Warning Signs and Behaviors of Childhood Disorders, Part V: Conduct Disorder

  How could I know the difference between a warning sign and an appropriate behavior?
answer: Know the warning signs.

Warning Signs and Behaviors:
Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder is significant for a repitive and persistent pattern of behavior where the basic rights of others, age-appropriate norms or rules are violated. These behaviors consist of aggressive conduct that causes/threatens physical harm, non-aggressive conduct causing property loss or damage, theft or deceiptfulness, and serious violations of rules (DSM IV). Severity of this disorder varies from mild, moderate and severe. Some of the symptons significant of this disorder are:
Aggression to people & animals:
• often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
• often initiates physical fights
• has used a weapon that can cause serious physical
harm to others (e.g., knife, gun, broken bottle, a bat)
• has been physically cruel to people
• has been physically cruel to animals
• has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging,
purse snatching, armed robbery, extortion)
• has forced someone into sexual activity
Destruction of property:
• has deliberately engaged in fire setting with
the intention of causing serious damage
• has deliberately destroyed other people’s property
(other than by fire)
Deceiptfulness or theft:
• has broken into someone else’s home, building, or car
• often lies to obtain goods or favors
or to avoid obligations (e.g., ‘cons’ others)
• has stolen items of nontrivial value without
confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting- without
breaking and entering, forgery)
Serious violations of rules:
• often stays out at night despite parental
prohibitions, before age 13 years
• has run away from home overnight at least
while living in parents/surrogate’s home
• is often truant from school, beginning
before age 13 years

Note: The above lists are not intended for the use of diagnosing disorders. Disorders are diagnosed by the severity, frequency and a combination of many factors. Please seek professional advice should any of the above listed criteria cause any concern.


Posted on