Having other family members with antisocial behavior
Having a mother who used alcohol, smoked, or had a poor diet while pregnant
Being around violence
Prior child abuse
Having parents who have:
Mental health problems
Substance misuse issues
Had legal problems
Poor parenting skills
A child with this problem may:
Lack care or empathy
Be cruel to people or animals
Steal or lie
Force sex acts on others
Harm things that belong to others on purpose
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and health history. You will also be asked questions about your child's behaviors. A physical exam will be done. A mental health exam may also be done. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.
The goal is to stop problem behaviors. Choices are:
Individual or group therapy to help children learn to control emotions
Medicines may be used with other treatments to manage certain symptoms, such as mood swings
Early care for emotional and behavioral problems may lower the risk of conduct disorder.
Blair RJ, Leibenluft E, et al. Conduct disorder and callous-unemotional traits in youth. N Engl J Med. 2014 Dec 4;371(23):2207-2216.
Conduct disorder. American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry website. Available at: https://www.aacap.org/aacap/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/FFF-Guide/Conduct-Disorder-033.aspx. Accessed November 18, 2020.
Conduct disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/conduct-disorder. Accessed November 18, 2020.
Conduct disorder. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/mental-disorders-in-children-and-adolescents/conduct-disorder. Accessed November 18, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 4/14/2021
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