A study of the youngest children in day-care centers shows that the those who stay the longest are more stressed than those who have shorter days.
The study collected saliva samples twice daily from 112 one- and two year olds in 85 municipalities and the proportion of the stress hormone cortisol was measured, NRK news reports.
– We have found that infants have an increased stress level while at day-care, and the stress level decreases on days when they are at home, says May-Britt Drugli, Professor of Education at NTNU University. The study also showed that children who were going to be in day-care for longer periods were more stressed.
– What is interesting is that we measured cortisol levels at 15:00 hours for both children who have long days and those with short days.
It seems that the children who’ve already began a long day by this time have already built up a contingency in their body to be there for a long time, says Drugli.
She explains that the stress hormone is activated when children experience a situation that is difficult for them to cope with alone.
– It seems like that for them to be away from their parents for long periods, such as a long day at day-care with many adults and children can be demanding for many toddlers.
The study was a collaboration between NTNU Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health East and South and the University of Oslo.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today