Deborah Lowe Vandell

Deborah Lowe Vandell
University of California, Irvine | UCI · School of Education

PhD

About

144
Publications
130,208
Reads
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13,827
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
3859 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (144)
Article
Prior theoretical and empirical studies have linked the first 3 years of children's life with later life outcomes. One primary explanation is the critical role these experiences play in children's early brain development (including their early language and cognitive abilities) and subsequent schooling achievement. The current study is a registered...
Article
Guided by the ecological model of civic development, this study examined the extent to which the growth in children’s self-control during middle childhood predicted their civic engagement at age 26 directly and indirectly via their prosociality at age 15. We used data from 1,042 children (50% female, 77% White) in the NICHD Study of Early Child Car...
Article
The current study examined whether within-family changes in child care quality and quantity predicted subsequent changes in home environment quality and maternal depression across early childhood (6 to 54 months of age). Data were drawn from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n = 1239; 77% White; 48% female; data collection...
Article
Introduction: Based on Bronfenbrenner's bioecological theory and Bornstein's specificity principle, the purpose of this study was to examine adolescents' time in out-of-school settings as a precursor of three types of problematic substance use in adulthood (i.e., binge drinking, regular marijuana use, and use of illicit drugs). Method: Adolescen...
Article
Despite some gains, women continue to be underrepresented in many science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Using a national longitudinal dataset of 690 participants born in 1991, we tested whether spatial skills, measured in middle childhood, would help explain this gender gap. We modeled the relation between 4th‐grade spatial skil...
Article
In this study, we identified (1) subgroups of youth during middle childhood who displayed distinct profiles of social emotional learning (SEL) skills including cooperation, prosocial behaviors, work habits, emotion regulation, and self-control; and (2) how these profiles predict longitudinal academic and social functioning during early adolescence....
Article
Experimental research demonstrates sustained high‐quality early care and education (ECE) can mitigate the consequences of poverty into adulthood. However, the long‐term effects of community‐based ECE are less known. Using the 1991 NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n = 994; 49.7% female; 73.6% White, 10.6% African American, 5.6%...
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Introduction: Adolescents' organized afterschool activities have been linked to their academic performance, but processes contributing to these relations are not well understood. This study tested two pathways linking activity intensity and activity quality in 6th grade to high school academic performance: adolescents' activities in 9th grade and...
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Moral disengagement is a social cognition people use to engage in wrongdoings even when they know it is wrong. However, little is known about the antecedents that predict moral disengagement. The current study focuses on the development of self-control and cooperation during middle childhood as two antecedents of moral disengagement among 1,103 chi...
Article
In this prospective longitudinal study (N = 1094, M age = 5.6 years to M age = 11.1 years), we examined family factors associated with school mobility and then asked if either a move during the previous year or cumulative moves across elementary school were related to child functioning. Family factors were not linked to a recent move or a single mo...
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Organized activities have been championed as an important youth setting to nurture character development through childhood and adolescence, but scholars have yet to document the state of research on activities and youth character. Using guidelines from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Statement (PRISMA, Moher e...
Article
Developmental theories and previous research have emphasized the significance of cooperation and self-control in middle childhood. The present study extends previous research by examining (a) the growth of cooperation and self-control as well as the relations between them in middle childhood (third to sixth grade) and (b) the extent to which mother...
Article
Patterns of afterschool activities were studied in low-income, ethnically diverse children (n = 1796, M age = 8.7 yrs). Cluster analyses indicated four reliable clusters: (a) regular participation in a high-quality afterschool program, (b) regular participation at the afterschool program combined with other extracurricular activities, (c) unsupervi...
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According to bioecological theory, children’s experiences in one developmental setting are meaningful for their adjustment in other settings. In the current study, the quality of children’s relationships with classroom teachers, afterschool program staff, and mothers in 1st grade (n = 137) were examined in relation to their academic, social-emotion...
Article
Child obesity is a major public health issue with a high disease burden. Although numerous contributing factors have been identified, the family home environment is a central context of influence that requires deeper understanding. The level of organization in the family home environment may influence obesity and obesogenic behaviors, but the liter...
Article
Effects associated with early child care and out-of-school time (OST) during middle childhood were examined in a large sample of U.S. adolescents (N = 958). Both higher quality early child care AND more epochs of organized activities (afterschool programs and extracurricular activities) during middle childhood were linked to higher academic achieve...
Article
Although adolescents experience an array of out‐of‐school time (OST) settings, research has primarily focused on these settings in isolation. This study examined time in four OST settings (unsupervised time with peers, paid employment, sports, and nonsports organized activities) in relation to adolescent functioning at age 15 and the end of high sc...
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Relations between early child care and adolescent functioning at the end of high school (EOHS; M age = 18.3 years) were examined in a prospective longitudinal study of 1,214 children. Controlling for extensive measures of family background, early child care was associated with academic standing and behavioral adjustment at the EOHS. More experience...
Article
High levels of adolescent substance use are linked to lower academic achievement, reduced schooling, and delinquency. We assess four types of out-of-school time (OST) contexts-unsupervised time with peers, sports, organized activities, and paid employment-in relation to tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use at the end of high school. Other research h...
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As policymakers contemplate expanding preschool opportunities for low-income children, one possibility is to fund 2, rather than 1 year of Head Start for children at ages 3 and 4. Another option is to offer 1 year of Head Start followed by 1 year of pre-K. We ask which of these options is more effective. We use data from the Oklahoma pre-K study to...
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This paper examines the relation between children's summer activities before fourth through sixth grade and their vocabulary knowledge in fifth grade and at age fifteen using the NICHD SECCYD dataset (N = 1,009). We used OLS regression and propensity score analyses to understand how children's summer reading, library visits, participation in enrich...
Chapter
Organized activities (including afterschool programs, extracurricular activities, sports, community service, summer camps, and other activities outside of the regular school day) account for a significant segment of children and adolescents' lives. These activities often provide hands-on, child-driven experiential learning that often involve youth...
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Much of child care research has focused on the effects of the quality of care in early childhood settings on children's school readiness skills. Although researchers increased the statistical rigor of their approaches over the past 15 years, researchers' ability to draw causal inferences has been limited because the studies are based on nonexperime...
Article
Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 3,185, age = 3–4 years) were used to determine whether 1 year of Head Start differentially benefited children from homes with high, middle, and low levels of parental preacademic stimulation on three academic outcome domains—early math, early literacy, and receptive vocabulary. Results from residualized gr...
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Longitudinal data are used to examine whether effects of early child care are amplified and/or attenuated by later parenting. Analyses tested these interactions using parenting as both a categorical and continuous variable to balance power and flexibility in testing moderation. The most consistent finding was that maternal sensitivity during adoles...
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Youth in Grades 6 and 7 (N = 186; 78% low-income; 74% non-White) reported the quality of their experiences in their primary afterschool activity over a two-year period. Youth reports of more positive experiences (a composite that included emotional support from adult staff, positive relationships with peers, and opportunities for autonomy) were ass...
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This article examines associations between observed quality in preschool center classrooms for approximately 6,250 three- to five-year-olds and their school readiness skills at kindergarten entry. Secondary analyses were conducted using data from four large-scale studies to estimate the effects of preschool center quality and interactions between q...
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The effects of high- versus low-quality child care during 2 developmental periods (infant-toddlerhood and preschool) were examined using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care. Propensity score matching was used to account for differences in families who used different combinations of child...
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Intrapersonal functions ascribed to emotions are varied. Arguments and evidence abound showing that individual differences in emotionality at the behavioral level of analysis, correlates at the cognitive and physiological levels of analysis not only form defining features of manifest pathology but also constitute risk factors to psychopathology. Ho...
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The aim of this paper is to address two research questions related to the policy goal of having all children ready to learn at kindergarten entry. First, to what extent are children's cognitive and achievement skills higher when they experience higher quality preschools? Second, are the effects of preschool center quality on these school readiness...
Article
Relations between nonrelative child care (birth to 4(1/2) years) and functioning at age 15 were examined (N = 1,364). Both quality and quantity of child care were linked to adolescent functioning. Effects were similar in size as those observed at younger ages. Higher quality care predicted higher cognitive-academic achievement at age 15, with escal...
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This longitudinal study examined associations between three after-school program quality features (positive staff-child relations, available activities, programming flexibility) and child developmental outcomes (reading and math grades, work habits, and social skills with peers) in Grade 2 and then Grade 3. Participants (n = 120 in Grade 2, n = 91...
Chapter
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The purpose of our chapter is to highlight central issues and emerging areas of research conducted over the past three decades that has been concerned with adolescents ’ (ages 12 – 18) out-of-school activities and development. Elucidating those areas where research is especially rich or exemplary, where limited empirical knowledge exists, and where...
Chapter
Intrapersonal functions ascribed to emotions are varied. Arguments and evidence abound showing that individual differences in emotionality at the behavioral level of analysis, correlates at the cognitive and physiological levels of analysis not only form defining features of manifest pathology but also constitute risk factors to psychopathology. Ho...
Article
The early developmental antecedents of individual differences in children's social functioning with peers in third grade were examined using longitudinal data from the large-scale NICHD Study of Early Child Care. In a sample of 1364 children, with family and child factors controlled, the frequency of positive and negative peer interactions in child...
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Data were analyzed from 641 children and their families in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development to test the hypotheses that in the early school years, mothers' and fathers' sensitive support for autonomy in observed parent-child interactions would each make unique predictions t...
Article
The effects of early maternal employment (employment during the child's first 3 years) and recent maternal employment (employment during the previous 3 years) on 189 second-grade children from low-income families were examined. Maternal employment was related to a number of selection factors. In comparison to mothers who were not employed, employed...
Article
This study investigates children's experiences at 30 school-aged child-care (SACC) programs. Regulatable features such as total enrollment, child-staff ratio, and staff education were assessed via director report. Observers recorded positive/neutral and negative staff-child interactions, and rated programs in terms of flexibility and age appropriat...
Article
4 types of after-school care (formal after-school programs, mother care, informal adult supervision, and self-care) were examined for 216 low-income children (M age = 9.1 years). After-school care was associated with maternal education, race, and family income but not with child gender, family marital status', neighborhood safety, or parenting styl...
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Research on middle school participants’ engagement in afterschool programs shows that such programs often serve as developmental contexts for promoting “flow” experiences. Compared to when they are in other settings after school, participants in afterschool programs are more likely to experience high concentrated effort and intrinsic motivation, ex...
Article
Using Ecological Systems Theory and stage sequential modelling procedures for detecting mediation, this study examined how early developmental contexts impact preschoolers' performances on a measure of sustained attention and impulse control. Data from 1273 European-American and African-American participants in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care w...
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To evaluate studies of child care with specific attention to the impact of age at entry and amount, quality, and type of care on children's adaptive functioning. MEDLINE, PsychINFO, and the SAGE Full-Text Collection. The review considers correlational and experimental research conducted throughout the world that includes an adequate description of...
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Research Findings: Data on more than 900 children participating in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care were analyzed to examine the effect of age of entry to kindergarten on children's functioning in early elementary school. Children's academic achievement and socioemotional development were measur...
Article
Effects of early child care on children's functioning from 4(1/2) years through the end of 6th grade (M age=12.0 years) were examined in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (n=1,364). The results indicated that although parenting was a stronger and more consistent predictor of...
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Middle school students’ experiences at after-school programs were compared as they participated in different types of activities and with different social partners. The students (N=165) attended eight programs in three Midwestern states. A total of 1,596 experiences were randomly sampled using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) during 1week in th...
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This document examines the policy implications of recent findings of the Promising Programs study, conducted by researchers at the University of California at Irvine, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Policy Studies Associates, Inc. Most efforts to improve after-school opportunities focus on strengthening the effectiveness of individual p...
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A new study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Policy Studies Associates, Inc. finds that regular participation in high-quality afterschool programs is linked to significant gains in standardized test scores and work habits as well as reductions in behavior problems among disadvantaged st...
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In a state with minimal child care standards, early, extensive alternative care arrangements were associated with pervasive negative effects in third graders.
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Vandell, D. L., Reisner, E. R., Pierce, K. M., Brown, B. B., Lee, D., Bolt, D., & Pechman, E. M. (2006). The Study of Promising After-School Programs: Examination of longer term outcomes after two years of program experiences. Report to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Article
This chapter illustrates that there has been a growing recognition of the importance of the out-of-school context for children and adolescents. The researchers focused their attention on two particular out-of-school settings: after-school programs and structured activities. Although the available research informs the understanding of the out-of-sch...
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What is the role of oral language in reading competence during the transition to school? Is oral language in preschool best conceptualized as vocabulary knowledge or as more comprehensive language including grammar, vocabulary, and semantics? These questions were examined longitudinally using 1,137 children from the National Institute of Child Heal...
Article
Experiences that are deeply engaging and enjoyable, engender full concentration, and present a balance between challenge and skill promote children's development. This chapter describes a study that sought to identify the kinds of settings and activities that foster engagement and, by extension, positive youth development. The after-school experien...
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This study adds to the growing literature linking children's experiences in the environment to individual differences in their developing skills in attention, memory. and planning. The authors asked about the extent to which stimulating and sensitive care in the family and in the child-care or school environments would predict these cognitive outco...
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Observations of 780 third-grade classrooms described classroom activities, child-teacher interactions, and dimensions of the global classroom environment, which were examined in relation to structural aspects of the classroom and child behavior. 1 child per classroom was targeted for observation in relation to classroom quality and teacher and chil...
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The current study focuses on the association between children's social adjustment in the transition to school and the early elementary school years and their fathers' and mothers' parenting behaviors and beliefs and quality of marital relationship. The authors found that the most competent and least problematic children from the teachers' perspecti...
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This study evaluated the extent to which first-grade class size predicted child outcomes and observed classroom processes for 651 children (in separate classrooms). Analyses examined observed child-adult ratios and teacher-reported class sizes. Smaller classrooms showed higher quality instructional and emotional support, although children were some...
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The second half of the 20th century witnessed substantial changes in the lives of young children as maternal employment increased and more children participated in nonparental care arrangements. The available evidence indicates that these care arrangements vary widely in quality, amount, and type (NICHD ECCRN, 1996, 2000a; U.S. Census Bureau, 2003)...
Article
The purpose of the present study was to test a maternal attachment model of behavior problems in early childhood using phase I data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care, a prospective study of 1,364 children from birth through sixth grade. Mothers' and caregivers' ratings of children's internalizing and externalizing problems at age three were...
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The purpose of this study was to examine child, maternal, and family antecedents of children's early affect dysregulation within the mother–child relationship and later cognitive and socioemotional correlates of affect dysregulation. Children's affect dysregulation at 24 and 36 months was defined in the context of mother–child interactions in...
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Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (ECCRN) constructed a structural model predicting reading and mathematics achievement in first-grade children from parenting, childcare, and first-grade schooling environme...
Article
Routine child care by grandparents was examined for 1,229 children who were participants in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care. Four groups were identified: extended full-time care, extended part-time care, sporadic care, and no routine care during the first three years. The odds of sporad...
Article
Family and child care factors from birth to 54 months, achievement and social outcomes at entry to school, and qualities of first-grade classrooms were used to predict first-grade social functioning for 864 children from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care. Child gender, mothers' partner status, maternal education and depressive symptoms, sensitivi...
Article
Research reveals associations between child-care quality and child outcomes. But are these associations causal? Data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care, a longitudinal study of children from birth to age 4(1)/(2), were used to explore 5 propositions that would support a causal argumen...
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The role of attention processes as possible mediators between family environment and school readiness was analyzed with data from 1,002 children and their families. Data on children's sustained attention, impulsivity, and school readiness (i.e., cognitive, achievement, language, and social development) were obtained at 54 months of age, and quality...
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Health recommendations are for preadolescent children to have daily school physical education (PE) classes that engage children in moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 50% of class time. To observe activity of children in PE classes in third grades across 10 different sites. Observational study. Six hundred eighty-four elementary schools...
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Objective: To examine the relationship between experience in child care and communicable illnesses (gastrointestinal tract infection, upper respiratory tract infection, and otitis media) in children aged 37 months to 54 months with particular focus on the effect of entry into child care after age 3 years. Design: Health, child care, and family data...
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Data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care were used to assess whether regulable features of child-care homes affect children’s development. Child-care homes selected were those in which there were at least two children and the care provider received payment for child care (ns=164 when the study children were 15 months old, 172 at 24 months, and...
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Effects of early child care on children's functioning at the age of 41/2 years wee a examined in the NICHD (National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) Study of Early Child Care, a prospective longitudinal study of more than 1,000 children. Even after controlling for multiple child and family characteristics, children's development wa...
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Mothers' time-use patterns were compared in families in which infants spent more than 30 hours per week in child care (In-Care group; n= 143) versus 0 hours per week (At-Home group; n= 183) from birth to 6 months of age. In-Care group mothers spent about 12 fewer hours per week interacting with their infants, for about 32% less time; fathers of the...
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This study used multinomial logistic regression to examine relationships between child-care experience (in the context of overall family functioning) and preschool attachment. Attachment behavior was assessed at 36 months with the Strange Situation, and A, B, C, and D attachment classifications were assigned using the MacArthur coding system. Mater...
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In the most comprehensive US study to date about connections among child care experiences, family factors, and children's early development, 1100 children have been followed from birth through age 7. The study's intent is to describe family and child care/school contexts of children's development and examine associations between contextual variatio...
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The present study describes the early life histories of a large sample of three-year-old children from different ethnic backgrounds living in three levels of family income—poverty, near-poverty, and above-poverty. The study examined the developmental characteristics of children in the three groups and related them to family characteristics and expe...
Article
Data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care were examined to determine how children's experiences in child care were related to peer competence at 24 and 36 months of age, after controlling for the effects of family and child characteristics. Peer competence was assessed using mother and caregive...
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Three propositions that are central to J. R. Harris's group socialization theory (1995, 1998) are considered in this review. These propositions are as follows: (a) Parental behaviors have no long-term effects on children's psychological characteristics, (b) peer groups are the primary environmental influence on psychological functioning, and (c) dy...