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Early Child Development in Social Context: A Chartbook

To see a slide show with an overview of the chartbook, click on the graphic below. Note that the show will open in a separate window; you might not be able to see the slides if you have a pop-up blocker active.

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Early childhood is a time of tremendous physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth for children. When recognized early, problems in any of these areas may be addressed effectively and their long-term negative consequences may be minimized and sometimes eliminated altogether. Risks in the physical and social environment that may retard development can also be prevented or ameliorated when early identification and intervention occur.

Health practitioners are among the only professionals who see children on a regular basis in the first three years of life. This places them in a unique position to advise and support parents and to recognize potential threats to healthy early development. This chartbook reviews more than 30 key indicators of development and health for children up to age 6, as well as social factors in families and communities that affect these outcomes. It also offers practical implications for practitioners and parents.


Table of Contents

Introduction and Overview
1 Socioemotional Development 6 Health Care Receipt
2 Intellectual Development 7 Community/Neighborhood Factors
3 Child Health 8 Child Care
4 Family Functioning 9 Demographic Factors
5 Parental Health Technical Appendix

The chartbook's release was accompanied by a teleconference in which an expert panel discussed the issues raised by the new report and the best ways to address them.

Edward L. Schor, M.D., Assistant Vice President, The Commonwealth Fund (moderator)
[email protected]

Ruth Stein, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Children's Hospital at Montefiore
[email protected]

Brett Brown, Ph.D. Director of Social Indicators Research, Child Trends
[email protected]

Martha Zaslow, Ph.D., Vice President for Research and Senior Scholar, Child Trends
[email protected]

Michael Weitzman, M.D., Executive Director, AAP's Center for Child Health Research
[email protected]

Publication Details



Early Child Development in Social Context: A Chartbook, Brett Brown, Ph.D., Michael Weitzman, M.D. et al., The Commonwealth Fund, September 2004