Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Ann M. Berghout Austin


Ann M. Berghout Austin


This study investigated and qualitatively compared differences in children's stress reactions across two levels of developmentally appropriate practice in family child care homes. Data were collected through observations.

Six children, five boys and one girl from six different family child care homes, between the ages of 36 and 60 months, were observed for the type and frequency of stress behaviors. The six family child care homes were divided into two groups based on more or less use of appropriate practices, and they were observed for the use of appropriate practices. Three one-hour observations were held in each family child care home. The Classroom Child Stress Behavior Instrument was used to identify stress behaviors in children. The Rating Scale for Measuring the Degree of Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classrooms and the Guidelines of Developmentally Appropriate Practice were used to identify developmentally appropriate/inappropriate practices.

Results indicated that children in the homes where developmentally appropriate practices were used tended to display fewer stress behaviors than the children in the homes that used developmentally appropriate practices less frequently. Children in the homes that used developmentally appropriate practices frequently exhibited primarily passive stress behaviors or active self-to-self stress behaviors. Children in homes that used inappropriate practices displayed more active stress behaviors toward other children or objects. The child care providers from the homes that used more appropriate practices spent time with children, motivated children involved in play, and applied teaching strategies. In developmentally inappropriate homes, the environment there tended to be a less positive climate and children were less motivated.