Day Care Kids Learn to Act Up

Study finds preschoolers in day care
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Mar 26, 2007 10:55 AM CDT
Deborah Diaz, top, teaches a day care class at the East Park Apartment complex in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The complex serves as a social center for recent immigrants providing day care, doctors, po...   (KRT Photos)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Day care centers enlarge kids' vocabularies--and teach them how to act up, too, says a study that’s followed 1,300 children from birth through 6th grade. Although parental guidance and genes were the strongest predictor of behavior, who attended day care as preschoolers were slightly more likely to be disruptive in school—and the more time spent in day care, the more disruptive.

The results, reviving an old debate among social scientists, reveal a difference between high and lower quality centers in kids’ vocabularies, but not in their misconduct. Experts believe the findings could reflect a simple but persistent monkey-see, monkey-do pattern, where day care kids learn to be disruptive from each other.