Prioritize Youth Presenting with Behavior Problems

Prioritize Youth Presenting with Behavior Problems

Youth with the highest risk for externalizing behavior or those who are already exhibiting externalizing behavior problems often show greater improvement from relational interventions compared to their lower-risk peers. Youth who are referred primarily for behavior problems, as identified by teachers or parents, may have the greatest need for services and, thus, more room to improve on measures of aggressive or disruptive behavior than do youth referred for other kinds of challenges.

Relational interventions that focus on the specific risk and protective factors of youth presenting with behavior problems are aiming limited resources where they can be the most cost-effective. Understanding the specific risk profiles of youth can help program administrators have a better sense of what impacts to expect when serving youth with behavioral versus other difficulties. This may be helpful for planning or funding purposes, or may signal a need to consider programming with a different focus for different risk profiles.