Published Online: October 14, 1998
Published in Print: October 14, 1998, as Early Years

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Child-Care Project: A team of university researchers is studying an initiative designed to improve child care in Philadelphia and make it more affordable.

Child Care Matters, a three-year, $10.7 million effort underwritten by the William Penn Foundation and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, includes public-awareness campaigns aimed at state legislators, business leaders, and the media.

The project also includes two demonstration projects, which provide direct resources, such as program accreditation and increased education and pay for providers.

The goal of the projects is to improve child-care programs that serve low-income children by training teachers and reducing turnover rates.

Dependable and affordable child care can help parents and child-care providers maintain employment, the researchers from Temple University note.

Progress reports on Child Care Matters will be released over the course of the project.

Aggression and Height: Tall toddlers can grow into aggressive adolescents, using their size to get what they want, a researcher at the University of Southern California has found.

Parents of taller-than-average preschoolers, both boys and girls, should help their children find ways other than physical force to solve problems, says Adrian Raine, a psychology professor and the lead author of the study, which was released this past summer.

The researcher measured the height and weight of 1,130 male and female 3-year-olds in Mauritius, an island nation off the east coast of Africa.

The site was picked because of its low emigration rate, which allowed the scientists a good chance to track the children over an extended time period.

The children who were described by their mothers to be the most aggressive at age 11 were those who were an average of half an inch taller than their peers at age 3.

One possible explanation for that outcome might be higher testosterone levels in taller boys and girls, the study suggests.

Another factor in aggression is the level to which young children seek out stimulation. For example, the researchers said, children who regularly seek stimulation are likely to be harder to supervise and that lack of parental supervision could lead to behavioral difficulties.

The researcher warns that the findings cannot be used to accurately predict whether a child will become a violent adult.

--LINDA JACOBSON

Vol. 18, Issue 7, Page 15

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