Cognitive-behavioral interventions to prevent aggression of students with emotional and behavioral disorders

Stephen W. Smith, Gregory G. Taylor, Tia Barnes, Ann P. Daunic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) who display aggression necessitate effective interventions for reducing highly disruptive behavior, while keeping learning environments safe and secure for all students and staff. In this chapter, we describe the merits of cognitive-behavioral interventions (CBIs) in school settings to reduce student aggression and other destructive and maladaptive behavior and to promote student success and lifelong learning. To that end, we first explore three theoretical frameworks for aggression: the general aggression model, social learning theory, and social information processing, each of which examines the role of environment, cognition, and behavior as foundational to the occurrence of aggression. Synthesizing these theories assists in the development and implementation of CBIs in classroom settings. We then describe the CBI approach to teaching students cognitive and behavioral strategies to reduce problematic behaviors and increase the use of more pro-social alternatives, and ultimately generalize learned skills to a variety of social situations. A brief history of CBIs is explored, followed by a discussion of several meta-analyses establishing CBI's effectiveness in decreasing aggression across a variety of venues and populations. We then focus on social problem solving as an example of a cognitive-behavioral approach and describe the Tools for Getting Along curriculum as an example of a school-based CBI. At the end of the chapter, we explain some limitations of CBIs in schools and delineate future research needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClassroom Behavior, Contexts, and Interventions
EditorsBryan Cook, Melody Tankersley, Timothy Landrum
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
ISSN (Print)0735-004X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation


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