Challenging Behaviors: Preschool as a Contributing or Ameliorating Factor?

Lisa A. McCabe and Ellen Frede
Highly publicized research on preschooler's challenging behaviors in early care and education settings is examined in this NIEER working paper.


What is the evidence for young children’s challenging behaviors in relation to their preschool experience? Is preschool experience related to increased challenging behaviors, such as aggression, in young children? Or can preschool actually be a positive experience that leads to fewer challenging behaviors?

This report reviews the research evidence as well as research-proven approaches that reduce challenging behaviors. Policy recommendations are made that can lead to better behavioral outcomes for children in preschool settings.