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Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs Part I Part I Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development The vision described in Chapter 1 rests on an understanding of what healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) development is and how the risk and protective factors that influence it can be modified. Many aspects of healthy development have been well understood for decades, but research emerging since 2009 has significantly elaborated this picture. Chapter 2 offers a detailed look at the complex factors that affect development at multiple levels. We set the stage here with a brief picture of what constitutes healthy MEB development. There are numerous frameworks for describing the skills, interests, habits, and values a young person must have to lead a productive life and have caring relationships with others. Researchers have identified developmental outcomes in domains that include cognitive development, psychological and behavioral health, and social and emotional competence. Cognitive development refers to the emergence of verbal and reasoning skills that are involved in academic success, as well as the accumulation of knowledge in specific subject areas. Executive functioning skills, such as planning, impulse control, and the capacity to delay gratification, are other examples of higher-level cognitive skills. Current measures of cognitive ability are predictive of academic progress and success, which in turn is an important factor in resilience. Milestones have been established for executive function, literacy, abstract reasoning, and critical thinking for stages from infancy through adolescence. A primary goal for psychological and behavioral health is psychological flexibilityâ the ability of a person to pursue her goals and values effectively by persisting or altering her behavior as the situation demands (Kashdan and Rottenberg, 2010). While there is no precise definition of what constitutes healthy MEB development, ways to measure core features of social and emotional competence have been the focus of attention in the last few decades, as educators in particular have sought ways to assess and teach particular competencies (Stecher and Hamilton, 2018). The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has developed a five-component framework for understanding âstudentsâ capacity to integrate skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically with daily tasks and challenges,â which provides a reasonable summary of the attributes of healthy development1 see Box I-1. BOX I-1 Core Competencies Defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1 Available at https://casel.org/core-competencies. Â 26
Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs Part I Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize oneâs own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess oneâs strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a âgrowth mindset.â ï· Identifying emotions ï· Accurate self-perception ï· Recognizing strengths ï· Self-confidence ï· Self-efficacy Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate oneâs emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situationâ effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals. ï· Impulse control ï· Stress management ï· Self-discipline ï· Self-motivation ï· Goal setting ï· Organizational skills Social Awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports. ï· Perspective-taking ï· Empathy ï· Appreciating diversity ï· Respect for others Relationship Skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed. ï· Communication ï· Social engagement ï· Relationship building ï· Teamwork Responsible Decision-making: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the wellbeing of oneself and others. Â 27
Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs Part I ï· Identifying problems ï· Analyzing situations ï· Solving problems ï· Evaluating ï· Reflecting ï· Ethical responsibility SOURCE: Reprinted with permission from https://casel.org/core-competencies (CASEL, 2019). Many factors contribute to the development of healthy MEB attributes, hamper their development, or contribute to the development of risk behaviors or MEB disorders. The 2009 National Academies report notes that âindividual competencies, family resources, school quality, and community-level characteristicsâ are among the influences on MEB health, and that the more negative influences a growing child experiences, the greater is the likelihood of negative outcomes (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2009, p. 16). That report also takes note of interactions between genes and the environment and points to emerging research on how genes may influence processes that may play a part in MEB disorders and help explain individual differences in their occurrence. Researchers continue to explore the components of healthy MEB development and the myriad factors that influence it. Â 28
Prepublication Copy, Uncorrected Proofs Part I REFERENCES CASEL. (2019). Core SEL competencies. 2019, from https://casel.org/core-competencies. Kashdan, T.B., and Rottenberg, J. (2010). Psychological flexibility as a fundamental aspect of health. Clin Psychol Rev, 30(7), 865-878. National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2009). Preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders among young people: Progress and possibilities. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Stecher, B.M., and Hamilton, L.S. (2018). Learning how to measure social and emotional learning. FutureEd. Â 29