Understanding Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood

June 24, 2018 Psychology

Understanding Social and Emotional Development in Early Childhood There are a great many things that young children need to learn in those early childhood years. The education that we need to ensure they receive should encompass a wide spectrum of learnings across many disciplines. Certainly as they progress through learning activities in the home as well as in pre-school, kindergarten. and elementary school, the child acquires a great deal of knowledge and experiences. Most of us think of the cognitive learning milestones when we think of early childhood education, but social and emotional development in early childhood is one of the key factors in the child receiving a strong foundation for healthy growth and development. This is largely a time when the child is experimenting and testing news skills and learnings. It is also period in which the greatest growth occurs. At this time, a child can experience a wide range of vulnerability which is played out in their social and emotional behavior.

Therefor, putting an emphasis on properly developing a child’s growth in these areas should be a priority of every educator More On Social and Emotional Development :As we look to the past, much has been learned about this most important stage of a child’s life. The first six years is critical and ensuring to the best of our ability that the child’s emotional and social development is given the proper attention in all education settings cannot be over emphasized. If the child is engaged in frequently having a set of negative experiences during this period, it can arrest their positive development in areas of mental health and cognitive growth. About 12% of children in their first six years of live experience negative social and emotional development problems which negatively influences their readiness for school and as well as relationship building. One way to combat this is through early intervention and a proactive approach in instilling a positive environment.

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But this is a complex problem and not only can potentially have far reaching consequences, but can be difficult to assess, monitor, and address. It is believed that both environmental and family factors influence whether a child develops a health social and emotional system. Children in lower income neighborhoods also tend to statistically experience problems in this area. Substance abuse within the family, mental health issues, and/or domestic violence are also other factors that negatively impact a child’s healthy emotional and social development. Clearly, this area of a child’s growth is impacted by many variables and is not necessarily an easy problem to tackle given the variety of triggers that can adversely impact positive growth. Nevertheless, education settings that have in place resources to address these issues, such as a mental health consultant or access to such services, have help retard the worsening of this problem.

There are standardized tools that can help in the pre screening and identification of social and emotional problems and enlisting the support of state supported services are part of the solution going forward. As an educator, it is important your awareness of such matters is keen and that you have available to you resources that can aid in helping the child if this area of their development requires attention. http://earlychildhoodeducations.com/understanding-social-and-emotional-development-in-early-childhood/ SOCIAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND SCHOOL ADJUSTMENT

A large body of evidence supports the role that children’s social skills (including interpersonal skills and learning-related skills) play in social and academic success. In general, children’s interpersonal skills have been linked to social outcomes whereas learning-related skills have predicted academic success. Interpersonal skills are especially important for social adjustment in childhood and adolescence. For example, one study found that poor interpersonal skills (e.g., externalizing problems) in childhood, predicted academic problems in adolescence, which in turn led to internalizing problems in adulthood (Masten et al., 2005). There is also strong evidence that learning-related skills predict early academic achievement (McClelland et al., 2006). For example, one study found that prekindergar-teners who had difficulty using learning-related skills to complete goal-directed activities scored lower on a standardized cognitive achievement measure.

These children also exhibited more risk factors, such as family problems, lower parental education, and behavioral or emotional problems (Bronson, Tivnan, & Seppanen, 1995). Another study found that the gains in learning-related skills, specifically self-regulation, predicted gains made in early literacy, vocabulary, and math skills over the prekindergarten year in a diverse sample of children across two sites in the United States (McClelland et al., 2007). Other research in elementary school has demonstrated that kindergarten learning-related skills significantly predicted reading and math achievement between kindergarten and sixth grade, and growth in literacy and math from kindergarten to second grade (McClelland et al., 2006). Finally, in one recent study, aspects of learning-related skills, such as self-discipline, were stronger predictors of academic performance than intelligence test scores in adolescents (Duckworth & Seligman, 2005).

A number of studies also support relations between interpersonal skills and learning-related skills for children’s school adjustment. For example, research has shown that children’s self-regulation positively relates to social competence, and that strong self-regulation can buffer otherwise negative outcomes (Lengua, 2002). Taken together, research suggests that promoting interpersonal skills and learning-related skills in young children and adolescents is one way to ensure strong social and academic skills http://www.education.com/reference/article/social-skills1/

( social de) -A person’s childhood shapes much of their personality and determines who they become later in life. For this reason, early childhood social development has become increasingly important to individuals interested in the emotional and mental well-being of children. When a baby is first born, their most prominent social need is connection and bonding with their caregivers. However, as children get older, they begin to branch out and establish other social relationships.

Developmental Stages

According to the Childhood Development Institute, there are two primary stages children go through within their first seven years of life–the sensory motor stage and the preoperational period. During the sensory stage, kids will engage in parallel play. This means they will play beside each other with little or no interaction. However, in preoperational stage, they have more of a desire to play with others and start to establish ideas about friendship.


The older children become, the more likely they are to seek out autonomy and independence. This stage is often more difficult for the parent, who often mistakes their child’s independence as rejection. Autonomy, which is essentially self-government, can also lead to temper tantrums when a child is denied something that they feel is within their right.

Gender Identity

Although the exact cause of gender identity remains unknown, it is believed that a child’s gender identity is established through early childhood social development. According to the book, The Psychology of Personality, gender identity plays a prominent social role. It is through observing social behavior that children determine what is acceptable for their gender. Considerations

Social development is also influenced by the economic status of a family. For example, children who lived during the Great Depression were adversely affected if their fathers experienced job loss and economic deprivation. The psychological stress of the father influenced the social development of both boys and girls, and these children were more likely to have problem behaviors. This was especially true in preschool-age children.

Learning Abilities

The Society for Research in Child Development states that a child’s social skills and development is linked to their learning abilities. By the time a child has reached the age of three, psychologists can determine how well they will do academically based on their social interactions. Early childhood development strategies are vital to ensuring the future health and emotional welfare of children. http://www.ehow.com/about_5368502_early-childhood-social-development.html How to Support the Social Development of a Child

Social development of children is just as important as the development of the brain and the body. As you would probably expect, relationships that babies and children have with other people largely influence their social development. Follow these steps to help support a child’s social development


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