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Social-Emotional Development: An Exploration of Definitions in the Literature and Aboriginal Perspectives Open Access


Other title
early childhood development
Aboriginal child development
social-emotional development
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Daniels, Melissa K.
Supervisor and department
Dr. Rebecca Gokiert, Faculty of Extension, Community-University Partnership for the Study of Children, Youth, and Families/ Dr. Berna Skrypnek, Department of Human Ecology
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Christina Rinaldi, Department of Educational Psychology
Department of Human Ecology
Family Ecology and Practice
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The current thesis consists of two papers. The first paper, presented in Chapter 2, examined recent research literature to identify how researchers define social-emotional development and to consider where further clarity is needed in defining this term. Using content analysis to examine researchers’ definitions, four categories emerged, consisting of self-regulation; emotion knowledge; social and relationship skills; and self-concept. Researchers were generally consistent in their definitions; however, it was discovered that remarkably few researchers explicitly define social-emotional competence, instead relying on tools to operationalize this construct. The second paper, presented in Chapter 3, is a qualitative study that explored social-emotional competence from Aboriginal perspectives. Five themes emerged from the data. A strong identity was central to the other themes of cultural, social, emotional, and mental wellness. As a concluding discussion piece, Chapter 4 integrates the learnings from both papers, discusses implications for practice, and identifies directions for future research.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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