About Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder refers to a complicated group of behavioral and emotional problems in children and adolescents. These youth have great difficulty in following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. Others often view them as “bad” or “delinquent” rather than mentally ill as their symptoms can include aggression, destruction of property, lying, stealing, and serious violations of rules.

Many factors can contribute to a child developing conduct disorder, including brain damage, child abuse, genetic vulnerability, school failure, and traumatic life experience. Without treatment, many youngsters with conduct disorder are unable to adapt to the demands of adulthood.

Treating children with conduct disorder can be complex and challenging and is often provided in a variety of different settings, depending on the severity of the behaviors. Treatment is rarely brief since establishing new attitudes and behavior patterns takes time. However, early treatment offers a child a better chance for considerable improvement and hope for a more successful future.

Following are web sites offering additional resources on Conduct Disorder:

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Web site: http://www.aacap.org/about/glossary/conduct.htm

National Mental Health Association
Web site: http://www.nmha.org/infoctr/factsheets/74.cfm

At Health, Inc.
Web site: http://www.athealth.com/Practitioner/Newsletter/FPN_6_6.html