Identifying Characteristics Of Adolescent Problem Behaviors

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Persons with an internalized behaviors view events as controlled largely by their own efforts, whereas persons with an externalized behaviors interpret the outcome of events as due largely to luck, chance, fate, or other events outside of their own influence. Attributing success to external factors and failures to lack of personal ability fosters an external behavior (Perry, 1999). Students that have behavior problems frequently have a high externalized behavior, unable to view the cause of events as related to their own behavior. For this reason, they are not motivated to change events that are undesirable to them because they feel there is little they can do to improve the situation. Identifying Characteristics Adolescent problem behaviors have been frequently dichotomized into two empirically established syndromes reflecting internalizing disturbances (including depression, anxiety, withdrawal, and eating disorders) and externalizing disturbances (including aggression, oppositional disorders, delinquency, and school problems; Achenbach, 1991). Although some adolescents ' problems are primarily internalizing or externalizing, these problems co- occur at high rates in children and adolescents (Angold & Costello, 1995; Nottelmann & Jensen, 1995). Nevertheless, in research with community-based samples, few children are expected to meet criteria for specific mental disorders. Thus, the empirically derived syndromes have an advantage as assessments of early indicators of
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