Resilience in Preschoolers

Since everyone faces adversity at some point in life, DCRC’s mission is to promote protective factors and strengthen resilience for all children and the adults who care for them. Promoting resilience involves reducing risk factors and strengthening protective factors at the environmental, familial and within levels.

DCRC Promotes Within Protective Factors

In preschoolers, DCRC promotes the following within protective factors through assessment and strategies for the home and school settings:

Age RangeWithin-Child Protective Factors DefinitionsAssessment
(3-6 years)
Attachment/Relationships; Initiative; Self-Regulation
Devereux Early Childhood Assessment - Preschool, Second Edition (DECA-P2)
  • Attachment/Relationships: The child’s ability to promote and maintain mutual, positive connections with other children and significant adults
  • Initiative: The child’s ability to use independent thought and action to meet his or her needs
  • Self-Regulation: The child’s ability to express emotions and manage behaviors in healthy ways

Promoting Resilience In Preschoolers

Through the assessment and planning process, DCRC’s Preschool Initiative focuses on promoting the social and emotional health and resilience of children ages three through five. The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Preschoolers (DECA-P2; LeBuffe & Naglieri, 2012) is a 38-item, strength-based, nationally standardized, reliable, and valid tool that can be completed by families (parents, grandparents, foster parents) and early care and education professionals (teachers, child care providers). The DECA-P2 measures three social and emotional constructs, screens for behavioral concerns, and links directly to research-based strategies to strengthen any identified areas of need.

The DECA Preschool Program Helps Programs Meet Various Standards

The DECA-P2 is used by a variety of early care and education programs including Head Start, preschools and child care centers, to meet the specific standards set forth for assessing and promoting young children’s social and emotional health. Specifically, the DECA-P2 provides detailed information on children’s social and emotional strengths and needs by scale and even by item.

By aggregating individual child level data, programs can also gain insights into common areas of strengths and needs for the classroom as a whole. The results can then inform more intentional and individualized practices that meet the unique needs of each child as well as the group. For more information about this resource designed to support early care and education professionals and families promote social and emotional health in preschool children, see the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment for Preschoolers (DECA-P2) and accompanying resources and professional development.

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