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TitleSome Aspects of the Effects of Day Care on Infants' Emotional and Personality Development.
LanguageEnglish
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DOCUMENT RESUME

ED 067 166 PS 005 841

AUTHOR Saunders, Minta M.
TITLE Some Aspects of the Effects of Day Care on Infants'.

Emotional and Personality Development.
PUB DATE 72
NOTE 123p.; Ph.D. Thesis, University of North Carolina,

Greensboro

EDRS PRICE MF-$0.65 HC-$6.58
DESCRIPTORS Behavior Development; *Child Development; Comparative

Analysis; *Day Care Services; Doctoral Theses;
*Emotional Development; Family Environment; Group
Experience; Infant Behavior; *Infants; Parent Child
Relationship; *Personality Development

IDENTIFIERS Bayley Infant Mental Test

ABSTRACT
To identify any differences in emotional/personality

development of a group of infants reared at home and a matched groups
of infants enrolled in a day care center, data were obtained on
behaviors of two groups of infants. The sample consisted of 15
demographically matched pairs of infants, ages 3-24 months at
entrance. Data were collected through observation, questionnaires,
administration of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, and
monthly telephone interviews with mothers. Five measures of emotional
and personality development were used to assess the two groups:
reaction to stranger, patterning, separation from mother, exploratory
behavior, and eating and sleeping patterns. No significant
differences were found between the Home and Center groups. However,
since day care services are growing rapidly, it is clear that more
research is needed to: (1) understand the complexity of the
acquisition of attachment, which is crucial to development; (2)
analyze the components of contingent responding; and (3) provide more
detailed and definitive analyses of care-giving situations so the
results may be incorporated in training techniques. (,M)

Page 2

U. S. DEPARTMENT (IF HEALTH,
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w-4 SAUNDERS, MINTA M. Some Aspects of the Effects of Day Care on Infants'

Emotional and Personality Development . (1972) Directed by:

O Dr. Mary Elizabeth Keister. Pp. 114

There is general agreement among theorists that the infant-

mother relationship, or attachment, significantly affects the

emotional and personality development of the young child. Separation of

the infant from his mother which interferes with or dilutes this

relationship is believed to have serious developmental consequences.

There is concern about Lief separations which infants today are

experiencing in day care settings. It is important to determine if

there are differences in emotional and personality development of

infants in day care that might be a function of their being separated

from their mother for eight to ten hours a day, five days a week, and

cared for by a number of caregivers.

A comparison was made between a group of infants reared in

their own homes by their own mothers and a matched group of infants

enrolled in a day care center. The infants were matched on sex, race,

age, education and age of parents, and somewhat less exactly on birth

order. Twelve pairs of infants were between the age of three months

i!ZI4
and 13 months of age at enrollment; three pairs were between 13 months

and 24 months of age.

11-0 Data were obtained on 15 matched pairs of infants on behaviors

believed to be indices of the quality of the infant-mother relationship:

fear of strangers, exploratory behavior, and eating patterns and

sleeping routines.

1:64 FILMED FROM BEST AVAILABLE COPY

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Two other conditions were specified. All testing was done in

the child's own home with the mother present, and all test sessions

were scheduled at a time when the child was not sick and at an hour

designated by the mother as the time the child was most likely to be

"at his best."

Both Home and Center children were interviewed by the same

tester and there were repeated observations in this experimental

situation every three months up to the age of 12 months and at six

month intervals thereafter up to age four years. There is very

little evidence about memory function in infancy, but Levy (1960)

suggests that it is unlikely that memory is sufficiently well

developed in the first year to bridge even a four-week gap, so it

seems certain that there would be no familiarization affect over

a three-month interval. It is unlikely that such a brief encounter

would produce a familiarization effect that would span an interval of

six months in the slightly older child. In any event, the tester

had the same degree of strangeness for the infants in both "Center"

and "Home."

In many research studies of reactions to strangers and/or

strange situations, it is difficult to determine whether the behavior

manifested by the infant is indicative of fear of, or response to, a

"stranger" or "strangeness;" or whether his behavior is a manifestation

of the aggression, distress, or disappointment he experiences due to

his mother's departure or absence. In those situations in which the

mother separates herself from the infant, the infant's behavior that

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is inferred to be resistance to or fear of the stranger may in fact be

resistance to his mother's leaving and distress at the prospect of

separation.

In the present study this problem was eliminated, as every

child was observed in his own home with his mother always present,

and she made no attempt to leave him. Any reactions -- proximity-

seeking or proximity-avoiding -- of the stranger by the infant was not

confounded by the mother's leaving. Additional confounding of error

was avoided as there was no strangeness in the home situation as

compared to a laboratory setting. Thus, the infant's reaction to the

stranger was not intensified by other anxiety-provoking aspects often

encountered in experimental situations.

Measures. The present investigator, in collaboration with

Dr. Frances Dunham, Research Director for the demonstration project,

developed a rating scale for the evaluation of the narrative accounts of

the infants' reaction to a stranger. A four-point Reaction to Stranger

Rating Scale was developed (see Appendix B), with a rating of 1,

equivalent to the infant's showing no objection to leaving his mother

to come to the examiner, to a rating of 4, which reports strong

protest and refusal to come to the stranger.

The reaction to stranger data were rated independently by the

investigator and another doctoral candidate in child development

who had previous clinical experience as a psychiatric social worker.

For a total of 301 repeated measures on the combined total sample

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114

APPENDIX E

EXPLORATORY ITEMS ON BAYLEY SCALES OF INFANT

DEVELOPMENT (REVISED): MENTAL TEST1

Item Number Item Number

77 121

83 125

86 126

88 130

90 131

91 133

96 134

103 139

105 142

107 146

111 150

113 152

116 155

117 156

119 159

1
A description of the items and the testing procedure for their

administration may be found in the Manual of Directions for Bayley
Infant Scales of Development (Revised), Mental and Motor. The new
standardized edition by Nancy Bayley was copyrighted in 1965. The
publisher is the Psychological Corporation, 304 East 45th Street,
New York, New York 10017.

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