Strategies for Fostering Healthy Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Development in Children and Youth
Part I of this report focuses on the influences on healthy mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) development, including those at the individual, family, community, and societal levels. We turn next to strategies based on understanding of these influences with the potential to foster healthy MEB development and outcomes. These strategies may be interventions intended to promote well-being by developing positive attributes (promotive) or to prevent harm to well-being by addressing particular issues (preventive). They also may be either universal (offered to an entire population rather than only to groups identified as at risk for particular negative outcomes), selective (targeted to individuals or groups identified as having a higher-than-average risk for the outcomes addressed), or indicated (targeted to individuals showing signs of the outcomes of concern).
The discussion in Part II is structured around the different points of access for such strategies. In Chapter 3, we first look at strategies for targeting MEB development at the family level and addressing issues that persist across generations. We then examine universal or near-universal touch points for children and families and opportunities they provide to introduce approaches and programs with the potential to improve parent, child, adolescent, and family outcomes. In Chapter 4, we look at opportunities in schools, while in Chapter 5 we turn to primary and other health care settings. Finally, in Chapter 6 we examine strategies and policies that affect populations at the local, state, and national levels.
These chapters build on ideas presented in the 2009 National Research Council and Institute of Medicine report. Many of the interventions discussed here, such as the Incredible Years, Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), the Perry Preschool Program, and the Good Behavior Game, are also discussed in that earlier report. We examine current evidence about these programs and how they and other approaches are increasingly focused on MEB health promotion as well as prevention of disorders.
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