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External childcare and socio-behavioral development in Switzerland: Long-term relations from childhood into young adulthood.

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This study examined early external childcare in relation to development from age 7 to 20. A Swiss sample was used (N = 1,225; 52% male). Development included multi-informant-reported externalizing behavior, internalizing problems, prosocial behavior, delinquency, and substance use. Growth curve models revealed that, dependent on the informant, time in a daycare center was related to increased externalizing and internalizing problems until at least age 11. It was not related to delinquency. Roughly three days per week at a daycare mother or playgroup was related to increased externalizing behavior. External family care was associated with increased prosocial behavior. Finally, time in a daycare center was associated with fewer externalizing but more internalizing problems and substance use for children from vulnerable backgrounds. This relation with substance use lasted to age 20.


Funder: Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung; funder-id:

Funder: Jacobs Foundation; funder-id:

Funder: Swiss Federal Office of Public Health

Funder: Canton of Zurich Ministry of Education

Funder: Julius Baer Foundation


Research Article, Biology and life sciences, Social sciences, People and places, Medicine and health sciences

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PLoS One

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Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Swiss National Science Foundation (69025)