Behavior disorders (sometimes referred to as disruptive behavior disorders) are among the most common reasons children are referred for mental health treatment. While it is typical for children and adolescents to have the occasional “bad day” and to sometimes appear moody and argumentative, behavior disorders are characterized by persistent patterns of disruptive or oppositional behavior that are frequently directed at adults and have been present for a period of at least six months.
Warning signs of behavior disorders may include:
Interventions for behavior disorders often focus on helping families to develop more effective strategies for managing oppositional and disruptive behaviors. Research indicates that early intervention can result in marked improvement in the quality of a child’s life by helping to disrupt patterns of defiance and negativity that may influence school performance and relationships with family and peers.