psychology essay question - daycare

Topics: Psychology, Research, Sociology Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: December 14, 2013
What does psychological research tell us about daycare? (12 marks) Daycare is where a child is cared for by someone other than its parents for some part of the day and it could be considered a form of short term deprivation. The NICHD study in the USA aimed to study the effect of daycare on children by conducting a longitudinal study. This involved gathering data by various methods such as observations, interviews and surveys. 1,200 children were studied from birth until they started school. The results of this study showed that the children who spent early continuous and intensive time in daycare were likely to have more behavioural problems, such as aggression and disobedience, later than children who did not. The problems were rated by teachers and parents which suggests that the length of time in daycare has an effect. A significant strength of the study as the sample was very large and it was a longitudinal study, both which reduces the effects of individual differences. The researchers would have gathered a lot in-depth detail from the participants and furthermore be able to study development over time which makes the results more reliable. However a weakness of the NICHD study is that the findings took place in one culture, the USA, and may not be able to be generalised to other cultures. Cross cultural research has found differences in attachment across different cultures, which suggests these findings may only be applicable to children in the USA. A further issue that was investigated by this study is the type of daycare. It was found that nursery-type daycare, as oppose to home day-care, led to improvements in cognitive and language development but also increased behavioural problems such as disobedience. The study showed a third finding which was that the quality of daycare was important. Low quality daycare was particularly bad for children with mothers who lacked sensitivity. Good quality daycare tended to mean higher cognitive and language...
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