The influence of model infant-toddler group care on parent-child interaction at home

Carolyn Pope Edwards, Mary Ellin Logue, Sandra Loehr, Sanford Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The effects of day care participation on parent-child interaction at home were assessed using a university-based, half-day model infant-toddler program. Hypotheses concerned whether "child-centered" features of the physical and social environment were carried over by parents to the home. Nineteen matched pairs of center and noncenter children (ages 2 to 24 months at start) were followed for 8 months. All had employed student mothers. Methods included brief parent-reported "spot" observations, a videotaped observation of a bathing or feeding routine, and home environment assessments. Parents showed few group differences during the first half of the study period. At study end, however, center homes were more child-centered with respect to play, safety, and dinner arrangements. Center parents scored higher in proximity and warmth and lower in "teacher-avoided" behaviors. Noncenter parents at study end scored higher in authority (limit setting) and communicating values and labels. The findings are interpreted as supporting an ecological model of substantial intersection and cross-influence between home and day care settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-332
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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