Problem behavior is often associated with adolescence but may manifest in the very young or in adults. Delinquency, drug use, academic failure, risky sexual behavior, violence, property damage, vandalism and disregard of the rights of others are all problem behaviors. Because of changes within the brain and social issues that contribute to lack of control, problem behavior rises dramatically in early adolescence. The rate of problem behavior tends to fall after age 23 years.
Alcohol related disorders
Antisocial personality disorder
Social anxiety disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder
Substance abuse disorders
Diagnosis and Treatment
Armed with the knowledge that problem behaviors peak as the child approaches adolescence, experts recommend prevention strategies be implemented in schools, homes and communities. Identifying individuals who are at risk is crucial to prevention. Intensive interventions to change problem behaviors in those engaged in them and prevent future problems is another strategy. Thorough evaluation of problem behaviors by qualified professionals is necessary for diagnosis and development of a comprehensive treatment plan – sometimes referred to as Behavior Intervention Plans. Family conflict, poverty, drug dependence, depression, anxiety or attention deficit disorder may be underlying problems contributing to problem behaviors and, if so, must be addressed in any treatment plan.
Written by: JC Jones MA, RN Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD Written: November 30, 2007 Last Updated: November 30, 2007 Published By:
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