Types of Behavior Problems

By Michelle Blessing
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Children and teenagers can experience a variety of behavior problems over the course of their development. As children grown into teenagers, the behavior problems can intensify and become worse if not properly dealt with. Other behavior problems may be surface issues indicative of deeper problems, such as eating disorders, depression or bullying. Recognizing and understanding your child's behavior problems is a first step in solving the issue.

Impulse and Control Issues

Children with impulse and control issues can display a variety of negative behaviors. A child with impulse and control problems may bite, hit, push or shove another child if she feels threatened or does not get her way. A child diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or attention deficit disorder, almost 5 percent of children according to the National Institute of Mental Health, will struggle to pay attention in school or at home, resulting in poor grades or disciplinary action. ADHD results in problems taking turns and acting out, creating social issues for the child in school, day care or playgrounds. An older child with impulse control issues may be more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol or make other risky decisions.

Social and Emotional Issues

One in 40 children in the United States suffer from depression, according to WebMD. Depression and emotional issues are more common in girls, although boys tend to experience more intense and destructive symptoms. Growing up can be a trying time in a child's life, with physical and hormonal changes creating emotional instability. A child suffering from social and emotional issues can become withdrawn and isolated or even angry and irritable, lashing out at parents and friends. Bullying continues to be a concern in school children at younger ages, creating isolation among peers. This isolation can lead a child to feel insecure and lonely, fueling or adding to existing depression and anxiety.

Substance Abuse Issues

Students Against Destructive Decisions reports that 72 percent of teenagers drank some amount of alcohol by the time of graduation, and 37 percent have had a drink by the end of 8th grade. In 2008, over 20 million American teenagers reported use of illegal drugs in the past month. Drug use can lead to social, emotional and legal problems if not corrected immediately. A child or teenager who drinks or uses drugs is more likely to miss school, make irrational or poor decisions and suffer from depression or anxiety than a child or teenager who does not drink or use drugs.

Physical Issues

Bullying and physical fighting are behavior concerns for children and teenagers. Bullying is more likely to be physical among boys, but girls have also been physically assaulted. Bullying is more likely to happen to children or teenagers who are shy, have mental health issues or do not have many friends. The bullies may come from problem homes with domestic violence, although this is not always the case. Younger children might push, hit or bite other kids on the playground or daycare center due to frustrations. A bullied child is more likely to use drugs and suffer from depression and may resort to violence to retaliate against a bully.

About the Author

Michelle Blessing has experience in child development, parenting, social relationships and mental health, enhanced by her work as a clinical therapist and parent educator. Blessing's work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing her master's degree in psychology with a specialization in applied behavior analysis.