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date: 30 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a perspective on early childhood optimal development to identify the factors that set a foundation for flourishing across the lifespan. I examine possible links between developmental and positive psychological science to highlight how optimizing development begins in infancy. This perspective involves identifying the early childhood outcomes associated with short- and long-term flourishing. Whenever possible, these should be intrinsically motivated or even have innate roots. The chapter will have a heavy focus on the long-term outcomes because short-term (or concurrent) and long-term outcomes may not always be congruent. This perspective is not about accelerating developmental processes or advocating an unrealistic expectation of protecting children from all adversity. Accordingly, another element of this perspective involves finding ways to help children respond to adversity in healthy ways. Finally, the perspective focuses on outcomes that can be targeted for promotion and intervention as a way to increase chances of flourishing.

Keywords: infants, children, positive psychology, development, flourishing, well-being, emotions, relationships

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