Child-care Study Reaches Common-Sense Conclusion

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, April 20, 2001

Child-care Study Reaches Common-Sense Conclusion

I love it when researchers validate common sense. The largest long-term study of child care in the United States has found that children who spend most of their time in child care are three times as likely to exhibit behavioral problems in kindergarten as those who are cared for primarily by their mothers.

The study followed more than 1,100 children in 10 cities in a variety of settings, from care with relatives and nannies to preschool and large day-care centers.

The study found a direct correlation between time spent in child care and traits like aggression, defiance and disobedience. The research, financed by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, found that these patterns held true regardless of the type or quality of care, the sex of the child, the family's socio-economic status or whether mothers, themselves, provided sensitive care.

In other words, children need their mothers, and if they are dumped in day care, there will be behavioral consequences. Why did we need a study to prove the obvious?

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