Identification of Emerging Self-Injurious Behavior in Young Children: A Preliminary Study.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Cataldo MF
Author List: 
Kurtz PF
Chin MD
Huete JM
Cataldo MF
J Ment Health Res Intellect Disabil
PubMed ID: 
Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a chronic disorder that often begins in early childhood; however, few studies have examined the onset of SIB in young children. This preliminary study reports on the identification, assessment and observation of SIB in 32 children who had begun to engage in SIB within the previous 6 months. Participants were ages birth to 5 years and presented with or were at risk for intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Assessment measures included parental interviews, developmental and language measures, standardized measures of problem behavior, and direct observations conducted in the home. Results indicated that for most children, SIB emerged prior to age 1 year, and multiple topographies of SIB and other problem behaviors developed in most children. Multiple measures were useful in identifying SIB and in characterizing the behavior by topography, frequency, and severity. Findings from the examination of child communication in relation to SIB were inconclusive. Results are discussed in relation to theories of SIB emergence, and previous observational studies of young children with SIB.
Published Date: 
January, 2012

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