Usually parents seek professional help when their child is exhibiting a behavioral problem, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, school refusal, etc. Research suggests that parent training programs are effective for treating oppositional behavior in children.1, 2 Parent Management Training involves helping parents learn new skills for dealing with oppositional and defiant behavior. Parents are taught to consistently apply consequences (e.g. rewards and punishment) to shape compliant behavior in their children. In general, behavior therapy is an effective treatment for many pediatric behavioral problems. Usually treatment involves teaching parents behavioral interventions that can be implemented at home.
Although teachers are not mental health professionals, they have experience dealing with children and adolescents, and may be able to offer suggestions for managing behavioral problems. Also, teachers often play an important role in the treatment plan, as children and teens may also be exhibiting behavioral problems at school.
Guidelines for Choosing a Behavior Therapist
Behavior Therapy and Behavioral Interventions for Children and Adolescents
A lot of problems experienced by young people can be helped or treated with behavioral interventions or a relatively quick dose of behavior therapy. Learn more.
1Walter, H. I., & Gilmore, S. K. (1973). Placebo versus social learning effects in parent training procedures designed to alter the behavior of aggressive boys. Behavior Therapy, 4, 361-377.
2Wells, K. C., & Egan, J. (1988). Social learning and systems family therapy for childhood oppositional disorder: Comparative treatment outcome. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 29, 138-146.