Jane Case-Smith; Systematic Review of Interventions to Promote Social–Emotional Development in Young Children With or at Risk for Disability. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(4):395-404. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2013.004713.
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© 2014 American Occupational Therapy Association
This systematic review synthesized the research on interventions used by occupational therapy practitioners to promote social–emotional development in young children (birth–5 yr) with or at risk for disabilities. After a comprehensive search of the research literature, 23 studies were reviewed and then synthesized into five themes: (1) touch-based interventions to enhance calming and parent–infant bonding, (2) relationship-based interventions to promote positive caregiver–child interactions, (3) joint attention interventions, (4) naturalistic preschool interventions to promote peer-to-peer engagement, and (5) instruction-based interventions to teach children appropriate social behaviors. The interventions for infants primarily involved coaching parents in specific strategies to promote positive interactions; interventions for preschool-age children typically involved encouraging peer support, instructing children, and applying naturalistic behavioral techniques to develop higher-level social competence. The studies demonstrated low to moderate positive effects for interventions used by occupational therapy practitioners to improve social–emotional development across ages, diagnoses, and settings.
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