Study finds that children who spend more than 8 hours in childcare are more stressed, shyer and less self-control later in their lives

A new study by the researchers of Norwegian University of Science and Technology has made an important study.  They found that young children who spend more than eight hours in child care suffer more from mental stress and that makes them shyer and less self-control in later life. However, on the brighter side parents can mitigate the stress by spending quality time with the children after picking them up from child care.


Children in child care seem to have thrice the level of stress hormone, cortisol when compared with children who stayed with their parents at home. Researchers attribute this stress in children to the anxiety of missing their parents and conflicts with other children in childcare.


The study involved 112 number of children and aged between one year and 18 months. All the children in the study had been in day care for five to six months. Researchers collected the saliva and measured for stress hormone in the morning and mid-afternoon. The hormone is an indicator of stress and their levels peak with the increase in anxiety levels. 
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The cortisol levels, in general, reaches the highest level after 30 minutes of walking and returns to normal levels during the day and evening In the current study, the readings of cortisol levels are 32 percent higher in children in day care than children who are looked after by their parents.

However, it is not clear that the stress levels children face in childcare can cause problems, but cortisol, the stress hormone has the ability to change the brain development.

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