Conduct Disorder, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Conduct Disorder, Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Here in this post, we are providing insight about “ Conduct Disorder”. You can read Overview, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Risk Factor. You can discuss more your problems in our community, and we will provide you with a short time. Keep visiting Mental Health.

What is Conduct Disorder?

Conduct Disorder is a recurrent and frequent pattern of behaviors in which basic societal rules, norms, and rights of others are being violated. It is more common in childhood and Adolescent age.

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Conduct Disorder, Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Conduct Disorder, Types, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Types of Conduct Disorder

There are following three types of conduct disorder.

  • Childhood-Onset Type
  • Adolescent Onset Type
  • Unspecified Onset Type

Childhood-Onset Type

Person show at least one symptom of conduct disorder before the age of 10 years.

Adolescent Onset Type

A person shows no symptoms of conduct disorder before the age of 10 years.

Unspecified Onset Type

Diagnostic Criteria of conduct disorder is met but not sufficient knowledge is available for diagnosis whether the onset of symptoms was after or before 10 years of age.

Signs and symptoms of Conduct Disorder

There are the following symptoms of conduct disorder.

  •  Aggression to People and Animals
  • Physically cruel to people.
  • Destruction of Property
  • Deceitfulness or Theft
  • Serious Violations of Rules

At least 3 of the symptoms from the following categories are present for 12 months.

At least 1 symptom is present for 6 months.

Aggression to People and Animals

  • Physical Fights
  • Harass, bullies and threatens others
  • Used Weapons (e.g., gun, bottle knife & brick)

Physically cruel to people0

  • Cruel to animals physically.
  • Force individuals for sexual activity.
  • Involved in armed robbery and purse snatching

Destruction of Property

  • Involve in fire setting to cause serious damage.

Deceitfulness or Theft

  • Destroy other’s houses, cars, and buildings.
  • They wanted to get favors or good and avoid responsibilities by telling a lie.
  • They stole useless things without comforting a victim.

Serious Violations of Rules

They stay out mostly at night without their parents’ permission starting before 13 years of age.

They run from their house 2 or more than 2 times and not return home once for a long period of time.

They run from school, starting before 13 years of age.

Level of Severity 

The symptoms of conduct disorder are divided into three according to severity level.

  •  Mild
  •  Moderate
  •  Severe

Mild Symptoms

If the Conduct problem is shown in little of those needs for the diagnosis. It may cause little harm to others. For Example, Rule breaking, ling and stay out late at night.

Moderate Symptoms

If Conduct problem is showed between mild and severe of those need for the diagnosis for example stealing and vandalism.

Severe Symptoms

If conduct problem is showed in excess of those need for the diagnosis. It may cause serious harm to others. For example, destroying others’ houses and property, use of weapons, Robbery, physical harm to others, and sexually abuse others.

Characteristic of Conduct disorder Person

There are the following characteristics of a person having conduct disorder.

  • Cold & uncaring
  • Selfish
  • Insincere
  • Unconcerned about their academic performance.
  • Break rules and norms
  • Lack of concerns about the consequences of their bad actions
  • Do not feel guilty about their bad deeds.
  • Blame others for their performance
  • Don’t put effort to improve themselves.
  • They manipulate things for their benefit.
  • Don’t show their emotions and feelings to others.

Differential Diagnosis of Conduct Disorder

Before the diagnosis of conduct disorder following disorder should be clearly checked either they may coexist with conduct disorder or not. Or they may cause confusion during diagnosis

  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • ADHD
  • Depressive and bipolar disorders.
  • Intermittent explosive disorder
  • Adjustment disorder

Causes of Conduct Disorder 

There are the following causes of conduct disorder.

  •  Genetics Factors of Conduct Disorder
  •  Environmental Factors of Conduct Disorder

Genetics Factors of Conduct Disorder 

There are following two factors that may cause conduct disorder

  •  Genetical abnormalities in brain
  •  Inherited personality traits
Genetical abnormalities

Damage of the frontal lobe due to genetic abnormalities may cause conduct or behavioral problems.

Inherited Personality Traits

Individuals having inherited personality traits from their parents may have conduct disorder.

Environmental Factors of Conduct Disorder 

There are the following factors that contribute to conducting disorder.

  • Socioeconomic status
  • Child abuse
  • Poor parenting
  • Family structure
  • Parental rejection

Treatment of Conduct Disorder 

The following treatments are used for conduct disorder.

  • Psychotherapy
  • CBT
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent Management Training (PMT)
  • Medications


Through Psychotherapy child are being learned to control their anger and how to express their emotions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used for the cognitive restructuring of the child. In this child, negative thinking is replaced by positive thinking. Through this child impulse control, problem-solving skills, decision making, and more reasoning skills are trying to get improve. Anger management skills are taught.

Parent Management Training (PMT)

Parent Management Training is a therapy in which parents are taught the ways to change their child’s negative behaviors and teach them how to control their child at home.


There is no medicine for the treatment of conduct disorder. Medicine is used for the symptoms of other disorders that may coexist with such as depression and ADHD.

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