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Is early, high-quality daycare an asset for the children of low-income, depressed mothers? [An article from: Development

This digital document is a journal article from Developmental Review, published by Elsevier in 2005. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Media Library immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

This paper reviews the relations found in the literature among poverty, maternal depression, early intervention, and child developmental outcome and a theoretical model is suggested. Mother-child transactional processes have been found to be impaired under conditions of poverty and maternal depression, leading to non-optimal outcomes in children. The first 2 years of life are particularly sensitive to deficits in parenting, suggesting that effective intervention might appropriately target this age group. High-quality daycare may offer an effective pathway for intervention with depressed mothers and their children due to the compensatory caregiving children receive and the opportunity for early identification of maternal mental health needs. However, most current daycare intervention programs are designed to begin between 3 or 4 years of age. Further research that addresses the relative efficacy of interventions dependent on ”age of entry” is needed to determine whether early daycare is an asset to families with a depressed caregiver.

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