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Posted on April 17th, 2014, by

It is not a secret that today many children and adolescents have serious conduct problems. The majority of them can be diagnosed with conduct disorder. In the 20-th century, there was an increase in the rates of antisocial behavior of children, suicidal behavior, and substance abuse among children and adolescents. This paper represents the major information about this disease, including the symptoms of conduct disorder, diagnosis, treatment methods, the age of occurrence, prevalence, and prognosis of this disease. Conduct disorder is the oldest of existing diagnostic categories used by contemporary psychologists. The major characteristics of conduct disorder include aggressiveness, antisocial and defiant behavior. It is clear that the behaviors of children and adolescents associated with conduct disorder cause serious damage to the society. As a rule, isolated criminal acts are the consequences of conduct disorder in children and adolescents. Today, conduct disorder is the most prevalent mental health problem in young people. Moreover, this disease is complicated by the fact that children and adolescents often have other mental conditions, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression, oppositional defiant disorder and a number of other mental health diseases.








It is known that conduct disorder is a widespread disorder among children and adolescents that involves a number of long-term behavior problems, including impulsive behavior, drug use, criminal activity, etc. According to DSM-IV, the major characteristic of conduct disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others, or major age-appropriate societal norms, are violated (Murray & Farrington, 2010, p. 633).

The major signs and symptoms of conduct disorder include impulsiveness, violating of the established rules, regulations and social norms, aggressiveness, violence towards other people and animals, including bullying other children, stealing, the use of weapons, sexual abuse, etc., alcohol/drug abuse, acts of vandalism, lying, intentional fire-setting, and truancy (Kazdin, 2001, p. 409). As a rule, children with conduct disorder do not hide their aggressive behavior and show poor interpersonal relations as reflected in diminished social skills in relation to peers and adults and higher levels of peer rejection (Kazdin, 2001, p. 410).

Moreover, it has been found that conduct disorder is associated with a variety of factors, including untoward living conditions (poor housing, large families, overcrowding, etc.), antisocial and aggressive parent-child interactions, parent harsh discipline practices, lack of emotional support, lack of warmth and affection, unhappy marital relations, poor parental supervision of a child, etc. (Kazdin, 2001, p. 410).


Conduct disorder can be diagnosed when children or adolescents have committed a number of acts demonstrating their inadequate and disruptive behaviors. It has been found that there is no real testing to diagnose conduct disorder. However, in many cases, a physical examination, blood tests and brain scan can help in diagnosis of this medical condition (Murray & Farrington, 2010).

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