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Conduct Disorder

Children and adolescents with conduct disorder have great difficulty following rules, respecting the rights of others, showing empathy and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They can break rules and violate social norms at home, in school and with peers. Serious violations may even involve breaking the law and getting arrested. They are also more likely to get injured and less likely to get along with peers.

As a result of showing a persistent and troubling pattern of aggression, other children, adults and social agencies can view those with CD as simply “bad” or delinquent. CD symptoms are divided into 4 main groups:

Aggression to people and animals 

    • Bullies, threatens or intimidates others
    • Delights in being cruel and mean to others
    • Starts physical fights or uses a weapon (bat, broken bottle, knife, gun)
    • Is physically cruel to people or animals
    • Steals from a victim while hurting them
    • Forces sexual activity

Shows no genuine remorse after an aggressive episode

    • Destruction of property 
    • Damages property, including setting fires
    • Breaks into a building, house, car 
    • Shoplifts

Deceitfulness, lying or stealing

    • Lies to obtain goods, favors or avoid obligations
    • Steals items with confrontation (shoplifting)
    • Breaks into someone’s house or car

Serious violations of rules and social norms 

    • Stays out at night despite parental objections
    • Runs away from home
    • Skips school

Read more about Child Behavior Problems & treatment at CFI…



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