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Talking to Families About Common Problems

Mandatory Readings: Chapters 1, 2 and 3 in Encounters with Children

Goals & Objectives


To develop knowledge and competency in understanding and assessing emotional development in young children.


  1. Residents will learn about different theoretical constructs including Erickson's stages and Attachment theory. Each resident will then videotape at least one well child visit for review with a faculty member. Satisfying this goal will improve core competencies in:
    • Patient Care by learning to use observations of child behavior and parent-child interaction to make inferences on the child's emotional development. The resident will practice discussing these observations with parents during the visit.
    • Medical Knowledge: Residents will develop a greater understanding of the influence of the quality of early relationships in the development of emotional health and social competence.
  2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills: Residents will have a greater knowledge of how to create a therapeutic alliance with families through developing feelings of trust, openness and empathy.Residents will meet with Dr. Avni-Singer twice during the rotation to understand the impact of early childhood social-emotional development on future developmental and behavioral outcomes and consider new strategies to enhance communication with parents on this topic. As part of that experience, residents will be asked to videotape themselves during their continuity clinic. This is meant to be an educational, not evaluative experience and videotapes will only be viewed by the residents on rotation at that time and Dr. Avni-Singer. On the first session, Dr. Avni-Singer will explain more about the goals of this experience. Annmarie Healy has the cameras and you can sign them out through her.