Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

In Child Care, Relationships With Caregivers Key To Children's Stress Levels

Date:
November 14, 2008
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
New research finds that many preschoolers in full-day child care have increases in the stress hormone cortisol from morning to afternoon. Children in classrooms of approximately 10 were more likely to have decreases in cortisol from morning to afternoon. Children in classrooms with closer to 20 showed greater cortisol increases. The study looked at 191 preschoolers attending 12 centers, and included teacher descriptions of relationships with the children and measured cortisol from the children's saliva.

How children are affected by out-of-home care depends not only on the qualities of their teacher and the classroom, but also on the nature of the children's relationship with their caregivers. That's the finding of a new study on the level of the stress hormone cortisol in children in full-day child care.

Related Articles


Cortisol, the primary stress hormone in humans, tends to be at its highest levels in the early morning and gradually declines over the course of the day. But recent research has found that many preschoolers in full-day child care have increases in cortisol from morning to afternoon.

This study found that children in classrooms with closer to 10 children were more likely to show cortisol decreases from morning to afternoon, while children in classrooms with closer to 20 children tended to show greater increases in cortisol across the day. Children with more clingy relationships with their teachers showed greater rises in cortisol from morning to afternoon, and children with more conflicted relationships with their teachers showed greater cortisol boosts during a one-on-one session with their teachers. Conflicted relationships were said to occur when teachers tried to control resistant children, when children perceived their teachers as unfriendly, or when teachers or children reported that the teachers found the interaction frustrating.

This unusual increase of cortisol levels is of potential concern because long-term or frequent elevations in cortisol can have negative health consequences. Research with animals and human children suggests that secure relationships with parents protect children from rises in cortisol in stressful situations.

This study, by researchers at Washington State University, Auburn University, the Washington State Department of Early Learning, and the Pennsylvania State University, appears in the November/December 2008 issue of Child Development.

The study looked at 191 preschoolers attending 12 child care centers in a small southeastern U.S. community to determine if the quality of teacher-child relationships could predict increases in cortisol in the children. Teachers described their relationships with the children in their care on a questionnaire and children talked about their relationships with their teachers in interviews. Researchers also collected saliva samples from the children in classrooms to determine changes in their cortisol levels from morning to afternoon. They also collected saliva outside of class before and after a series of mildly difficult tasks designed to look like challenges the children might experience in the classroom and before and after a non-challenging interaction with the teacher.

"This study sheds additional light on an as yet incompletely understood phenomenon¬ among many young children attending full-day child care," according to Jared A. Lisonbee, assistant professor of human development at Washington State University and lead author of the study. "Additionally, the study begins to situate child care-cortisol research in the context of a broader literature on the role of relationships in shaping how children function and how they react to stress."

The study was funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jared A. Lisonbee et al. Children's Cortisol and the Quality of Teacher-Child Relationships in Child Care. Child Development, Vol. 79, Issue 6

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "In Child Care, Relationships With Caregivers Key To Children's Stress Levels." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114080922.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2008, November 14). In Child Care, Relationships With Caregivers Key To Children's Stress Levels. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114080922.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "In Child Care, Relationships With Caregivers Key To Children's Stress Levels." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081114080922.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins