Behavior problems, including aggression, acting out, and noncompliance, are relatively common in toddlers and preschoolers, and are often not thought to be cause for alarm ( Campbell, Shaw, & Gilliom, 2000 ). However, research has shown that while approximately half of the children exhibiting behavioral problems in preschool will outgrow them, the other half will continue to have substantial difficulties ( Campbell, Breaux, Ewing, & Szumowski, 1986; Harvey, Youngwirth, Thakar, & Errazuriz, 2009 ). Although researchers have begun to examine the stability of behavior problems and patterns of change over time (e.g., Schaeffer et al., 2006; Shaw, Owens, Giovannelli, & Winslow, 2001 ), we still know too little about what predicts these different behavior trajectories. Being able to distinguish children who are likely to have transient behavioral issues from those at high risk to continue to have serious problems is important for both theoretical and practical reasons. Such knowledge will contribute to theory regarding what exacerbates problem behavior, guide the development of more effective interventions, and allow more efficient targeting of resources towards those who most need help.</P>The preschool years represent an important window of opportunity for dealing with negative child behavior. Compared to grade school, preschool offers
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2013
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