Is Bad Conduct Really A Disorder?

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Conduct disorder is the term for a cluster of antisocial behaviors in which the key features are repetitive and persistent violation of age-appropriate social norms and the rights of others, and typically results in illegal behavior. Factors associated with the emergence of conduct disorder include parental history of criminality, substance abuse, and/or psychiatric disorder, marital discord, “hostile rejecting parenting”, and a lack of supervision of the child. Conduct disorder is, once again, a blanket term used to cover a variety of maladaptive or antisocial or violent behaviors exhibited by individuals in inappropriate times. Conduct disorders may be a function of choice, which is to say that the person exhibiting the conduct disorder–let’s say defiance, for example–they may be choosing to exhibit that type of behavior, therefore they have some control over it. Conduct disorder is less prevalent in girls than in boys, although it is the second most common psychiatric diagnosis among adolescent females. Many of these teenage girls with conduct disorder may grow up to have poor adjustment in adulthood, with mental and physical health problems and difficulties parenting.

Conduct disorder is the behavioral problem that child psychiatrists most often treat. Reports of the number of children who have conduct disorder range from less than 1 percent to more than 10 percent of all children. Conduct disorder is similar but features more severe hostility and aggression. Kids who have conduct disorder are more likely to get in trouble with authority figures and, later, possibly with the law. Conduct disorder is a clinical diagnosis which refers to the clustering of antisocial behaviors in children and adolescents. Commonly four categories of symptoms are used arrive at the diagnosis: aggression to people and animals, destruction of poverty, deceitfulness and theft, and serious violations of rules.

Conduct disorder is a common childhood psychiatric problem that has an increased incidence in adolescence. The primary diagnostic features of conduct disorder include aggression, theft, vandalism, violations of rules and/or lying. Conduct Disorder is an example of a heterogeneous syndrome that has no bottom line criteria to serve as a marker for the disorder, and is simply a list of socially obnoxious and dangerous behaviors. What do we know when we make a diagnosis of Conduct Disorder? Conduct disorder is diagnosed like all things in pediatric psychiatry. The child and the caregivers will be interviewed together and separately to go over the history and check out all other possible co-morbid conditions.


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