National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation

Factors that Influence Children’s Social and Emotional Development

Many factors may affect the way children express their social skills or emotional competencies or the rate at which children acquire social skills or emotional competencies. These factors include 1) environmental risk factors such as living in an unsafe community, receiving care within a low-quality child care setting, lack of resources available in the community or lack of Influencepolicies supporting children and families, etc, 2) family risk factors such as maternal depression or mental illness in the family, parental substance abuse, family violence, poverty, etc. and 3) within-child risk factors such as a fussy temperament, developmental delay, and serious health issues. All of these factors need to be taken into careful consideration when gathering information to fully understand and support children's social and emotional health through a comprehensive, ecological approach. This particular tutorial will focus on the individual child aspects of social and emotional development to include milestones, risk factors and strategies to support children. For more information on supporting the social and emotional aspects of early care and education environments, some helpful resources include:

For more information on supporting adult (parent and caregiver) social and emotional health look on the Center for Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation home webpage.




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Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development National Center for Effective Mental Health Consultation