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Behavior Disorders

  • By: Braude Jacob, Eric R. Benson & Camille J. Randall
  • In: Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology
  • Edited by: Neil J. Salkind
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), Educational Psychology, School Psychology

Always behave like a duck—keep calm and unruffled on the surface but paddle like the devil underneath.

Jacob, Braude

Behavior disorder is a general term used to describe a consistent pattern of abnormal conduct impairing a child's ability to function effectively in one or more facets of his or her life. Abnormal conduct may include typical behaviors observed at a developmentally atypical rate or behaviors that are relatively uncommon or bizarre. Careful, multimodal, multi-informant evaluation by a professional is warranted to determine the presence of a behavior disorder. In this determination, a child's conduct is evaluated as to whether or not it deviates from the norm.

One standard that helps establish what is considered normal is whether or not the behavior is developmentally appropriate (i.e., typical for a ...

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