Daycare quality and children's sociomoral development
Berlin, Nancy G.
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The relationship of daycare quality to children's sociomoral knowledge and behavior was investigated. Caregivers' forms of verbal responses to children's sociomoral behavior was examined in relation to program quality. Six daycare centers--3 high and 3 low quality--participated in the study. A subsample of 86 children was interviewed to assess sociomoral reasoning, while all children from 2 classrooms per center were observed to assess sociomoral behavior. Relationships were found between quality and one particular type of children's sociomoral behavior. Children attending low quality daycare centers committed more moral transgressions than children attending high quality centers. Boys in low quality centers committed the most moral transgressions compared to boys and girls in high quality and to girls in low quality centers. Quality had no substantial effect on children's sociomoral conceptions, except there was a quality by gender interaction effect on children's ratings of affective consequences. Boys from low quality programs judged actors involved in moral transgressions as having more negative emotional consequences compared to all other groups. Finally, a relationship was found between quality and caregiver patterns of responding to one specific type of sociomoral behavior. Caregivers in high quality programs responded more optimally to moral transgressions than did caregivers in low quality programs.