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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a review of developmentally informed assessments of disruptive behavior in young children. First, the definition of a “developmentally sensitive” approach to the assessment of disruptive behavior is presented. The chapter then provides a review of existing validated measures that assess disruptive behavior and clinical impairment in young children, considering specifically the assessments’ developmental specificity, clinical properties, and how they can be used. Finally, the importance of attending to context in the assessment of disruptive behavior in young children, including the interactional context (e.g., parent vs. nonparental, home vs. school), family and cultural contexts, and the context of developmental functioning, is highlighted. The chapter ends with a review of clinical implications and suggestions for future research to address gaps in the current knowledge base.

Keywords: disruptive behavior disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, developmentally sensitive assessment, aggression, irritability, tantrums, early childhood mental health

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