WHY FOCUS ON SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT?

We know that social and emotional development is an important initial indicator of the general well-being, overall health, and school readiness of young children. A child's social and emotional health directly affects his or her ability to learn and succeed in school and in life and yet it is influenced by many factors.

HOW DO RELATIONSHIPS IMPACT CHILDREN'S HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT?

Pediatrics Supporting Parents defines nurturing relationships as selective, meaningful, and significant connections between parents and children that develop through mutual interactions and persist over time. We recognize that these relationships matter.

We know that stress and the effects of poverty and racism can impede children's healthy development, but strong parent-child relationships act as buffers that enable children to respond adaptively to adversity and thrive. This is increasingly relevant given the stressors faced by families as a result of the global pandemic. However, research shows that positive early relationships account for 25-50% of population variability in critical child development outcomes. By supporting these relationships through a universal access point like the well-child visit, we can disrupt the effects of poverty and racism.