Preventing School Violence Needs to Start at Young Age

March 17, 2008

By the time a child enters third grade, it may be too late to change behavioral issues that could lead to more serious problems later in life, including violent and aggressive behavior. A University of Missouri professor discusses the importance of proactive prevention of behavioral problems at an early age in her new book Implementing Positive Behavior Support Systems in Early Childhood and Elementary Settings.

“It is clear that there is a link between significant problem behaviors seen in young children and more serious patterns of problem behaviors later in children’s lives,” said Melissa Stormont, associate professor in the College of Education at MU. “Families, schools and communities have a window of opportunity to make a significant impact on children’s social behaviors.”

In her book, she reports that the number of children coming to school without necessary social skills is increasing. As many as one in five students displays disruptive behaviors in the classroom to the point that intervention is necessary. According to Stormont, the typical response to problem behavior is reactionary and punishment-oriented. However, this approach only works to reinforce the negative behavior.

Often children enter school environments without the social skills that teachers expect. What a child learns at home as appropriate behavior varies from family to family. By implementing proactive, positive behavior support systems early in a child’s education, 80 to 85 percent of the students will respond positively. If the remaining students are identified early, they can get the special attention they need, according to Stormont.

“The urgency to develop appropriate patterns of social behavior among young children simply cannot be emphasized enough. Educators need to have an understanding of this urgency and the tools for responding,” Stormont said. “Teachers should not make the assumption that students ‘should know by now’ how to act. Rather, teachers should be proactive in guiding children and reinforcing positive behaviors.”

Implementing Positive Behavior Support Systems in Early Childhood and Elementary Settings was written by Stormont, Timothy J. Lewis, associate dean of graduate and international studies in the College of Education at MU, and MU doctoral students Rebecca Beckner and Nanci W. Johnson.

Source: University of Missouri

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.