our everyday life

Behavioral Intervention for Antisocial Behaviors in Children

by Susan McCammon, studioD

Rule-violating activities such as bullying, disruptiveness and property destruction characterizes antisocial behavior in children. Child abuse, mental health conditions like ADHD and conduct disorder and impulsivity are some of the factors that lead to antisocial behavior, according to the Digital Education Resource Archive. Parenting experts have developed several behavioral intervention strategies for children with antisocial behavior. They include teaching social skills, cognitive behavior therapy, functional family therapy and vocational training

Social Skills

In some cases, poor social skills play a significant role in the development of antisocial behavior among some children, states Candy Lawson, Ph.D, in an article from the Center for Development and Learning. Therefore, teaching such children social skills like self-control, communication and problem solving can be an effective behavioral intervention strategy. Parents and teachers can teach children social skills using books, modeling, role playing and by pairing them with socially skilled children in cooperative play, according to Dr. Lawson.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy integrates various therapeutic approaches when intervening in antisocial behavior in affected children as well as alleviates family practices that may lead to antisocial behavior, reports Child Welfare Information Gateway. The main aim of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to modify a child’s views and their regular response to various situations, according to Child Welfare Information Gateway. This approach is effective in reducing child anxiety and teaches approaches that inculcate positive behavior in children.

Functional Family Therapy

Functional family therapy is a brief evidence-based therapeutic approach that focuses on changing the behavioral patterns in families of children with antisocial behavior. This approach works on the premises of systems theory to improve interaction, communication and problem-solving skills in families of children with antisocial behavior, reports professor Alan Kazdin, Ph.D., on PsiChi.com. The approach also works by decreasing negative behavior patterns in the child and other members of the family.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on alleviating symptoms of depression and improving an a child’s interpersonal functioning, according to an article by Dr. Virginia Schmeid and Lucy Tully at New South Wales Community Services. This approach targets children who had poor attachments early in life. This is because children who had secure attachments early in life are more likely to have good mental health and ability to adapt to stress, according to Dr. Schmeid and Dr. Tully.

About the Author

Susan McCammon began writing in 1997. Her work has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and educator with experience teaching first grade, special education and working with children ages 0 to 3. McCammon holds a Ph.D in Psychology from University of South Carolina.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images