Testing a series of causal propositions relating time in child care to children’s externalizing behavior

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Testing a series of causal propositions relating time in child care to children’s externalizing behavior

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Title: Testing a series of causal propositions relating time in child care to children’s externalizing behavior
Author: McCartney, Kathleen Ann; Burchinal, Margaret; Bud, Kristen L.; Owen, Margaret T.; Belsky, Jay; Clarke-Stewart, Alison

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Citation: McCartney, Kathleen, Margaret Burchinal, Aliso Clarke-Stewart, Kristen L. Bub, Margaret T. Owen, and Jay Belsky. 2010. "Testing a series of causal propositions relating time in child care to children’s externalizing behavior." Developmental Psychology 46, no. 1: 1-17.
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Abstract: Prior research has documented associations between child care hours and children’s externalizing behavior. A series of longitudinal analyses were conducted to address five propositions, each testing the hypothesis that child care hours causes externalizing behavior. Data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were used in this investigation, because they include repeated measures of child care experiences, externalizing behavior, and family characteristics. There were three main findings. First, the evidence linking child care hours with externalizing behavior was equivocal in that results varied across model specifications. Second, the association between child care hours and externalizing behavior was not due to a child effect. Third, child care quality and proportion of time spent with a large group of peers moderated the effects of child care hours on externalizing behavior. Child care hours was more strongly related to externalizing behavior when children were in low-quality child care and when children spent a greater proportion of time with a large group of peers. The magnitude of associations between child care hours and externalizing behavior was modest. Implications for parents and policymakers must take into account that externalizing behavior is predicted from a constellation of variables in multiple contexts.
Published Version: doi:10.1037/a0017886
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4453960
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