chapter  7
Identifying Children at Risk For Antisocial Behavior: The Case for Comorbidity
Pages 22

Schools not only have a unique role in the initial detection of young children at risk for antisocial behavior, but also a unique ability to marshal resources to address these problems in a coordinated fashion. In this effort, they can address many of the risk factors that, if left unattended, lead to a host of unfortunate outcomes, including later violence and criminal behavior (Patterson, Reid, & Dishion, 1992; Reid, 1993; Walker & Bullis, 1996; Walker & Sylvester, 1991). Schools, however, can only play this role effectively if their actions are more broadly coordinated with other agencies in the community, including mental health and social welfare services among others. Schools can and probably should serve as lead agency within an interagency effort (Dryfoos, 1990). This leadership will require dramatic changes in the ways that schools have traditionally dealt with this student population, their attitudes toward antisocial behavior, and the necessary identification and reallocation of resources. To date, the effective role of schools in developing solutions to the problems of antisocial behavior, interpersonal conflict, and violence has been largely unrealized. Educators, like the larger society, have unfortunately tended to respond to these problems reactively and after the fact, with punishing alternatives.