chapter  6
23 Pages

The Development of Social and Intellectual Competence in Swedish Preschoolers Raised at Home and In Out-of-Home Care Facilities: Carl-Philip Hwang, Michael E. Lamb, and Anders Bröberg

Theoretical and practical concerns have converged to ensure that there have been many attempts to explore the effects of day care on young children (see Belsky, Steinberg, & Walker, 1982, and Clarke-Stewart & Fein, 1983, for reviews). Increasing theoretical interest in the effects of contextual variations on children's development has reinforced a practical concern driven by the increasing numbers of dual-earner and single-parent families seeking out-of-home care for their children. Few of the investigations undertaken have substantiated the initial presumption that nonparental care would prove harmful for young children but the conclusiveness of the available evidence is limited by the common focus on high-quality center-based care facilities providing care for socioeconomically homogeneous samples. "Quality of care" received has seldom been considered as a variable, researchers have seldom included pretests in their studies, and there have been few studies concerned with family day care. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the quality of family and center day care on firstborn Swedish children from socioeconomically diverse backgrounds, including in our design measures of family background characteristics and pre-enrollment measures of relevant child characteristics. The findings discussed here were presented in greater detail by Lamb, Hwang, Bookstein, Broberg, Hult, and Frodi (1987) and Broberg, Lamb, Hwang, and Bookstein (1988).