Conduct Disorder

Understanding Its Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Conduct disorder is a behavioral disorder that affects children and adolescents. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for conduct disorder.


Conduct Disorder: An Overview About This Condition

Conduct Disorder (CD) is a mental health condition that primarily affects children and adolescents. It is characterized by a pattern of persistent and repetitive behavior that violates the rights of others or societal norms. Individuals with conduct disorder often engage in behaviors that are aggressive, antisocial, and rule-breaking.

Conduct disorder is a type of behavioral disorder that affects children and adolescents. Children with this disorder often have difficulty following rules and behaving appropriately in social situations. If left untreated, it can lead to severe behavioral problems and criminal activity later in life. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for conduct disorder.


Symptoms of Conduct Disorder

The symptoms of conduct disorder can vary from child to child, but the most common symptoms include:

  1. Aggressive behavior towards people and animals
  2. Destruction of property
  3. Lying and deceitfulness
  4. Truancy and skipping school
  5. Breaking rules and laws
  6. Substance abuse
  7. Lack of empathy or remorse

Children with conduct disorder often have difficulty understanding the consequences of their actions and have little regard for the feelings of others. They may also have difficulty controlling their emotions and may lash out in anger or frustration.


Causes of Conduct Disorder

The causes of conduct disorder are not fully understood, but research suggests that a combination of genetic, environmental, and social factors can contribute to its development. Some of the risk factors for conduct disorder include:

  1. Family history of conduct disorder or other mental health disorders
  2. Exposure to violence or abuse
  3. Poverty and unstable home environments
  4. Lack of parental supervision and involvement
  5. Substance abuse by parents or other family members
  6. Traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one or a serious injury


Treatment for Conduct Disorder

The treatment for conduct disorder typically involves a combination of therapy and medication. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can help children learn coping skills, problem-solving techniques, and ways to control their emotions. Family therapy may also be beneficial in addressing issues within the family that may be contributing to the child's behavior.

In some cases, medication may be prescribed to treat symptoms of conduct disorder, such as aggression, impulsivity, and mood swings. Common medications used to treat conduct disorder include stimulants, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.

It's important to note that early intervention is key in treating conduct disorder. The earlier a child receives treatment, the better the outcome. Parents and caregivers should seek help if they suspect their child has conduct disorder or any other behavioral disorder.

Conduct disorder is a serious behavioral disorder that requires early intervention and treatment. If left untreated, it can lead to severe behavioral problems and criminal activity later in life. If you suspect your child has conduct disorder, seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible.



Pardini, D. A., & Fite, P. J. (2010). Symptoms of conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit/hyperactiivy disorder and callous-unemotional traits as unique predictors of maladjustment in boys: advancing an evidence base for DSM-V. Journal of American Academy and Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(11), 1134-1144. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.08.010

Pisano, S., Muratoria, P., Gorga, C., Levantini, V., Iuliano, R., Catone, G., Coppola, G.., Milone, A., Masi, G. (2017). Conduct disorers and psychopathy in children and adolescents: aetiology, clinical presentations and treatment strategies of callous-unemotional traits. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 43(84).

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