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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Pre-School Behavior Problems

Research shows that the earlier mental health problems are caught and treated, the better a child functions later in life. Recognizing this, our clinicians have played a critical role in showing that children as young as pre-school age can have severe behavior disorders--including oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. In the past, these types of behavior problems were often blamed on "bad parenting." But our scientists helped disprove this theory and have shown that these very real psychiatric disorders can strike as early as age 2.

Young children with severe behavior problems are seen in our Preschool Behavior Problem Clinic. Successful treatments developed here--which involve family therapy, behavioral therapy, and medications--are now helping these children function better at an early age. Parents are also learning how to more successfully manage behavior problems--lessening family frustration and stress.