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The purpose of this Behavior Change Project is to demonstrate that by combining two widely accepted methods of behavior modification, a more effective outcome can be reached dealing with pre-school children that exhibit challenging behaviors. This study will take aspects of the constructivist approach which uses pro-social guidance to handle disciplinary issues and aspects from a more behaviorist approach which employs positive behavior supports. The Applied Behavior Analysis design methodology will be used to guide this study. After observing a child for two weeks and collecting baseline data, a plan will be developed to address the negative behavior. This plan will be implemented for two weeks. The intervention will be stopped and then the child will be observed to see if the child has adapted to the intervention or returns to the prior behavior. It is crucial to deal with challenging behaviors, especially at this stage in a young childâs life. If gone undirected, these habits can âinterfere with [childrenâs] learning and ability to develop relationships with peersâ (Moffett et al., 2008, p. 22). Ultimately, the goals of this endeavor are to add to the existing body of knowledge which aims to enhance the self-esteem and interpersonal relationships of young children. The Stander presentation will focus on Chapter 2 of the study, the Review of the Literature on challenging behaviors in young children, and the methods of responding to these behaviors. Work CitedMoffett, K. R., Swafíord, M, & Richey, L. H. (2008). Merging developmentally appropriate practice with positive behavioral supports in early childhood programs. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 22 (2), 21-28. Retrieved from ERIC.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Patricia M. Hart

Primary Advisor's Department

Teacher Education


Stander Symposium poster

Responding to Challenging Behaviors in a Preschool Setting