Behavioral disorders involve a persistent pattern of difficulty regulating emotions and behavior.

While children might occasionally act aggressively or argue with adults, more severe and chronic patterns of unwanted behavior may indicate the presence of a behavioral disorder. Some of these characteristics include frequently:

  • Losing temper
  • Being angry and resentful
  • Arguing with adults
  • Defying rules or requests
  • Blaming others for mistakes or misbehavior

How Behavioral Disorders are Assessed:

Many of the characteristics associated with behavioral disorders occur (to some degree) in all children. Therefore, it is important to consider the frequency, persistence, pervasiveness, and impairment associated with the behaviors relative to the child’s same-age peers.

Components of a Comprehensive Evaluation Include:

  • Parent/Caregiver Interview
  • Observation of the child in multiple settings
  • Rating scales related to child’s behavior and emotions
  • Child’s self-report of behavior and emotions (for older children and adolescents)