Children's communication skills may benefit from day care

Aug. 31, 2013 at 10:35 PM
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NIJMEGEN, Netherlands, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Children who go to day care may benefit from a wider variety of social and communicative situations compared with those not in day care, Dutch researchers say.

Arjen Stolk and colleagues at the Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behavior at Radboud University Nijmegen devised a creative two-player computer game for 5-year-old children, in which a child has to learn how to communicate the location of a hidden object without words with a player in a separate room.

The study, published in the journal Plos One, found the style in which the 5-year-olds tried to communicate changed depending on who the children thought their co-player was.

When they thought they were playing with a 2-year-old, they spent a great deal of time trying to patiently indicate the location of the object. When they were told they were playing with a child their own age, their communication style was not as labored.

The researchers noticed a difference in performance level for which day-care attendance turned out to be the strongest explanation. The more days children spent in day care, the better they were able to adjust their communication style, the study found.

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