chapter  5
20 Pages

Understanding and addressing social, emotional and mental health needs

WithJanice Wearmouth

This chapter reviews a range of frameworks within which behaviour seen as problematic in settings and schools is commonly understood. It discusses a number of interventions and programmes designed to address social, emotional and mental health needs. There exists a number of different frameworks within which the behaviour of young children who display features of 'social, emotional and mental health difficulties' may be understood. There is a lot of evidence to demonstrate that approaches derived from behavioural methodologies can be effective in establishing positive behaviour and reducing incidents of disruption or challenging behaviour. The specific behaviours identified as appropriate for reward or punishment are just as important as the choice of reinforcer. This is an area where cultural values, preferences and practices may be crucial in encouraging young children's behaviour. Although consistency in the use of behavioural approaches may be effective in changing young children's behaviour, they are often criticised also for failing to take adequate account of the emotions.