Children Under Stress: Understanding the Language of Behavior

Presentation slides handout (PDF):

Troubling changes in children's behavior are often the only way we discover that they are experiencing stress as a result of the big changes or difficult circumstances common to military family life. In this installment in the Child Care and Military Families Series, we will explore these behaviors in young children, not as "misbehavior" but as ways of expressing the stress they are experiencing related to their lives in a military family.

In order to help child care professionals interpret and respond to changes in behavior that may indicate that a child is under stress, our presenter will discuss:
- How stressful changes and circumstances in their family affect children;
- How children's ability to cope with stressors changes from infancy through school-age; and
- The range of behaviors that most often serve as signs that a child is experiencing stress.

This presentation is the first in a series of three web conferences on "Children Under Stress." This presentation (Part 1) lays the groundwork for understanding the relationship between young children's stress and their behavior. Part 2 (Oct. 15) will focus on strategies for supporting young children who respond to stress with internalizing behaviors, such as withdrawal or regression. Part 3 (Nov. 19) will focus on strategies for supporting young children who respond to stress with externalizing behaviors, such as aggression or defiance. Please join us for all three parts of the "Children Under Stress" web conference series!

Karen is a Professor of Human Development at Washington State University and an expert on children's experience of stress, the expressions of stress through behavior, and ways children can adapt to stress. She has co-written an overview of children and stress published online at

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Created by Diane Bales

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How do you access the post test to receive continuing education credits?

Thank you

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