What causes a child to have behavioral problems?

photo close-up of female psychologist looking at annoyed girl covering her ears with two hands

In the United States, many children experience behavioral problems that could potentially be improved with therapy. In September 2021, it was estimated that around 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed behavior problems. This includes conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder.

However, the actual number may be higher as not all children with behavioral problems are diagnosed or receive professional help. Various factors contribute to this such as stigma, lack of access to mental health services, or lack of awareness about the available treatments.

Behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, and other types of psychological interventions can be very helpful for children with behavioral problems. These interventions can help children learn new behaviors, improve their social skills, manage their emotions, improve their problem-solving abilities, and decrease disruptive and harmful behaviors.

In addition to therapy, it’s also important to consider other factors that contribute to a child’s behavior. This includes their physical health, diet, exercise, sleep, the stability of home environment, their experiences at school, and their relationships with family and friends.


What are the most common reasons for a child’s behavior problems?

Children’s behavior problems can arise due to a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • Biological Factors: Some behavioral issues are linked to the child’s biological or physiological conditions. This includes conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism, learning disabilities, or other neurodevelopmental disorders. Some children may also have temperaments that make them more prone to behavioral issues.
  • Family Environment: The home environment plays a significant role in a child’s behavior. Factors such as parental conflict, divorce, domestic violence, inconsistent or harsh discipline, or lack of parental supervision can contribute to behavioral problems. Additionally, if a parent has mental health issues or substance use problems, it can also impact the child’s behavior.
  • Socioeconomic Factors: Poverty, low educational attainment, or living in a high-crime neighborhood can increase the risk of behavioral problems in children. Lack of access to quality healthcare, nutritious food, and safe, stable housing can also contribute to these issues.
  • School Environment: Problems at school such as bullying, peer pressure, or academic difficulties can lead to behavioral issues. A lack of support or understanding from teachers or school administrators can exacerbate these problems.
  • Trauma or Stress: Traumatic events like abuse, neglect, the death of a loved one, or a traumatic accident can lead to behavioral problems in children. Similarly, chronic stress, whether from family instability, financial problems, or other sources, can also impact a child’s behavior.
  • Physical Health Problems: Certain physical health problems, like chronic illness or undiagnosed hearing or vision problems, can lead to behavioral issues. Sleep problems can also contribute to behavioral problems in children.

Achieve Therapy and Learning Services is a dedicated therapy and learning organization located in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Our mission is to help children struggling with behavioral problems, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and other challenges that may hinder their growth and development.

Our highly trained and compassionate team of professionals includes psychologists, therapists, social workers, and special education teachers. They use evidence-based practices to provide comprehensive services tailored to the unique needs of each child.


What therapy can help with behavior problems?

  1. Behavioral Therapy: Our skilled therapists provide behavioral interventions to help children learn to manage their behaviors effectively. We work closely with families to develop strategies that support positive behavior both at home and in school.
  2. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: This form of therapy helps children understand how their thoughts and feelings influence their behavior. It can be particularly effective for children with anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders.
  3. Occupational Therapy: Our occupational therapists help children develop the skills they need for daily living activities, such as dressing, eating, and writing. This can be particularly beneficial for children with developmental delays or physical disabilities.
  4. Speech and Language Therapy: Our speech-language pathologists help children who have difficulties with speech, language, and communication. This can include challenges with articulation, fluency, voice, and language comprehension and expression.
  5. Special Education Services: We provide educational support to children with learning disabilities or other challenges that can make traditional classroom learning difficult. Our special education teachers use a variety of teaching strategies to cater to each child’s unique learning needs.

At Achieve Therapy and Learning Services, we believe in the potential of every child, and our goal is to help each child we work with reach their fullest potential. We work closely with families, schools, and other community resources to ensure the best possible outcomes for the children we serve.

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