Norway's High-Quality Center Care Reduces Late Talking in High- and Low-Risk Groups

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Abstract

Objectives:

To examine whether attendance in Norwegian high-quality center care in the first 3 years of life buffers the negative effects of biomedical risk factors on children's late talking (LT) at 3 years of age.

Methods:

Data on 75,128 children from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study were analyzed and include information on child care arrangements, LT, and a variety of covariates. A biomedical risk group (N = 6893) was constructed on the basis of information from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway on children's Apgar scores 5 minutes after birth, birth weight, and gestational age. Late talking was reported by mothers when their children were 3 years old.

Results:

In line with previous research, children born with biomedical risk factors were at higher risk for LT at age 3 years than children born without biomedical risk factors. Child care arrangement at age 1 was not significantly related to LT at age 3 years. At both 1.5 and 3 years of age, center care attendance was related to a reduced chance of LT, independently of whether the children were in the biomedical risk group or not. However, our main hypothesis was not confirmed. Center care attendance did not buffer the negative effects of biomedical risk factors on LT for boys or girls (all p > .05).

Conclusion:

Although attendance in Norwegian center care is positive for children's language development in general, it does not buffer the negative effects of biomedical risk factors on children's LT.

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