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Social and Emotional Competence and At-Risk Children’s Well-Being: The Roles of Personal and Interpersonal Agency for Children with ADHD, Emotional and Behavioral Disorder, Learning Disability, and Developmental Disability

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Social and Emotional Learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific

Abstract

Social and emotional competence has attracted significant and increasing theoretical and research attention. Drawing on Bandura’s social-cognitive theory, social and emotional competence is defined in terms of children’s personal agency (competence beliefs, perceived control) and interpersonal agency (peer relationships, teacher–student relationships, parent/carer–child relationships, social support). Personal agency and interpersonal agency are desirable ends in themselves and also an important means to other desirable ends (e.g., academic achievement, health and well-being). A bulk of research has investigated social and emotional competence among “mainstream” populations. Relatively less systemic attention has been directed to “at-risk” children. This chapter explores the role and relevance of personal and interpersonal agency in at-risk children’s academic, personal, and social well-being. For each of four at-risk groups—children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotional and behavioral disorder, learning disability, and developmental disability—the chapter identifies personal and interpersonal agency factors that are critical to well-being. The theory and research described in the chapter clearly show that social and emotional competence, by way of personal and interpersonal agency, plays a fundamental role in at-risk children’s well-being outcomes. Following from this, directions for practice are discussed.

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Thanks are extended to the Australian Research Council for funding parts of this research.

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Martin, A.J., Cumming, T.M., O’Neill, S.C., Strnadová, I. (2017). Social and Emotional Competence and At-Risk Children’s Well-Being: The Roles of Personal and Interpersonal Agency for Children with ADHD, Emotional and Behavioral Disorder, Learning Disability, and Developmental Disability. In: Frydenberg, E., Martin, A., Collie, R. (eds) Social and Emotional Learning in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-3394-0_7

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