Causes of Negative Child Behavior


“Why is my child acting this way?” negative child behavior

Parents are likely to ask themselves this very question each and every time their child decides to misbehave or act out. The truth is, though, that there are probably as many answers to that question as there are kids.

With that being said, here is a list of some of the most common factors that cause, or better yet, influence negative child behavior:

Brain Dysfunction

Brain Injury

Hormonal Problems


Chemical Imbalance

Developmental Disorder

Diet / Nutrition

Learning Disorder


Lack of Coping Skills


Low Self-Esteem

Psychological Disorders (Depression, Conduct Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, etc.)

Response to Dramatic Life Event (divorce, new sibling, etc.)

Low Frustration Tolerance

Poor Choices

Lack of “Conscience”

Personality Disorder


Poor Parenting

Negative Peer Influences / Peer Pressure

Media Influences (violence, sex, etc.,)

Poor Role Models

Exposure to Violence

Substance Abuse Problem (could fit into any category)

The list of potential causes or influences of negative child behavior is quite a bit longer than what I was able to list. Parents are powerless with regards to a lot of these factors, but have quite a bit of control with others. The important thing to remember is that all of these issues can be dealt with in one way or another. Seeking the help of a competent and trusted individual is the first step. Patience and persistence are paramount. If you can think of any other factors that belong on our list of causes of child misbehavior, then please contact us with your suggestion.