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Early childcare and physical aggression: Differentiating social selection and social causation

TitleEarly childcare and physical aggression: Differentiating social selection and social causation
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBorge, A. I. H., Rutter M., Côté S., and Tremblay R. E.
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Volume45
Pages367 - 376
Date PublishedFebruary
Keywordsage, day-care, family, gender, homecare, physical aggression, risk, social causation, social selection, toddlers
Abstract

Background Some research findings have suggested that group day-care may be associated with an increased risk for physical aggression. Methods Cross-sectional maternal questionnaire data from a representative sample of 3431 Canadian 2- to 3-year-olds were used to compare rates of physical aggression shown by children looked after by their own mothers and those attending group day-care. A family risk index (using occupational level, maternal education, size of sibship, and family functioning) was created to test whether any difference in physical aggression might reflect social selection rather than social causation. Results Aggression was significantly more common in children looked after by their own mothers than in those attending group day-care. Strong social selection associated with family risk was found, not only in the sample as a whole, but even within the high-risk subsample. However, after taking social selection into account, physical aggression was significantly more common in children from high-risk families looked after by their own parents. No such difference was evident in the majority (84%) of children from low-risk families. Conclusion Insofar as there are any risks for physical aggression associated with homecare they apply only to high-risk families.

URLhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00227.x/abstract
DOI10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00227.x
Document URLhttp://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00227.x/epdf