Daycare Experiences and Long-Term Behavioral Outcomes: A Retrospective Self-Report

Amy R. Murrell*, Jeffrey D. Geddes, Emily Yancey, Karen M. O’Brien, Francis Terrell
Psychology Department, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 311280, Denton, TX 76203-1280, USA.

© 2009 Murrell et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Psychology Department, University of North Texas, P.O. Box 311280, Denton, TX 76203-1280,USA; Tel: 940-565-2967; Fax: 940-565-4682; E-mail:


The current study examined existing data to determine whether family SES, age of entry into daycare, time spent in daycare per week, and child personality variables predicted behavioral outcomes. Our analyses indicated that, for this sample, the best predictor of problem behavior was personality. Specifically, individuals low in agreeableness reported more problem behavior than did individuals high in agreeableness. Family SES, age of entry into daycare, and amount of time spent in daycare were not significantly related to problem behavior. Although daycare quality was significantly correlated with problem behavior, it only accounted for 2% of the variance. Such findings indicate that future researchers should examine mediating or moderating effects of personality on the relationship between daycare and behavior.

Keywords: Daycare quality, behavioral outcomes, retrospective self-report.