Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Human Development & Family Science


Human Development and Family Science

First Advisor

Christi Cervantes


My capstone project focused on preschoolers’ emotional competence, which is defined as the ability to purposefully and truly experience a variety of emotions while regulating behavior patterns (Domitrovich et al., 2017). It is difficult for preschoolers to regulate their emotions and even more challenging for SPED children. Children who have difficulties associated with being in SPED are often rejected by other children and do not have opportunities to develop strong social skills. This can result in these children avoiding social situations in general, which causes them to fall further behind their peers with their social abilities (Schmitt et al., 2021). There is a need for emotional competence instruction that is specifically geared toward SPED preschoolers. I will conduct three lessons on emotional competence, over a three week period, at the Marina Child Development Center with special education preschoolers who have speech delays, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or who are on the autism spectrum. The lessons focus on three aspects of emotional competencies: labeling different emotions and expressions, identifying the causes of emotions and using self-soothing strategies when upset.

Additional Files

Increasing Social and Emotional Competencies (1).pdf (878 kB)
Capstone Power Point Presentation