The Teacher's Role in Promoting Resilience in Young Children Exposed to Violence

By McEntire, Nancy | Childhood Education, Fall 2009 | Go to article overview

The Teacher's Role in Promoting Resilience in Young Children Exposed to Violence


McEntire, Nancy, Childhood Education


This column presents and summarizes recent resources related to the way that teachers can promote resilience in young children exposed to violence.

Journal Articles

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE IMPACT ON YOUNG CHILDREN. Michelle Zinke & Linda Zinke. Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine, Vol. 30, No. 183 (2008): 3034. This article describes domestic violence as a pattern of intentional behaviors that includes a variety of tactics, such as physical and sexual violence, stalking, threats/intimidation, isolation, psychological attacks, and spiritual and economic abuse. The authors explain the causes of domestic violence and its effects on children. They also suggest several steps that early childhood providers can take to support adults and children impacted by a batterer's use of violence.

BETWEEN TEACHER & PARENT: The Effect of Television Violence on Children. Adele M. Brodkin. Early Childhood Today, Vol. 19, No. 5 (2005): 16-17. In this article, the author discusses how to help a child who is negatively influenced by television programming. The author gives advice on what the teacher can do to help the child understand the difference between the imaginative world and the real world. Pointing to more than a quarter century of research on the effects of television viewing on children and adults, the author concludes that although controversies still exist, the data present a clear picture of increased aggression in all age groups following the viewing of violent television.

MULTI-YEAR EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A RESILIENCE-BASED PREVENTION PROGRAM FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. Kathleen Bodisch Lynch, Susan Rose Geller, & Melinda G. Schmidt. Journal of Primary Prevention, Vol. 24, No. 3 (2004): 335-353. This article describes the results of a multi-year, multi-state evaluation of the effectiveness of an early childhood prevention initiative. Targeted to children in preschool through the early elementary grades, the intervention includes teacher training, a year-long classroom curriculum, original materials and music, and a parent education program. Child outcome data indicate that the intervention is effective in increasing children's social-emotional competence and coping skills, and in decreasing the development of antisocial behavior.

COMPREHENSIVE EVIDENCE-BASED SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL CURRICULA FOR YOUNG CHILDREN: An Analysis of Efficacious Adoption Potential. Gail E. Joseph & Phillip S. Strain. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Vol. 23, No. 2 (2003): 62-73. This article describes the difficulties that children from disadvantaged family backgrounds of abuse and conflict may have with conflict management, social skills, emotional regulation, and making friends. The authors add that these children may require more intensive and explicit training to learn the skills needed to be successful in their peer group. Eight comprehensive social-emotional curricula for children under 6 years of age are reviewed, and two curricula currently under investigation are described. These programs have shown some success in the promotion of interpersonal skills and the reduction or prevention of challenging behavior for a wide range of children.

RESILIENCE IN CHILDREN: A Review of Literature with Implications for Education. Steven J. Condly. Urban Education, Vol. 41, No. 3 (2006): 211-236. This literature review identifies the complex array of individual, family, and community factors that may explain resilience. The author points out that poverty and its associated problems (e.g., crime, lack of opportunity, and violence) are hard on children, but that despite adverse circumstances, some children manage to survive and even thrive, academically and socially, into adulthood. The author explores the implications of these findings for the creation of programs designed to support resilience in children at risk. He concludes that because schools are places in which children spend so much time, they are ideal locations for the implementation of programs designed to support children and assist them in overcoming environmental stressors; however, if the schools are resource poor, are short on qualified staff, or exist in dangerous neighborhoods, the development of resilience is likely to be hampered. …

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