While no specific cause of conduct disorder has been identified, the following are thought to possibly contribute to the development of conduct disorder:
- Brain damage
|This area of the brain is associated with appropriate social behavior. A combination of genetics affecting this area and life experiences may cause conduct disorder.|
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Conduct disorder is more likely in male children younger than 18 years old (generally 7-8 years and older).
The following factors are thought to increase the risk of conduct disorder:
- A history of child abuse
- Poor family functioning
- Family members with substance abuse problems
- Failure in school
- Traumatic life experiences
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for your child. Treatment options include:
Experts can help parents learn to manage their child’s behavior and emotional problems.
Behavior therapy and psychotherapy can help children learn to appropriately express and control their anger.
Psychiatric medications may benefit children with conduct disorder when used in combination with some form of therapy.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://aacap.org
Mental Health America http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net
Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.cacap-acpea.org
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.cmha.ca
Conduct disorder. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website. Available at: http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families%5Fand%5FYouth/Facts%5Ffor%5FFamilies/Facts%5Ffor%5FFamilies%5FPages/Conduct%5FDisorder%5F33.aspx. Updated August 2013. Accessed June 3, 2016.
Conduct disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114669/Conduct-disorder . Updated October 23, 2015. Accessed June 3, 2016.
Holmes SE, Slaughter JR, Kashani J. Risk factors in childhood that lead to the development of conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder. Child Psych Hum Dev. 2001;31:183-193.