Child life programs in pediatric settings

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Children in hospitals and other pediatric health care settings encounter a variety of stressful circumstances that may impede their normal developmental progress and threaten their emotional adjustment. A relatively new member of the pediatric health care team, whose primary mission is to address these concerns, is the child life specialist. By providing play experiences, psychological preparation for events, and emotional support to children and their families, child life specialists seek to minimize the potential negative effects of health care encounters. The origins and development of this profession are considered, and research pertaining to its clinical practice is discussed

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