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'Day-care affects a child's social, emotional and cognitive development.' DISCUSS

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Introduction

'Day-care affects a child's social, emotional and cognitive development.' DISCUSS there has been many concerns raised by the various child psychology theories from people such as Bowlby as to whether disruption in the infant-mother bond at an early age by entering into a day-care facility for effects the child ability to socially interact, be emotionally stable or their cognitive development. Much research has been conducted on this topic as it's raised a lot of concern among parents, particularly working mothers. Concern with day-care began to emerge when woman broke free from the traditional "housewife" role and became empowered to work. With more and more children attending day-care due to the increase in women in full time employment research into day-care became more relevant to ensure that the quality of the day-care was sufficient enough for our children and to monitor any adverse effects that might be caused from disruption in the maternal bond at a young age. When examining the effects of day-care on emotional development (i.e. "learning to perceive, appraise, and express emotions accurately and appropriately, to use emotions to facilitate thinking, to understand and analyse emotions, to use emotional knowledge effectively, and to regulate one's emotions to promote both emotional and intellectual growth" (Gerrig and Zimbardo 2002), the attachment bond is examined using Ainsworth's "strange situation" technique where in which the infant and mother are situated in a room with a stranger. ...read more.

Middle

Though Kagens study has contributed to the debate on whether day-care has an impact on children's development it has been criticised as the sample of infants was from a small sample in Boston and so not generalisable despite attempts by the researcher to make the sample as diverse as possible. Many have argued that there was probably a certain element of researcher biased as they had set up the nursery and might be subjective in interpreting the results and because the nursery was run by child psychologists the quality of care may be massively different from that of a normal nursery, but it can be argued that the study has massive ecological validity as the children didn't know any different and therefore has application in today's world. There has conflicting research on the effects of day-care on infants, for example Pennebaker et al (1981) found those children who were naturally shy & unsociable found nursery a threatening and frightening place which could have a negative effect on later years at school. However, Clarke-Stewart, Gruber & Fitzgerald (1994) looked at 150 children from Chicago aged between two and three years and from various social backgrounds. They found that peer relationships were more advanced in children who had attended day-care as they had learnt to cope with social situations and how to negotiate with peers which proved to be useful in later life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Field (1991) used two longitudinal sets to explore the grade school performance of children who received infant day-care. Parents filled out a questionnaire packet that included the "Buck Internalizer/Externalizer Scale" and the "Behaviour Rating Scale", while the children filled out the "Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale", aswell as, the children's version on the Buck Internaliser/Externaliser Scale. The amount of time spent in high quality day-care was positively related to the number of peers the child had in grade school and the number of extracurricular activities they were involved with. The measurements revealed positive ratings from teachers and parents and the children were also observed to have a low amount of behavioural problems. This suggests that quality day-care has a positive on social and cognitive development. There is much conflicting correlational evidence supporting a case for both day care having a positive effects on a child or a negative effect though it is reasonable to assume that a child will benefit from good quality day care and that a children do not usually experience adverse effects as a result of being separated from the mother for long periods of time. However it is also reasonable to argue that poor quality day-care could effect a child emotionally, socially and cognitively, for this very reason nursery's are closely regulated to ensure a good standard of care and poor quality nursery's are not usually available to the majority of the public, parents should obviously inspect the establishment personally though. ...read more.

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