Preventing Challenging Behaviors in People with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Craig H. Kennedy, David M. Richman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: We review the current literature on preventing challenging behaviors in people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The goal of the review is to identify existing best practices shown to prevent or reduce challenging behaviors. We then review emerging areas of innovation that may help contribute to a more robust approach to prevent the development of these behaviors. Recent Findings: Preventative interventions that include family-based protective factors, communication skills, social competence, and/or functional skills show evidence of reducing or preventing challenging behaviors. Research on the emergence of challenging behaviors from stereotypy suggests an additional avenue for prevention, as does the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions that can contribute to challenging behaviors. There is also a growing literature suggesting that biological factors such as behavioral phenotypes and gene variants associated with aggression may be viable avenues for prevention research. Summary: This paper shows that the prevention of challenging behaviors is a tangible possibility and raises areas for future research to more robustly develop a prevention science focused on pre-empting the development of challenging behaviors in people with neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Developmental Disorders Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Challenging behavior
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Prevention


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