Conduct Disorder is a more severe version of Oppositional Defiant
Disorder (ODD), a condition where children show patterns of excessive
anger and unruly disobedience. If left untreated, ODD may turn into
conduct disorder as the child grows into an adolescent. Symptoms of
conduct disorder may start as young as age 10. Diagnosis is more common
A child or adolescent displaying these behavior
difficulty at home, school, and in their social
What are the symptoms of conduct disorder? The following are common
- Bullying others
- Constantly breaking rules without reason
- Disobeying serious parental rules
- Deliberately disrespecting others’ property
- Engaging in physical fights
- Engaging in criminal activity
- Frequently skipping school
- Frequently getting in trouble at school or with the law
- Lying or manipulating to get ahead
- Purposely trying to intimidate peers
- Stealing from individuals or businesses
- Verbally and physically threatening to people or animals
What causes conduct disorder? Many factors can contribute, but usually
fall within the child’s:
Understand your child’s risk factors:
- Temperament - genetically based: Children who are difficult and
emotionally reactive could be more susceptible to behavior problems.
- Home environment: Children from dysfunctional and stressful home
environments are more likely to develop conduct disorder.
- Social: Children who feel rejected by peers may become antisocial and engage in
Conduct disorder usually occurs with another behavioral disorder, such
as: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); depression or
substance abuse disorder. Diagnosis and treatment are important to
prevent worse or additional symptoms from occurring.
What should you do if you suspect your child has conduct disorder?
Contact your pediatrician or family doctor to discuss. Your doctor may
recommend evaluation by a licensed behavioral health professional.