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Challenging behavior refers to behavior that interrupts and/or interferes with learning and/or optimal interactions with others. Research has shown that when children engage in challenging behavior in early childhood, these behaviors often persist throughout schooling and into adulthood. This entry provides information regarding perceptions of challenging behavior, common characteristics of challenging behavior, the impact of challenging behavior, and interventions that can be used to prevent and address challenging behavior.

Perceptions of Challenging Behavior

In many ways, challenging behavior is largely determined by the perception of the observer. As is true with all aspects of human behavior, challenging behavior is individualized and, therefore, is contextualized based on one’s personal, professional, and educational experiences. For example, if a person was raised in a home with very strict rules ...

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