Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 44–54 | Cite as

Reducing the Risk for Preschool Expulsion: Mental Health Consultation for Young Children with Challenging Behaviors

  • Deborah F. Perry
  • M. Clare Dunne
  • LaTanya McFadden
  • Doreen Campbell
Original Paper


Increasing numbers of young children are being expelled from child care settings because of their problem behavior. Access to mental health consultation is related to lower rates of expulsion, but additional data are needed to document the pathways through which mental health consultation reduces the risk of expulsion. We report on outcomes from a 4-year project designed to reduce the number of children expelled for problem behavior in a large suburban county in Maryland. Two master’s-level professionals provided behavioral consultation to child care providers who identified nearly 200 children at imminent risk for expulsion. Child care providers rated children’s social skills and problem behaviors at referral and discharge using the Preschool Kindergarten Behavior Scales and the Brief Infant Toddler Social Emotional Assessment. Statistically significant increases in social skills and reductions in problem behaviors were seen for children who received individualized consultation. More than three-quarters of the children who were at risk for expulsion were able to be maintained in their current child care placement; of those that changed placements, only half (n = 13) were removed involuntarily. These findings provide additional support for mental health consultation as a promising strategy to reduce the risk for expulsion for young children with problem behaviors.


Preschool Problem behavior Mental health consultation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah F. Perry
    • 1
  • M. Clare Dunne
    • 2
  • LaTanya McFadden
    • 3
  • Doreen Campbell
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Population, Family and Reproductive HealthJohns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Georgetown University Center for Child and Human DevelopmentWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Anne Arundel Community CollegeChild Care Training InstituteGlen BurnieUSA

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