Understanding Early Childhood Mental Health: A Practical Guide for Professionals

Understanding Early Childhood Mental Health: A Practical Guide for Professionals


Foreword by Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Edited by Susan Janko Summers, Edited by Rachel Chazan-Cohen

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  • Publisher: Brookes Publishing Co
  • Format: Paperback | 275 pages
  • Dimensions: 175mm x 251mm x 23mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 15 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore
  • ISBN 10: 1598570757
  • ISBN 13: 9781598570755
  • Edition: 1
  • Sales rank: 879,145

Product description

Integrating infant mental health services into early education programs leads to better child outcomes and stronger parenta child relationships--the big question is how to do it appropriately and effectively. Clear answers are in this accessible textbook, created to prepare early childhood professionals and programs to weave best practices in mental health into their everyday work. Ideal for preservice university courses, in-service professional development, and program administrators, this introductory text combines the authoritative guidance of more than a dozen respected mental health and early childhood experts. Professionals will get a primer on infant mental health, strengthening their knowledge of key issues such as screening and assessment, attachment, emotional dysregulation and aggression, risk and resilience, maternal depression, and children's exposure to trauma. Then they'll get practical, research-based guidance they can use torecognize indicators of mental health problems in very young children, including emotional dysregulation and behavioral and developmental changespromote parents' and caregivers' mental health through direct and indirect supports, including regular mental health screening, community partnerships with mental health providers, and parent educationbuild on child and family strengths and mitigate risk factors such as poverty and violencestrengthen parenta child relationships and interactions through play and effective caregiving routinesmaintain their own mental health, building positive relationships with co-workers and reducing the effects of compassion fatigue and secondary stressparticipate in reflective supervision to sharpen their ability to think critically and solve problemsconduct sound program evaluation that includes the input of families, staff, and the surrounding culture and communitywork effectively with outside mental health consultants when child and family needs extend beyond the program's scope With this highly readable introduction to key mental health principles, the next generation of early childhood professionals will fully understand the latest research and best practice--so they can support optimal caregiver-child relationships, enhance professional collaboration, and strengthen child development. "

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Author information

Rachel Chazan-Cohen, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at George Mason University in Virginia. Previously, she was a senior research analyst and Coordinator of Infant and Toddler Research in the Office of Planning Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She trained in developmental and clinical psychology at Yale University, where she earned a doctoral degree, and at Tufts University, where she earned a mastera s degree. She is particularly interested in the biological, relational, and environmental factors influencing the development of at-risk children and, most especially, on the creation, evaluation, and refinement of intervention programs for families with infants and toddlers. Dr. Squires has served as principal investigator on research studies at the University of Oregon on the ASQ system. She is a professor in special education, focusing on early intervention and early childhood special education. She directs the Early Intervention Program and is associate director of the University of Oregon Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Squires has directed national outreach training activities related to developmental screening and the involvement of parents in the assessment and monitoring of their child's development. She currently directs research grants related to early childhood mental health and systems change related to early identification and treatment of newborn infants exposed prenatally to drugs and alcohol. In addition to her interests in screening and early identification, Dr. Squires directs the doctoral and master's level early intervention/special education personnel preparation programs and teachers courses in early intervention/special education at the University of Oregon. Susan Janko Summers, Ph.D., is an educational ethnographer who has studied and written about child maltreatment, infant mental health, children with disabilities, and children and families at risk in the contexts of culture, community, and educational settings. She earned interdisciplinary mastera s and doctoral degrees with an emphasis on early childhood special education at the University of Oregon. She is keenly interested in the effects of mindfulness and meditation on emotional health and social relationships. "

Review quote

"A major step toward closing the gap between aspirations and realizations in promoting and protecting the mental health of our youngest children by helping the people who care for them develop the tools they need to offer a psychologically safer world from birth and beyond." --James Garbarino, Ph.D.