Promoting Children’s Emotional Well-being

Edited by Ann Buchanan and Barbara Hudson.
Oxford University Press
ISBN 0 19 263174 8

The editors have brought together papers on a variety of issues.
Of special interest to child and family social workers is Joan
Hunt’s study of the delays that still occur in making and
implementing decisions about children needing permanent placement.
The resulting insecurity and emotional stress must contribute to
the anti-social behaviour that these children often display, which
is strongly, though not inevitably, associated with later conduct
disorders and delinquency.

Several authors argue for community-based, universalist
approaches to fostering pro-social behaviour over those that single
out and, by implication, stigmatise individuals or families.
Schools are the natural place to locate such programmes and some
seem successful. But the research base is inadequate. Jane Wells,
in her systematic review of research on this subject, could find
only one British study out of 71 that met her quality criteria.

This book is not easy reading, and it would not be surprising if
potential readers were put off by its price, dense referencing and
US orientation. That is a pity as it contains a great deal of
important information on current research not easily accessible

Sonia Jackson is director of the By Degrees Project,
Thomas Coram Research Unit, University of London.

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