Medical information

Conduct disorder

5 - 7% of all children in the UK are affected by conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is about four times more common in boys than girls.

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.
  • Several factors can interact to result in conduct disorder including individual, genetic, physical and environmental.

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.