Pittsburg State University
Description and Behaviors of the Disorder
Conduct disorder is described as a child or adolescent who has experienced abuse in the past or is presently experiencing it and is starting to show one or all of the following behaviors: impetuous behavior, drug use, and criminal activity (A.D.A.M., 2011). Other behaviors that might start to show include: aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness, lying or stealing, and violation of rules (AACAP, 2012).
As stated in the DSM-IV by the American Academy of Family Physicians, there are an abundant amount of things that could ...view middle of the document...
When the onset happens when they are in adolescent years, there is no sign of conduct disorder behaviors before the age of ten, their relationships with peers are fine, and they are much less aggressive than the childhood onset children. They are also less likely to develop antisocial personality disorder (Wellmont, 2011).
Knowing what the symptoms are is the first step in realizing that a child has conduct disorder. They may range from breaking the rules for no apparent reason to skipping school on a regular basis or even heavily drinking. These are some warning signs that a kid is acting out and could potentially have conduct disorder. Other symptoms include setting fires on purpose, lying in order to get things, behaving aggressively, running away from home or even vandalizing property. These have to occur for at least six months in order be diagnosed as conduct disorder. Many children go through the stages of not wanting to listen to their parents and act out. Knowing the differences between acting out and conduct disorder increases the chance of the child getting help sooner and getting better faster.
There is no specific age that this can occur at. However, rates of conduct disorder vary from 6 to 16 percent in males and 2 to 9 percent in females. Overall that’s about 1.5% to 3.4% of the child population (McCain, 2003). Males are more likely to be diagnosed with conduct disorder, and diagnosis is more common in males who live in urban rather than rural settings. Many boys act out through fighting, vandalism, stealing or other aggressive ways. Girls, on the other hand, show their anger through lying, running away, prostitution and absenteeism from school (Wellmont, 2011). Aggressive behavior is the most common reason as to why children are referred to the mental health services (Chw, 2013). Unfortunately, prevalence for conduct disorder has increased over the past couple of decades. Many children or adolescents who have conduct disorder also tend to have some other psychiatric issue as well.
According to the book Conduct Disorders in Children and Adolescents (1995) by G. Pirooz Sholevar explains the percentages of what both males and females with conduct disorder tend to do:
…the rates of the following behaviors for boys and girls, respectively: burglary of occupied residence—10% and 2%, burglary of unoccupied residence—17% and 4%, theft—13%-34% and 5%-26%, early sexual intercourse—78% and 62%, sex for money—5% and 1%, carrying a weapon—34% and 17%, running away from home—16% (for both sexes), using hard drugs—15% and 19%, selling marijuana—35% and 20%, and school probation/suspension/expulsion—32% and 27%. (Achenbach 1982 and in King and Noshpitz 1991)
Of course this study was done some time ago and was only done in a mid-western high school, but the numbers would approximately be the same or slightly different if the area changed.
Conduct disorder could be caused by many things. Some of it is...