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The Effect of Supplementary Experiences upon the Behavioral Development of Infants in Institutions

Yvonne Sayegh and Wayne Dennis
Child Development
Vol. 36, No. 1 (Mar., 1965), pp. 81-90
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1126782
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1126782
Page Count: 10
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The Effect of Supplementary Experiences upon the Behavioral Development of Infants in Institutions
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Abstract

The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that the retardation of infants in The Creche, an institution for infants in Beirut, Lebanon, is largely due to the poverty of experiences that are relevant to the testing situations. It was proposed that if this interpretation is correct, and if retardation is remediable, it should be possible to improve the test scores of Creche infants by providing supplementary experiences that are relevant to test performances. Two groups of Creche children, very similar in CA and DA, comprised an experimental group and a control group, consisting of five and eight infants, respectively. The groups were given Test 1 and, 1 month later, Test 2. In this interval the experimental group was given about 1 hour of supplementary experience per day for 15 days. In 1 month the experimental group made a mean gain in DA that was more than four times the average increase per month in the pre-experimental period. In this month the control group gained less than the experimental group but more than they had gained per month in the pre-experimental period. Retrospectively it appeared that the experimental group and the control group received certain supplementary experiences in ways not anticipated by the researchers. However, these supplementary experiences stopped when the training period ended. Very little gain in DA occurred in either group in the subsequent 6-week period. It is felt that the results of the study support the hypothesis that appropriate supplementary experiences can result in rapid increases in behavioral development on the part of environmentally retarded infants.

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