Outline and Evaluate Research Into the Effect of Day Care on Children

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Outline and evaluate research into the effect of day care on children's social behaviour (aggression and peer relations). [12marks] Many psychologists have researched into the effect of day care on both aggression and peer relations in children/toddlers. One of those psychologists was Shea (1981) who studied 3-4 year olds who spent a certain amount of days a week in day care for 10 weeks. He discovered that day care does not increase aggression in children as they became more sociable and aggression towards one another decreased. He also observed that day care improves peer relations, the children became more sociable with one another but drifted further away from the staff/caregiver. Children who spent 5 days a week in day care showed greater changes than those that spent 2 days a week in day care. This study could be criticised as it is not specified the number of children observed; this will affect the reliability of the findings as a larger sample would be preferred, this is because the more children that are observed the easier it is to pin point a trend in behaviour. On the other hand a strength of this study could be the fact that Shea went to a day care centre and did not set up an artificial play room as this could have caused abnormal behaviour due to the new environment. NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) study (1991) studied over 1000 American children; the findings were that the longer the child was left in day care the more aggressive he/she became. The study also stated that the child was 3 times more likely to: show behavioural problems, argue, have tantrums, lie and hit. The fact that over 1000 children were studied makes this study very reliable because it is a significant amount of data collected, therefore a trend is more likely to be spotted. However the study was only carried out on American children which could be weakness for this study because methods to bringing up children, cultures and traditions will...
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