Dear ISEI Member,
As you know, the journal Infants and Young Children (IYC) is published in conjunction with the International Society on Early Intervention (ISEI). As part of this relationship, the publisher of IYC has allowed us to make available on the ISEI Website two articles from each issue of IYC for our members. In addition, we have provided an opportunity for you to comment on one or both of these articles or ask questions of the author(s). The authors have agreed to respond at a later time. Comments can be on any aspect of the article, but certainly comments relevant to the value of this information in your own country would be of special interest. The two articles for this issue of IYC are:
FAMILY ROUTINES AND RITUALS: A CONTEXT FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE LIVES OF YOUNG CHILDREN Mary Spagnola, PhD; Barbara H. Fiese, PhD Naturally occurring family routines and meaningful rituals provide both a predictable structure that guides behavior and an emotional climate that supports early development. In this article, we highlight recent evidence that suggests that variations in the practice of family routines and the meaning connected to family rituals are associated with variations in socioemotional, language, academic, and social skill development. We offer definitions of routines and rituals and contrast their different elements. We briefly review how variations in routines have been found to be associated with variations in language development, academic achievement, and social skill development. We examine how variations in the emotional investment in family rituals are associated with variations in family relationship satisfaction. We place our review in the framework of the transactional model whereby characteristics of the child and parent affect each other in the creation and sustainability of routines over time. Potential mechanisms of effect (parental efficacy, behavior monitoring, family relationship coherence) are discussed. We conclude with a brief description of methods of assessment and intervention suitable for practitioners working with families of young children. Key words: family routines, infancy, parenting, preschool
SCREENING INFANT MENTAL HEALTH INDICATORS: AN EARLY HEAD START INITIATIVE Kathleen M. Baggett, PhD; Leslie Warlen, MPH; Jenny L. Hamilton, MA; Jennifer L. Roberts, MC; Martha Staker, MA, MS There is growing recognition of the multiple and complex needs of families who request services from early head start (EHS) programs. One of the challenges of EHS programs is to screen multiple risks more efficiently so that families can be referred for appropriate support services and so that families who are most in need of EHS services are able to receive them. Meeting this challenge has been cited as a priority for EHS programs and is central to better understanding and addressing infant mental health needs among families who come into contact with EHS programs. Community, state, and federal monitoring systems have been identified as an important mechanism for tracking and improving the well-being of America’s children and adolescents. To the extent that predictors of infant mental health problems are known, communities can develop monitoring systems for the purposes of prevention and treatment. The purpose of this article is to identify common limitations of screening and referral approaches in EHS, to describe the process by which one EHS program has begun to address such limitations, and to highlight indications of system effectiveness as well as plans for future evaluation. Key words: community collaboration, early head start, infant mental health indicators, screening/referral systems
To discuss these articles, please simply click "Infants and Young Children" on the ISEI Home Page (www.isei.washington.edu). These articles are in a .pdf format exactly as they are published in the journal itself and will be available to you on the Website until January 2, 2008.
I hope you find this effort to further expand communications among ISEI members interesting and rewarding.