Conduct disorder is characterised by challenging behaviour that can affect a child's development and interfere with their ability to lead a normal life.

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Causes of conduct disorder

  • Conduct disorder applies to children whose behaviour at home or at school is impaired by constant conflict with adults and other children.
  • In adolescents it can go to antisocial extremes and may lead to exclusion from school or trouble with the law.
  • Individual, genetic, and environmental factors can interact to result in Conduct Disorder

Symptoms of conduct disorder

  • Symptoms include fighting and physical cruelty, destructiveness, lying and stealing and truancy (including running away from home).

Treatments for conduct disorder

  • Behaviour therapy, including role play, rehearsal and practice.
  • Psychotherapy, particularly to help with anger management.
  • Educational support for learning disabilities.
  • Counselling of parents, e.g. helping them to manage at home.
  • Medication for ADHD and / or depression.

Supporting students with conduct disorder

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Behaviour management

  • Feelings of anger and frustration can be helped by working on an anger management programme.
  • Establish and communicate clear routines and expectations.
  • Try to stay calm and follow through a plan if the child or young person is not able to manage in the classroom.
  • Work with parents/carers to help provide consistency in behaviour management.

Learning support

  • Active teaching of problem solving and social skills.
  • Working with a specialist teacher in a small group can be helpful particularly when new things are being introduced.


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