Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Children

Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Children

Meredith Weber and Erica Burgoon

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Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Children will provide those who work with children a description of best practice in diagnosing and treating children with conduct disorder and other disruptive behavior disorders, including management of risk. It will also address what is evidence-based practice versus ill-informed policy so that those who work, live and teach children with challenging behaviors can best help them succeed.

Children and teenagers who present with externalizing disorders such as conduct disorder or impulse control disorder can be incredibly challenging for their parents, teachers, and loved ones. The behaviors of these children can also be vexing for schools and other systems in which they are educated and treated. These children are at increased risk for being placed in more restrictive settings, including juvenile justice placements (Frick, et al, 2014; Khanna D, Shaw J, Dolan M, Lennox C., 2014). They are also at increased risk for adult criminal behavior and other negative outcomes (Salekin, 2015; Khanna D, Shaw J, Dolan M, Lennox C., 2014).

There has long been debate and controversy over the best way to treat children with “acting out” or defiant behaviors, including whether or not these disorders should even be included in the DSM. Conduct Disorders and the ways in which they are treated present a challenge not only for those in a child’s life, but also for society as a whole. The practice of “zero tolerance” policies in schools, which began after highly publicized school shootings in the 1990s, is now being questioned, and educators and mental health professionals are looking to more effective approaches (NASP, 2001; Skiba, 2000).

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Meredith Weber

Meredith Weber, Ph.D., NCSP, is an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of the School Psychology Program at Temple University. She received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the APA-accredited program at Temple University. She is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, and maintains certifications as a School Psychologist nationally (NCSP) and in Pennsylvania.

Erica Burgoon

Erica Burgoon, Ph.D. is a Regional Psychologist Supervisor in the Delaware Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health, a division of Delaware's Department of Children, Youth, and Families that provides eligible youth and families with coordination and authorization of behavioral healthcare and other care management needs. She works specifically with youth involved in diversionary mental health and drug courts and collaborates with the family court and division of juvenile probation to ensure the coordination of legal and treatment needs.