Children's mental health: The role of multiple risks and child care quality
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology. 2023, 86 . 10.1016/j.appdev.2023.101546
The benefit of universal access to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) for children's development can depend on the ECEC quality and children's early childhood risks. This study utilised data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa; N = 7355, 50.2% boys) to investigate the relative contribution of children's early childhood risk accumulated up to three years of age and five separate dimensions of ECEC quality on children's mental health (externalising and internalising problems) at five years of age rated by mothers and teachers. Results from the hierarchical regression models indicated that lower ECEC quality added to, and higher ECEC quality counteracted, the risk of mental health problems. Relationship quality was the strongest contributor. Total ECEC quality and relationship quality interacted significantly with early childhood risk, indicating that higher ECEC quality protected against, while lower ECEC quality exacerbated, the detrimental effects of early childhood risk on mental health problems.