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Conduct Disorder

What Is Conduct Disorder?

Conduct disorder is a combination of emotional and behavioral issues that usually occur to a child during their childhood or teenage. A child with this disorder may find rules tough to follow and cannot behave in a socially acceptable way. They may have behaviors that are aggressive, deceitful, destructive and could violate the rights of others. Other children and adults may perceive them as “bad”, rather than understanding their mental illness.

A study from Louisiana State University (June 28, 2019) reviewed evidence from worldwide research on mental illness and found out that 3% of children in the school-going age have conduct disorder which makes them the leading case of referral to child and adolescent mental health services. Yet, it is one of the least recognized or studied psychiatric disorders, and its research funding lags far behind many other childhood disorders.

What Is Conduct Disorder?

Boys with conduct disorder are more likely to have aggressive and destructive behavior than girls. Girls who happen to have the same disorder are likely to have rule-violating behavior and likely to have deceitful behavior.

Children who were diagnosed with conduct disorder may have the following history:

  • abuse
  • poverty
  • parental substance abuse
  • other mental health problems
  • family conflict or violence
  • brain damage
  • other trauma

  • What Are the Symptoms of Conduct Disorder?

    Persistent display of one or more of the following behaviors by a child may act as the symptoms of Conduct disorder:

  • initiating physical fights
  • bullying or threatening others
  • using a weapon to cause harm
  • physical cruelty to humans or animals
  • stealing
  • setting fire to cause damage
  • destruction of property
  • staying out late without permission
  • running away from home
  • missing school frequently
  • Treatment:

    Some of the treatments for conduct disorder are:

    Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to induce positive coping strategies to deal with their stress and can also help an individual manage their highly impulsive behaviors.

    Family therapy can help family members communicate more effectively and also help parents learn strategies for de-escalating conflict with their child. It can also help in reducing the factors that leads the child into antisocial behaviors.

    Group therapy with the child or teen’s peers is also sometimes used to help them develop interpersonal skills and behaviors that foster empathy.

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