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Saturday, November 11, 2017

The 4 Domains of Child and Youth Development

When discussing child and youth development, there are four basic areas to consider:

Physicalhow we move

“The process of gaining control of our large and small muscles as well as the use of the senses.”

Cognitivehow we think

“It is not the same as intelligence. It is “the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.” – Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health

Communication and Languagehow we interact

Communication is “the expression of ideas, thoughts, and feelings to others.”

Language is a system of words and the rules for their use in speaking, listening, reading and writing. – adapted from Caring for Children in School-Age Programs

Social and Emotionalhow we feel

“The capacity to recognize and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and establish positive relationships with others.” – Joseph E. Zins and Maurice J. Elias, “Social and Emotional Learning”

Keep the following in mind when considering development:
  • Don’t assume everyone has the same skills developed. Everyone develops at their own rate.
  • Provide a range of activities which allows everyone to participate at their levels.
  • Start activities with practice sessions to help all participants learn the skills needed.
  • Observe youth as they participate to see who might need extra practice – maybe privately to help them avoid embarrassment.
  • Encourage youth to try new activities. Help everyone understand we all had to learn sometime.
Above information from Francis Institute for Child and Youth Development and Metropolitan Community College (2014). Professional Development for Afterschool/Youth Workers. “Module 3: Child and Youth Development.” Metropolitan Community College; Kansas City, MO.


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