PDF version Introduction Given the importance attributed to maternal care in cultural ideals1 and psychological theories,2 and the working role assumed by the majority of mothers with very young children, there has been widespread concern about effects of non-maternal child care for young children, and for infants in particular. Subject Rates of employment for the mothers of infants and preschoolers have tripled in the US since
Masten, PhD, Abigail H. Gewirtz, PhD, Julianna K. The capacity of a dynamic system to withstand or recover from significant challenges that threaten its stability, viability, or development.
Although people have been fascinated with stories of resilience for thousands of years, judging from ancient tales of individuals who triumph over adversity, the scientific study of resilience only began in the s and s.
These early years hold great promise for interventions to prevent and reduce risk, boost resources, promote competence and build a strong foundation for future development.
Subject Understanding naturally occurring resilience provides important clues for policies and practices designed to promote healthier development in children threatened by adversity or disadvantage. It is also necessary to learn how to foster positive change, so that the odds for favourable development can be improved.
Prevention and intervention studies are required to test the ideas coming from resilience research, to learn the best goals, methods and developmental timing for interventions, and also to learn which approaches work best for whom. This has proven to be challenging for several key reasons.
First, resilience refers to a variety of phenomena, such as recovery after the loss of a parent, normalization of behaviour after a child is adopted from an institution, school success among children growing up in poverty or dangerous neighbourhoods, and mental health in children of mentally ill parents.
Second, resilience is an inferential construct that involves human judgments about desirable and undesirable outcomes as well as definitions of threat or risk.
A child who develops well may be viewed as adaptive or competent, but not necessarily as manifesting resilience, unless some explicit or implicit threshold of risk or adversity has been met. It is also clear that there are multiple criteria by which to judge success in life; adaptation good or bad is inherently multidimensional and multifaceted in nature.
Thus, it is not surprising that definitions and measures have varied, greatly complicating comparisons across studies and the task of building a coherent body of knowledge about resilience in development. Third, many processes at multiple levels of analysis are likely to be involved in human resilience.
Nonetheless, findings from the first generation of resilience research were remarkably consistent, suggesting the influence of powerful but common adaptive processes. The goals of pioneering researchers, including Norman Garmezy, Lois Murphy, Michael Rutter, Arnold Sameroff, and Emmy Werner, required integrative perspectives and collaboration among developmental and clinical scientists.
Such collaborations forged a new science of resilience in development, while at the same time energizing the rise of developmental psychopathology.
Key Research Questions Developmental studies of resilience often address the following questions: What accounts for positive development or recovery among children who experience hazardous circumstances?
What are the naturally occurring protective processes for human development? What are the most effective intervention strategies for fostering positive development among children with high potential risk for problems? Although resilience researchers focus on positive outcomes and their causes, they also acknowledge the importance of understanding risks and threats to development and how to reduce or eliminate them.
Recent Research Results There is exciting convergence in developmental research on competence, resilience, behavioural and emotional problems, brain development and prevention science, all underscoring the importance of early childhood for building protections into human development at multiple levels, within the child, the family, the community and their interactions.
Conclusion Resilience research indicates that during the early childhood years, it is important for children to have good quality of care and opportunities for learning, adequate nutrition, and community support for families, to facilitate positive development of cognitive, social and self-regulation skills.
Young children with healthy attachment relationships and good internal adaptive resources are very likely to get off to a good start in life, well equipped with the human and social capital for success as they enter school and society.
Such children typically manifest resilience in the face of adversity, as long as their fundamental protective skills and relationships continue to operate and develop.
The greatest threats to young children occur when key protective systems for human development are harmed or disrupted.
In early childhood, it is particularly important that children have the protections afforded by attachment bonds with competent and loving caregivers, the stimulation and nutrition required for healthy brain development, opportunities to learn and experience the pleasure of mastering new skills, and the limit-setting or structure needed to develop self-control.The importance of the early years in the young children’s lives and the rigid literacy achievement inequality among all children (e.g.
different economic levels, ages, abilities, disabilities, cultures) that presently exist provide both a stimulating and amazing time for Early Child Development and Care to publish a special issue on research in young children’s language and literacy and.
Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye” are called developmental milestones. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, .
Occupational Profile. Early Years Educators, and other job roles such as nursery nurse and childminders, are highly trained professionals who play a key role in ensuring that young children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
Child maltreatment during infancy and early childhood has been shown to negatively affect child development, including brain and cognitive development, attachment, and academic achievement.
Child abuse and neglect can have enduring physical, intellectual, and psychological repercussions into adolescence and adulthood. Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Play also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children.
Despite the benefits derived from play for both children and parents, time for free play has been markedly reduced for some children. Child development theories focus on explaining how children change and grow over the course of childhood.
Such theories center on various aspects of development including .