Conduct disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in children and adolescents in which the rights of others or basic social rules are violated. The child or adolescent usually exhibits these behavior patterns in a variety of settings at home, at school, and in social situations and they cause significant impairment in his or her social, academic, and family functioning.
Signs and Symptoms
Aggressive behavior that causes or threatens harm to other people or animals, such as bullying or intimidating others, often initiating physical fights, or being physically cruel to animals.
Non-aggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage, such as fire-setting or the deliberate destruction of others’ property.
Deceitfulness or theft, such as breaking into someone’s house or car, or lying or “conning” others.
Serious rule violations, such as staying out at night when prohibited, running away from home overnight, or often being truant from school
Common in Conduct Disorders
Conduct disorder tends to co-occur with a number of other emotional and behavioral disorders of childhood, particularly Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)and Mood Disorders (such as depression). Co-occurring conduct disorder and substance abuse problems must be treated in an integrated, holistic fashion.
Accurate assessment and appropriate, individualized treatment will assure that all children are equipped to navigate the developmental milestones of childhood and adolescence and make a successful adaptation to adulthood. Treatment must be provided in the least restrictive setting possible.