parent-child communication.
Early predictors of sexual behavior: implications for young adolescents and their parents.
Robotic technologies: when parents put their learning ahead of their child's.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters