Conduct Disorder


This is a group of emotional and behavioral problems in children. With it, a child does defiant and impulsive things. The child may break rules and cause problems for himself or herself and for other people. Eventually, this can lead to criminal behavior.


We don't understand what causes conduct disorder. It's more common in boys. Genetic factors may play a role. Conduct disorder may be linked to mental health issues such as depression and bipolar disorder. It may be linked to child abuse and poverty. And, conduct disorder may be linked to drug or alcohol use by the child's parents.


Children who have this disorder show a wide range of symptoms. They may be impulsive and hard to control, and they may break rules. They may be cruel and aggressive to others and to animals. They may lie to get their way. They may vandalize things and start fires. They may skip school, or run away from home.


Conduct disorder is treated with talk therapy and with techniques that help manage the child's behavior. Early intervention is key. Some children need to be removed from a harmful environment, and treated in a separate place. Medications may be helpful. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that's right for you.