Boston Globe Features CASTL Research on Positive Effects of Banking Time
An estimated 61 percent of children under the age of 5 spend time in a formal day-care or preschool setting. According to previous research, those children often show increased levels of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone, compared to their levels in a home setting. That increase has been attributed to more stimulation in a classroom, such as large class size.
Hatfield, along with coauthor Amanda Williford of the University of Virginia, wanted to see if encouraging a supportive teacher-child relationship could affect that heightened stress level, especially for preschoolers with behavioral problems. Such children are more likely to have higher cortisol levels and sustain those levels during the day, when the hormone should normally decline.