OBJECT CONSERVATION AND RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE IN DAY CARE CENTER INFANTS
AMSTER, BARBARA IRIS
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This study compared the development of receptive language and object conservation in two groups of infants, one left in day care centers and the other reared exclusively at home. The groups were tested for the demographic variables of sex, social class, siblings, and parents, and found to be similar in all categorical factors. Over a period of six months a group of 20 infants (mean age 15.35 months), from middle class surburban homes was compared to 30 infants (mean age 15.43 months), on each of the two variables mentioned. Data from three repeated measures of the Meyer's test of Receptive Language and the Uzgiris-Hunt Ordinal Scales - Scale 1 were examined. Although statistically significant differences were found in both variables, the patterns of growth and development in each area were parallel indicating positive growth and development in both groups. Discussion of the findings indicated that administrators of day care centers and infant caregivers should be given training in the care and stimulation of infants in all aspects of cognitive development, especially language since the growth rates over a six month period indicate a pattern parallel to that of home care children. Other suggestions included the examination of the effect of the location of the site, experience labeling of objects and training strategies on the variables studied. The possibility exists that a longer term study might show day care center children surpass the growth of home care children in language development.
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