The prevalence of at-risk development in children 30 to 60 months old presenting with disruptive behaviors

Dorota Szczepaniak, Megan S. McHenry, Kavitha Nutakki, Nerissa S. Bauer, Stephen M. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objective. This study assessed the prevalence of failed developmental screens in 30- to 60-month-old children who presented with a behavioral complaint of disruptive behavior to a referral clinic. Methods. A retrospective chart review was performed in a specialty behavioral pediatric clinic. Outcome measures were obtained from children referred to the clinic with parental concern of disruptive behavior. Results. Out of 151 patients, 66% (99/151) had been screened for developmental delays with a formal screening instrument. Of these, 71% (70/99) failed developmental screening in one or more domains. Conclusions. Preschoolers referred to a behavioral clinic for parental concerns of disruptive behaviors were more than 4 times more likely to be at risk for developmental delays than the general population, with a majority of suspected delays in communication and problem-solving domains. This finding suggests that developmental screening should be a part of the initial workup for children with disruptive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)942-949
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013



  • childhood
  • developmental delay
  • disruptive behaviors
  • screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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