Strengthening Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children—The Foundation for Early School Readiness and Success

Strengthening Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children—The Foundation for Early School Readiness and Success

images (10)Carolyn Webster-Stratton,PhD; M.Jamila Reid,PhD

The ability of young children to manage their emotions and behaviors and to make meaningful friendships is an important prerequisite for school readiness and academic success.Socially competent children are also more academically successful and poor social skills are a strong predictor of academic failure.This article describes The Incredible Years Dinosaur Social Skills and ProblemSolving Child Training Program,which teaches skills such as emotional literacy,empathy or perspective taking,friendship and communication skills, anger management, interpersonal problem solving,and how to be successful at school.The program was first evaluated as a small group treatment program for young children who were diagnosed with oppositional defiant and conduct disorders.More recently the program has been adapted for use by preschool and elementary teachers as a prevention curriculum designed to increase the social,emotional,and academic competence,and decrease problem behaviors of all children in the classroom.The content,methods,and teaching processes of this classroom curriculum are discussed.
THE prevalence of aggressive behavior problems in preschool and early school age children is about 10%,and may be as high as 25% for socio-economically disadvantagedchildren (Rimm-Kaufman,Pianta,&Cox,2000;Webster-Stratton,1998; WebsterStratton,Reid,& Hammond, 2001a).Evidence suggests that without early intervention,emotional,social,and behavioral problems(particularly,aggression and oppositional behavior)in young children are key risk factors or“red flags”that mark the beginning of escalating academic problems,grade retention,school drop out,and antisocial behavior(Snyder,2001;Tremblay,Mass,Pagani &Vitaro, 1996).

Strengthening Social and Emotional Competence in Young Children—The Foundation for Early School Readiness and Success

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