Get access

Double Jeopardy: Poorer Social-Emotional Outcomes for Children in the NICHD SECCYD Experiencing Home and Child-Care Environments That Confer Risk


  • The authors wish to thank Henry Ricciuti for his helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Kristen Bub is now at Auburn University and Taryn Morrissey is currently serving as a Health Policy Advisor for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

concerning this article should be addressed to Sarah Enos Watamura, Department of Psychology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208. Electronic mail may be sent to


Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Early Child Care Research Network (NICHD SECCYD), the authors examined whether interactions between home and child-care quality affect children’s social-emotional adjustment at 24, 36, and 54 months (N = 771). Triadic splits on quality of home and child care were used to examine children in specific ecological niches, with a focus on those who experience the double jeopardy of poor quality home and child-care environments. Children in this niche exhibited the highest levels of mother-reported problem behavior and the lowest levels of prosocial behavior. However, there was evidence that children from lower quality home environments were able to benefit from the compensatory influence of high-quality child care. These results suggest policies aimed at the cross-context influences of protective and risky settings.