The development of externalizing behaviors in children

What theories resonate most for you in explaining and understanding the development of externalizing behaviors in children and adolescents? How does this inform your approach to treatment planning?

I believe that the social learning theory is one of the most helpful theories for explaining the development of externalizing behaviors in children and adolescents. This includes both younger children and teenagers.

What are externalizing behaviors in children?
A child or an adult who exhibits externalizing behaviors engages in behaviors that harm others as opposed to lashing out at the self (which are known as internalizing behaviors). 1 Externalizing behaviors include physical aggression, verbal bullying, relational aggression, defiance, theft, and vandalism.
How do you manage externalizing behavior?
Treatment interventions for externalizing behavior include drug therapies, behavior management, psychotherapy and parenting effectiveness programs in order to help manage the behaviors. By seeking treatment now, you can reduce the chance of negative future consequences for your daughter’s behavior.


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