Everything You Need to Know About Conduct Disorders

There are three different types of Conduct Disorders: Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and Conduct Disorder itself. This guide will walk you through the symptoms, causes, and treatments of each one in detail so that you’ll know how to recognize it in yourself or your loved ones if they suffer from one of these disorders. Let’s get started!

What Is a Conduct Disorder?

Most people know about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a behavioral condition. A conduct disorder is also a behavior, but one that’s far more serious.

People with conduct disorders have trouble controlling their impulses and are prone to exhibit antisocial behaviors. Children with conduct disorders often don’t get along well with others and may engage in aggressive, even violent, acts against people or animals.

The disorder is diagnosed in approximately 9 percent of children and 3 percent of adults. It’s seen more often in boys than girls, and most people with conduct disorders also have ADHD.

Statistics and Incidences

According to a study published in 2017, 1 in every 68 children suffers from some form of conduct disorder. According to another study from 2012, conduct disorders are estimated to occur in at least 2% of children.

This translates into almost two million cases in the United States alone. Boys are far more likely than girls (by three times) to develop a conduct disorder and can develop them as early as age 6.

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ADHD and ADD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), impulse control disorders, disruptive behavior disorders are more often diagnosed in males than females. The oppositional defiant disorder can also be diagnosed in children and adults with ADHD.

Different Types of Conduct Disorder

There are three primary types of conduct disorder: ODD, CD, and DC. Kids with ODD display a general pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures that begin before age 10.

These kids don’t necessarily have aggressive or violent tendencies—instead, they might lie constantly or intentionally start arguments with adults just for attention.

Clinical Manifestations

Kids with conduct disorders have a pattern of dangerous, aggressive, destructive, and/or defiant behavior.

This can include fighting, stealing, lying, cheating, and even bullying. Boys are more likely than girls to have conduct disorder and they typically develop it at an earlier age.

While conduct disorder has many symptoms in common with ADHD, such as hyperactivity and impulsivity, children with ADHD tend not to exhibit these same types of behaviors.

The Difference Between ADHD and Conduct Disorder

Just because ADHD and conduct disorder share some characteristics doesn’t mean that they are one and the same. Both of these disorders have symptoms that include impulsivity, which is often a byproduct of other mental health problems, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Treatment Options

This year, we’re going to discuss treatment options for conduct disorders. This disorder tends to develop at a young age, and it’s characterized by severe impulsive or aggressive behavior—often physical violence directed at family members.

It’s also associated with traits such as lying, stealing, and fire-setting. Conduct disorders are diagnosed most frequently in boys. The good news is that they usually respond well to medication and behavioral therapy.

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