What Grown-Ups Understand About Child Development: A National Benchmark Survey
Does picking up a crying baby spoil her? Can a 4-month-old baby be depressed? Should a 15-month-old be expected to share a toy?
This landmark 1997 survey showed widespread confusion on these topics. The survey measured the level of child development knowledge of 3,000 adults and parents, with particular emphasis on the intellectual, emotional, and social development of young children.
How would you respond?
(Some sample questions from our landmark survey.)
Findings were organized in the following nine areas:
when and how children develop;
supporting children in their development;
the importance of play;
expectations of young children;
preparation for parenthood; and
selected policies that impact children and families.
Findings indicated that while adults are well informed about many areas of child development, there are important information gaps. Knowledge was related to parent education, gender, generation, and parental status.
Significant gaps were evident in adults' understanding of children's ability to sense what is going on, the most beneficial forms of play, appropriate expectations for children of various ages, discipline, and spoiling.
Most adults supported paid parental leave and governmental financial assistance to help pay for quality childcare.
The survey was sponsored by ZERO TO THREE, CIVITAS, and BRIO Corp., three organizations dedicated to the welfare of young children, and conducted by DYG Inc.