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Psychol Bull. 2000 Sep;126(5):727-47.

Maternal versus nonmaternal care and seven domains of children's development.

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School of Education, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.


A series of meta-analyses was conducted on findings from 59 studies to examine the linkage between maternal versus nonmaternal care, 7 indices of child behavior, and 10 potential moderators. Results indicate that children receiving nonmaternal care do not differ from children receiving maternal care on any of the 7 indices. Year of publication and psychometrics of outcome index were found to moderate the linkage between maternal versus nonmaternal care and attachment classification and between maternal versus nonmaternal care and child adjustment, respectively. Examination of the simultaneous impact of extent of care and age of entry on attachment behaviors revealed the moderating impact of the latter. Although it cannot be concluded that nonmaternal care has no impact on children, most of the analyses suggest that in and of itself, or in interaction with one factor at a time, nonmaternal care does not affect child development.

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