Discussion: reactions to disruptive behaviors | SOCW 6446 – Social Work Practice With Children and Adolescents | Walden University


Many children and adolescents who go to counseling engage in behaviors that are disruptive to others. These children and adolescents are sometimes labeled as having “externalizing” disorders because they tend to “act out” their symptoms, which causes other people distress. Disorders such as depression and anxiety are “internalizing” disorders because children and adolescents generally internalize their symptoms in a way that causes them distress. When children “act out” their symptoms, adults can become impatient, annoyed, and angry. These responses often intensify when children are unwilling or unable to take personal responsibility for their behavior. As a future child and adolescent clinician, it is important for you to gauge your reactions toward children and adolescents with disruptive behaviors and consider how your reactions may impact the counseling process.

For this Discussion, review each of the clips in the media Disruptive Behaviors Part One and think about your reactions to the behavior exhibited in the media. Select one particular child or adolescent in the media and think about how your reactions to that child’s or adolescent’s behavior might impact a therapeutic relationship with that child or adolescent. Also, consider how you might transform any negative reactions you may have to the child or adolescent you selected to an appropriate therapeutic response.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the disruptive behavior you selected, and explain one way your reactions might positively or negatively influence the development of a therapeutic relationship with that child or adolescent. Then, explain one way you might transform a negative reaction into an appropriate therapeutic response and how. Be specific and use examples.


Required Readings

Hamblin, J. (2017, December 11). How spanking affects later relationships. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2017/12/the-fourth-r/547583/

Taggart, J., Eisen, S., & Lillard, A. S. (2019). The current landscape of US children’s television: Violent, prosocial, educational, and fantastical content. Journal of Children and Media13(3), 276–294. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1080/17482798.2019.1605916

Klein, B., Damiani-Taraba, G., Koster, A., Campbell, J., & Scholz, C. (2015). Diagnosing attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children involved with child protection services: are current diagnostic guidelines acceptable for vulnerable populations?. Child: care, health and development, 41(2), 178-185.

Powers, C. J., & Bierman, K. L. (2013). The multifaceted impact of peer relations on aggressive-disruptive behavior in early elementary school. Developmental Psychology, 49(6), 1174–1186.

As you review this article, consider the impact of peer relations on disruptive behavior. Focus on how peer relations contribute to aggressive-disruptive behavior.

Document: DSM-5 Bridge: Disruptive Behaviors (PDF)
Use this document to guide you through the definition of disruptive behaviors for this week’s Discussion.

Cochran, J. L., Cochran, N. H., Nordling, W. J., McAdam, A., & Miller, D. T. (2010). Two case studies of child-centered play therapy for children referred with highly disruptive behavior. International Journal of Play Therapy, 19(3), 130–143.

As you review this article, consider how child-centered play therapy, as a therapeutic approach, supports disruptive behavior

Eyberg, S. M., Nelson, M. M., & Boggs, S. R. (2008). Evidence- based psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with disruptive behavior. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 215–237.

As you review this article, consider the evidence-based psychosocial treatments used for children and adolescents with disruptive behavior. Focus on how clinicians might use these therapeutic approaches in their professional practice.

Pardini, D. A., Frick, P. J., & Moffitt, T. E. (2010). Building an evidence base for DSM-5 conceptualizations of oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder: Introduction to the special section. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 119(4), 683–688.

As you review this article, consider the recommended revisions to the diagnostic criteria for oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Focus on this information might inform your professional practice.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014c). Disruptive behaviors [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 20 minutes.

In this media program, Drs. John Sommers-Flanagan and Eliana Gil discuss disruptive behaviors. Focus on how disruptive behaviors can be regulated.

Accessible player –Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014d). Disruptive behaviors: Part one [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Disruptive Behaviors: Part One Transcript (PDF)
In this media program, you will analyze four disruptive behaviors in children and adolescents. Focus on your analysis and answering the questions for each disruptive behavior.

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014e). Disruptive behaviors: Part two [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Disruptive Behaviors: Part Two Transcript (PDF)
In this media program, you will select one counseling session from the same four disruptive behaviors you previously viewed. Focus on the session and answering the questions addressed in the media.


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