Disruptive behavior problems in young children are the number one reason for referral to mental health agencies. However, owing to difficulties differentiating clinically significant disruptive behaviors from typical development, a significant proportion of young children with disruptive behavior problems go unidentified and untreated. Research supports the existence of disruptive behavior disorders in young children, and early identification and treatment are critical to interrupt the trajectory of early problems to more significant and impairing difficulties. The purposes of this article were to identify and discuss disruptive behavior problems in preschool children and to introduce readers to current definitions of disruptive behavior problems and emotion regulation. A review of risk factors and underlying emotion and behavior regulation difficulties implicated in the development of disruptive behavior problems is provided. Furthermore, clinical implications for nurses in the identification of disruptive behavior problems in preschool children for pediatric nurses are discussed.
- Disruptive behavior disorders
- Preschool children
ASJC Scopus subject areas