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When Should I Worry About Tantrums?

Outbursts are cause for concern when they're persistent, pervasive, and impairing

Clinical Expert: Gabrielle Carlson, MD

en Español

As with any troubling behavior, Dr. Gabrielle Carlson of Stony Brook University explains, parents should worry about extreme outbursts when they meet her “3 Ps” criteria: persistent, pervasive, and impairing. Yes, Dr. Carlson admits, “impairing” doesn’t start with a P, but it’s key to understanding when you need to get help.


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This article was last reviewed or updated on November 28, 2023.