Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOf Mice and MetaphorsOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development and Parenting: Infants
Child Development and Parenting: Early Childhood

by Gretchen A. Gimpel and Melissa L. Holland
Guilford, 2003
Review by Gerda Wever-Rabehl, Ph.D. on Mar 1st 2005

Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Young Children

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. (Theodore Rubin)

Even though many physicians, parents and early childhood educators might still believe that infants and toddlers are too young to have social and emotional problems, or that they will 'grow out of it', research suggests that identifying infants and toddlers at risk of behavioral, social and emotional problems is crucial. Early recognition can prevent problem behavior from becoming the standard. What's more, considering the strong relationship between childhood social and emotional problems and later delinquency and criminality, early interventions may reduce the staggering social costs associated with criminal behavior.

Research into the prevalence of emotional and behavioral disorders in young children is relatively new, and its development is challenged by the question as to what really constitutes an emotional or behavioral 'problem'. Gimpel and Holland consequently caution against too much faith in statistical figures. Still, recent studies estimate that the prevalence of behavioral and emotional problems in preschool children has increased over the past two decades to more than 10%. This number is considerably higher among preschool and kindergarten children who live in an 'at risk' environment. Gimpel and Holland's text is part of the intervention methodologies whose development has expanded together with the prevalence of problems in young children. Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Young Children addresses early intervention and prevention methods specifically for children in the pre-school and kindergarten age group.

Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Young Children begins with an overview of common problems, which Gimpel and Holland have categorized into internal and external problems, abuse and neglect problems and pervasive developmental disorders (additionally, there is a miscellaneous category). In the second chapter, Gimpel and Holland discuss some of the mental health-screening tools for young children, which have been developed over the past decade. Gimpel and Holland discuss characteristics of standardized social /emotional / behavior screening tools, most of which assess general social and emotional behaviors as well as adaptive abilities and play skills. Gimpel and Holland also discuss qualitative methods, such as interviews with teachers, parents, child, and observation techniques and offer thus an inclusive and comprehensive approach to early intervention.

While Gimpel and Holland note the disagreement and controversy as to how and even whether to diagnose young children, they do not engage in this question. Relying a fair bit on the equally controversial DSM-IV classification of problems, they leave contentious and unsettling questions unanswered, and simply proceed to direct the various intervention strategies described in Chapters 3 through 6 at the set of symptoms displayed by the child. This is perhaps one shortcoming of Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Young Children. The authors positively accept the medical paradigm that having a problem is a 'pathology'. In their unquestioning embrace of dominant ideologies of 'normality' and 'abnormality', they fail to address important issues related to the establishment of pathology, such as the possible effect of diagnosing 'pathology' on the identity formation of the child and the social implications of pathology for the child and its family. And these implications may indeed be largely negative.

Having said that, Gimpel and Holland did not set out to explore philosophical questions about normality but rather, to provide practical and effective information as well as intervention techniques for problems exhibited by pre-schoolers and kindergartners. And they have succeeded in doing just that. The intervention methods they describe are easy to implement for clinicians working with young children in educational and non-educational settings. Additionally, Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Young Children provides parents who are concerned about the emotional or behavioral development of their children with practical, effective and applicable information. While it leaves questions related to the deeper meaning and social construction of emotional and behavioral problems unanswered, Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Young Children is a helpful, practical resource for anybody who works with children in the preschool and kindergarten years.

 

© 2005 Gerda Wever-Rabehl

 

Gerda Wever-Rabehl holds a Ph.D from Simon Fraser University, and has published extensively in the areas of social science, philosophy and philosophy of  education.