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Behavior Problems of Childhood and Adolescence

  1. Stephen P. Hinshaw

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0116

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Hinshaw, S. P. 2010. Behavior Problems of Childhood and Adolescence. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of California, Berkeley

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


During the long process of maturation, nearly all youth have transitory problems of adjustment, behavior, and emotion. Parents of preschoolers often lament their children's tantrums, shyness, and unruliness; families of teenagers worry about rebellion, lack of academic motivation, and temptation for drugs and alcohol. Although such problems typically resolve with further development, when issues related to impulse control, emotion regulation, or behavioral deportment are quite extreme for the child's age and when they interfere with schooling and academic achievement, family life, or the attainment of independence, referrals may be made for diagnosis of a psychological or psychiatric condition. In fact, serious levels of problem behavior are usually not short-lived. The subject of this entry is the nature, etiology, and treatment of such clinical-range problems.


  • behavior problems;
  • internalizing disorders;
  • externalizing disorders;
  • developmental psychopathology;
  • temperament