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Title: Children's Stress Levels: An Evaluation Tool to Determine Program Quality
Contributor(s): Guilfoyle, Andrew (author); Sims, Margaret  (author)orcid ; Parry, T (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: Ideal programme evaluations track the impact of interventions on children's outcomes over a period of years. But longitudinal studies are expensive, results can take a life time to generate, and links between inputs (experiences in the early years) and outcomes (child development, adult success) tend to be identified at the macro-level, so it is impossible to identify micro-inputs and associate these with particular outcomes. Recently, the role of stress and the HPA axis in shaping outcomes have been significant players in a growing understanding of how children's interactions with their environments shape long-term outcomes. Studies with both animals and children indicate that dysregulation of the HPA axis is linked to caregiving and the types of environmental stimuli experienced by infants in the early years of life. Child day care, although often necessary, can also be risky. Patterns of cortisol elevation across the day are commonly found in studies of children's day care. This study examines children's cortisol patterns across the childrens' days in care, to see if and how they are related to child care quality. Results demonstrate that salivary cortisol levels can be used as an indicator of the quality of child care programmes. They provide an immediate measure of the impact of the child care environment on children. From this immediate impact we can infer longer term outcomes if such exposure is also long term.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Illinois Child Welfare, 3(1-2), p. 17-29
Publisher: School of Social Work, Loyola University Chicago
Place of Publication: Chicago, United States of America
ISSN: 1934-3620
Field of Research (FOR): 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
130105 Primary Education (excl Maori)
111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes
930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Education

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