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Expulsion prevention: Framework for the role of infant and early childhood mental health consultation in addressing implicit biases

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Young children of color—especially boys—are at disproportionate risk for suspension and expulsion from early care and education settings. Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) is an approach associated with lower than expected expulsion rates, but the mechanisms through which it may influence preschool expulsion are unknown. This paper reflects on the parallels between IECMHC and interventions created to reduce implicit bias. Based on interviews with leaders in IECMHC practice, implementation, and evaluation, a theoretical framework was created to articulate how IECMHC is hypothesized to affect expulsion by first reducing the influence of implicit bias on disciplinary decisions. Implications for practice and research are provided. (author abstract)

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