Conduct Disorder (CD) in children and adolescents

Children and adolescents with CD usually find enjoyment in aggression and behaviors that result in power. Starting fights, trespassing, lying, vandalism, and physically abusive behaviors are signs that indicate an older child may have conduct disorder. It may be harder to identify younger children with CD from normal behaviors such as repetitive bullying, lying, and stealing for no apparent reason. All kids and adolescents act out, experts deem that a reoccurring pattern of this type of behavior should be evident and considered as CD.

Experts state that factors that can be played in conduct disorder are brain damage, traumatic events, genes, child abuse, past school failures, and social problems. Children with conduct disorder usually have a problem in the frontal lobe of the brain. A childs ability to stay away from harm and learn negative experiences is caused when the frontal lobe is interfered with. Traumatic experiences can trigger the development of conduct disorder. These experiences then often lead to depression, behavior problems, and involvement with the wrong crowd.

Conduct disorder is usually seen in children with mental health problems (Conduct disorder in, Children 2020). A few disorders are mood and anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, and learning problems. Symptoms seen in children with conduct disorder also happen at times in children without disorders. In children with the disorder, these symptoms are reoccurring. They also interrupt learning, school adjustment, and sometimes with the child’s relationships.

Four categories of symptoms in conduct disorder are aggression, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, and serious violations of rules. In aggression it could be towards people and animals. A few signs of aggression are often bullying and threatening, initiating physical fights, weapons that can cause serious physical harm, being cruel to people and animals, and forcing someone into sexual activity (Stanford Child’s Health, 2020).

Some signs of destruction of property are deliberately engaged in fire setting with bad intentions and deliberately destroying peoples property other than setting fire. Breaking into someone else’s house, building or car, lying to obtain goods or favours or to avoid obligations result in deceitfulness and theft. Serious violations of rules could be staying out at night despite what parents say, running away from home at least twice while living with parents or being sexually active at a young age.

Symptoms of conduct disorder can be mild, moderate and severe. Mild symptoms, display little to no behavior problems. Common

issues include lying, truancy, and staying out after dark without parental permission. Moderate symptoms include vandalism and stealing. These usually have a mild to sever impact on others. A few severe symptoms are rape, use of a weapon or breaking and entering. Conduct Disorder appears more in boys than in girls with 6% to 10 % for males and 2% to 9% for females (childrens mental health Ontario, 2001) Pg.2.

The paradigm that I will use for treatment approaches are behavioural and cognitive paradigm. Learning problem solving, communication and handling stress is apart of treatment approaches. The strategy I would use is cognitive-behavioural therapy, this method has proved to help improve communication with others as well as controlling impulses and anger. The symptoms Im targeting is the child or youth thoughts and behaviour. Its a short-term goal, it usually takes 5 to 10 months for emotional problems. The sessions usually run one time a week for up to 50 minutes.