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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume I, Wellbeing in Children and Families by Cary L. Cooper, Susan H. Landry

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Parenting and Early Intervention

The Impact on Children's Social and Emotional Skill Development

Catherine C. Ayoub

Harvard Medical School and Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Boston, U.S.A.

Jessica Dym Bartlett and Mallary I. Swartz

Brazelton Touchpoints Center, Boston, U.S.A.

There is broad consensus among early childhood researchers, policymakers, and practitioners that parenting is an influential determinant of a child's development, as well as a potent promotive factor in the development of psychosocial competence (Ayoub, Vallotton, & Mastergeorge, 2011; Belsky, 1984; Masten, 2001; Riley & Masten, 2005). More than those of any other species, human infants depend upon relationships with their caregivers to survive (Tobach & Schnierla, 1968), and it is within the context of these central relationships that the foundational aspects of individual social and emotional abilities emerge (Easterbrooks, Bartlett, Beeghly, & Thompson, 2012). Beginning at birth, children's increasing capacity to recognize self and other, to experience, express, understand, and regulate emotions, and to form interpersonal relationships are deeply rooted in their social environments (Belsky, 1984; Bronfenbrenner, 1979; Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). The development of young children thus is inextricably linked to their social ecology, a notion captured in Winnicott's (1960) famous dictum, “There's no such thing as a baby.” From this standpoint, one cannot appreciate social and emotional development in ...

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