The foundations laid in early childhood are critical for later emotional and mental wellness. These foundations for healthy development include sufficient nutrition, a safe environment, and warm, supportive interactions with caregivers. Since infants and toddlers form around 700 neural connections per second, stressful–or “adverse”–experiences during these years have the potential to influence brain development, especially if the experiences are ongoing or cumulative. Ongoing adverse experiences can contribute to developmental delays, including emotional difficulties. It is estimated that between 10 and 14 percent of children through age 5 suffer from an emotional or behavioral disturbance. This Child Trends 5 focuses on mental wellness for infants and toddlers birth through 3 years old.
*Health Outcomes of Positive Experience
This report presents evidence for HOPE (Health Outcomes of Positive Experiences) based on newly released, compelling data that reinforce the need to promote positive experiences for children and families in order to foster healthy childhood development despite the adversity common in so many families.
Published in 2017 by the Child Welfare Information Gateway, Children's Bureau, and FRIENDS National Resource Center For Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, this robust, 100+ page guide focuses on prevention in the family and community. The Resource Guide focuses on protective factors that build on family strengths and promote optimal child and youth development. Information about protective factors is augmented with tools and strategies that help providers integrate the factors into community programs and systems. Agencies, policymakers, advocates, service providers, and parents alike will find resources in this guide to help them promote these important elements within their families and communities.
As is true for physical health, mental health encompasses more than the absence of disorders. Researchers have considered a number of dimensions of positive mental health, one of which is “resilience.” This publication, released in 2013 by Child Trends, includes headings: characteristics of resilience (relationships with caring adults, disposition, relationship skills/social competence, emotional self-regulation, cognitive skills, confidence and "inner-directedness," and religiosity or spirituality), program strategies that promote resilience, links between resilience and avoiding of risk-taking behaviors, resources, and references.
Published by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) in 2016, this four-page resource defines resilience and factors that enhance resilience in children following a potentially traumatic event. Outlines steps providers can take to build on individual, family, and communal strengths to address children's needs, accomplish goals, reduce adversities, and foster growth and development.
Published by Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, these three videos provide an overview of why resilience matters, how it develops, and how to strengthen it in children.
Published by Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, this brief is part of a series that summarizes essential scientific findings from Center publications.
Reducing the effects of significant adversity on young children’s healthy development is critical to the progress and prosperity of any society. Yet not all children experience lasting harm as a result of adverse early experiences. Some may demonstrate “resilience,” or an adaptive response to serious hardship. A better understanding of why some children do well despite early adversity is important because it can help us design policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential.
Young children face new challenges at every age and stage—that's why it's so important to help them build the skills they need to become resilient. With self-confidence and the ability to express themselves, little ones will be able to handle whatever may come their way…and will just keep getting stronger.
Created by Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child, in this interactive feature, you will learn how the choices we make can help children and the community as a whole become more resilient in the face of serious challenges. Negative events can occur at any moment, and it’s your job to choose positive events to counteract these negatives. View Key Concepts: Resilience to learn more about the science of resilience.
While every effort has been made to ensure resources shared are safe and reputable, no resource is endorsed or guaranteed by Utah's Trauma-Resiliency Collaborative or its members. No resource listed is in an any way a substitute for obtaining professional help.
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