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Day Care, Aggressive Acts Linked

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Academically oriented day-care centers may make children more aggressive than others of the same age, at least during the first few years of school, a federally funded study has found.

The study, directed by Ron Haskins, associate director of the Bush Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that children who had attended a center designed to improve their iq's were more likely to hit, kick, push, threaten, and argue than others.

Mr. Haskins said the heightened aggression seemed to decrease over time.

The study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, was based on interviews with 63 teachers at 14 elementary schools in North Carolina over a four-year period. The interviews focused on 59 children who had completed their first two or three years of public school. Of those, 27 had attended an academically oriented day-care center at the University of North Carolina. The remaining children had attended traditional day-care programs.

About 3 percent of children participate in academically oriented day-care, according to Mr. Haskins.

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