Children's coping strategies and stress regulation during the transition from home to child care

Authors: Tina Eckstein, Lieselotte Ahnert, Gregor Kappler

For some years, students of behavioral development have acknowledged early childhood as a period during which the main coping strategies in life develop in order to regulate negative emotions. Whilst experimental research in laboratories shows whether and how, young children cope with evoked frustrations or irritations, much less is known about how children deal with significant situations that occur naturally in their daily lives. The present study therefore aims to investigate how children cope when they are taken into child care, wondering whether specific behavioral patterns could be identified that aid children in their struggle to cope with the new environment and how these coping strategies influence the physiological stress regulation as reflected in diurnal cortisol patterns.

Poster Presentation at SRCD Biennial Meeting, Montreal, Canada, 2011