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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


LORDELO, Eulina da Rocha; CHALHUB, Anderson Almeida; GUIRRA, Raquel Cardoso  and  CARVALHO, Cláudio Seal. Context and cognitive development: attendance to day care center and evolution of mental development. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2007, vol.20, n.2, pp.324-334. ISSN 0102-7972.

This study aimed to assess effects of the day care center experience on the cognitive development of pre-school children. Two groups of children, 18 from day care centers and 19 who were cared for at their homes were studied, including their mothers, took part in this study. Both groups had equivalent socioeconomic status and lived in a very poor neighborhood. Bayley Scales or WPPSI-R Scale (according to age) were used four times in a 26 month period; as an auxiliary research instrument, the mothers were interviewed for providing a child assessment from their own point of view. The results show that family income and, to some extent, the mother's school level affected cognitive development. Attendance to a day care center did not produce significant differences in cognitive development; maternal assessments suggested some differences between groups in the first evaluation, which disappeared, most of them, in the last one. These results are compatible partially with international literature and their implications are discussed.

Keywords : Day care center; effect of day care center; cognitive development.

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