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Wednesday, March 28, 2007



But, where is the actual report? I tried to search for it, but couldn't find it. I refuse to get my information from NYT articles on reports like these.

It is possible to ask for this original data, if you have a legitimate interest in the subject, and can pass muster for their rules for confidentiality in human subjects research (which might require a human protocol from your university). I haven't cared enough to chase that one down, but it's out there for someone with a different research specialty.



Yeah, besides the whole "not being able to see the actual study" thing (and the whole "pre-study assumptions embedded in the field of child development" thing, which is why I gave up trying to summarize the state of the field on triplets and development), there's also the question of how you frame the answer to the question.

The reporters seem to be framing the results in terms of parenting. But couldn't you just as easily frame it in terms of schooling? Kids who've been in childcare for a long time (depending on what percentage they are in the cohort studied) are probably more jaded about the school/group care environment, probably less in awe of teacher/authority figures, and therefore less likely to be intimidated into mindless rule-following. (They also might just hit rule-following burn-out that much earlier than kids who spent less time in a group care/"school" type environment during the early years.)

I don't know whether that sort of story makes sense or not, but the point is, this isn't just a story about parents and the care they provide, it's also about how group care affects one's environment in group settings over time.

I'd love to see whether PARENTS of kids in more than 10 hours of childcare a week report the same behavioral issues. That seems like it would speak more directly to the "daycare wars" lurking in the reporting of these kinds of studies.


The actual study is here: http://secc.rti.org/

Even the Times acknowledged "The effect was slight, and well within the normal range for healthy children," which doesn't seem all that disturbing.

And there's this: "as expected, parents’ guidance and their genes had by far the strongest influence on how children behaved."


But where's the actual report that the NYT article is based on? The latest publications in the list are all from 2006.



Check out the Slate article on it by Emily Something-or-other. She interviews the study's author, to interesting effect.


PS: I should have noted that I was pointed to the Slate piece by Dara at Writing Maternity.


I put links to the Slate article and the relevant section of the NIH website on my blog, http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com

In particular, you want to look at the study overview,
There are instructions on that page for applying to see the actual dataset.

Like I blogged, there are some real holes with their sampling method. The authors acknowledge that, but they have what they have. We should lobby the NIH to give more $ for a study with a larger and more representative sampling.

Note that the center-based care in the sample set was observed to be the lowest quality care of all the settings observed. That meant the families were cash-strapped and using very different centers than those used by upper middle class professional families.


I picked up on the same parts as Brooklyn Girl did.

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