Understanding Early Childhood Mental Health: A Practical Guide for Professionals / Edition 1

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Integrating infant mental health services into early education programs leads to better child outcomes and stronger parent-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 to recognize indicators of mental health problems in very young children, including emotional dysregulation and behavioral and developmental changes promote parents' and caregivers' mental health through direct and indirect supports, including regular mental health screening, community partnerships with mental health providers, and parent education build on child and family strengths and mitigate risk factors such as poverty and violence strengthen parent-child relationships and interactions through play and effective caregiving routines maintain their own mental health, building positive relationships with co-workers and reducing the effects of compassion fatigue and secondary stress participate in reflective supervision to sharpen their ability to think critically and solve problems conduct sound program evaluation that includes the input of families, staff, and the surrounding culture and community work effectively with outside mental health consultants when child and family needs extend

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Editorial Reviews

James Garbarino

"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."

Self-Employed Consultant, Policy and Planning in Early intervention and Infant Mental Health, Princeton, NJ; co-editor, - Jane D. Hochman

"Extremely well organized . . . The book keeps its promise to be a practical guide for practitioners and suggests actual strategies to put into practice. It also addresses issues related to supervision, program evaluation, and the larger organizational questions."

Director, UMass Boston Infant Parent Mental Health Program - Dorothy T. Richardson

"Provides a solid grounding for educators and mental health practitioners alike in the science of infant mental health and the necessity of relationship-based interventions."

Psychology Shelf The Midwest Book Review

"When the mind is forming and learning, it is the most vulnerable. Understanding Early Childhood Mental Health is a guide for pediatricians and other health workers on understanding the mind of an infant and toddler and understanding the indicators of early mental health issues in children, as well as issues that parents face, fatigue, and much more. An important topic that isn't spoke often, Understanding Early Childhood Mental Health is a choice and recommended pick for health and psychology collections."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598570755
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 734,600
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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 master’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 master’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.

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Table of Contents

About the Editors vii

About the Contributors ix

Foreword Hiram E. Fitzgerald xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Partnerships and Pragmatics: Editor's Introduction Susan Janko Summers 1

I Understanding Infant Mental Health: Development and Relationships Susan Janko Summers 11

1 Understanding Infant Mental Health Deborah Roderick Stark Rachel Chazan-Cohen 13

2 The Challenging Child: Emotional Dysregulation and Aggression Neena M. Malik 25

3 Maternal Depression Linda S. Beeber Rachel Chazan-Cohen 41

4 Finding Family Strengths in the Midst of Adversity: Using Risk and Resilience Models to Promote Mental Health Colleen L Monahan Linda S. Beeber Brenda Jones Harden 59

5 Exposure to Direct and Indirect Trauma Meryl Yoches Susan Janko Summers Linda S. Beeber Brenda Jones Harden Neena M. Malik 79

6 Assessing Young Children's Social and Emotional Development Jane Squires 99

7 Assessing Primary Caregiver Relationships Neil W. Boris Timothy F. Page 125

II Supporting Infant Mental Health: Intervention Strategies and Organizational Supports Susan Janko Summers 141

8 Promoting Infant Mental Health in Early Childhood Programs: Intervening with Parent-Child Dyads Brenda Jones Harden Melissa Duchene 143

9 Intervening with Parents Linda S. Beeber Regina Camiso 159

10 Infant Mental Health Consultation in Early Childhood Classrooms Sherryl Scott Heller Allison B. Boothe Angela Walter Keyes Neena M. Malik 179

11 Reflective Supervision Sherryl Scott Heller 199

12 Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Staff Nicole Denmark Brenda Jones Harden 217

13 Organizational Readiness Jamell White Brenda Jones Harden 227

14 Evaluating Infant Mental Health Programs Susan Janko Summers 241

Index 265

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