Challenging Behaviors and the Role of Preschool Education

  • December 10, 2007
  • By Lisa A. McCabe and Ellen C. Frede

Some research suggests a rise in challenging behaviors among children in early care and education. Among the findings are a high rate of removal from preschool classrooms for behavior problems, a possible link between early non-maternal care and aggressive behaviors in preschool, and concerns from teachers that too many children arrive at school without the social skills required to learn.

This begs the question of the role preschool education plays in regard to problem behaviors—whether under certain circumstances it is a contributing factor or whether it can in fact provide positive experiences that lead to a reduction of challenging behaviors.

This policy brief reviews the research in order to answer these questions and makes recommendations that can lead to better behavioral outcomes.