A Social Competence Curriculum for Toddlers and Preschoolers Demonstrating Mental Health and Behavioral Problems

Overview

The Social Competence Curriculum for Toddlers and Preschoolers Demonstrating Mental Health and Behavioral Problems was a three-year project funded by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education. It focused on the implementation of a social competence curriculum with toddler age children (24-36 months) who displayed mental health issues that put them at risk for early intervention and special education enrollment.

Accomplishments

  • Developed the Play Tools for Toddlers curriculum. The curriculum contained both a parent component and a classroom component to be implemented in child care settings. The parent component of the curriculum focused on enhancing the quality of the parent-child relationship, providing information to shape a family’s attitude, beliefs and knowledge about their child’s peer relationships, increasing the child’s social network, and enhancing the family’s social support network. The classroom component focused on a hierarchical model of social competence organized around three social tasks: peer group entry, conflict resolution, and maintaining play.
  • Developed assessment tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the social competence curriculum according to child and family outcomes.
  • Designed two studies to assess the effectiveness of the curriculum.
    • Study I was an experimental design that looked at child and family outcome measures.
    • Study II was a validation study evaluating the degree to which the social competence curriculum effectively targeted young children’s social skills.

Publications