Teen Conduct Disorder

Teen conduct disorder is unfortunately a reality, and a sad one. Conduct disorder usually includes aggressive behavior against humans, property or animals that is considered to be destructive, deceitful, dishonest and violent. So anything from causing people injuries, stealing and even rape is considered to be conduct disorder. But there is one difference that separates conduct disorder from other similar acts of violence, it is a repetitive process. We are not talking about an isolated incident here; we are talking about a need to do these things over and over again with a pattern.

The person that suffers from a conduct disorder is unable to realize the good from the bad at one point and prevention is impossible, but noticing the signs at an early stage may minimize the distress of the child and the family. Such a person has a repetitive behavior in which he or she violates the rights of others, laws, and society values. If that type of behavior repeats for more than a year with at list three of the symptoms listed bellow than it’s time to act.

Aggressive behavior

  • Threatening and bullying
  • Fighting
  • Using weapons
  • Physical cruelty to people
  • Physical cruelty to animals
  • Forcing a sexual activity

Destructive behavior

  • Intentional damaging and destroying of other’s property
  • Starting fires on purpose in order to damage someone’s property

Deceitful behavior

  • Stealing
  • Lying
  • Shoplifting
  • Breaking into homes
  • Car jacking

Violation of rules

  • Disobeying rules of parents before the age of 13
  • Running away from home
  • Running from school
  • Disobeying rules and laws of society

There are numerous reasons that cause teen conduct disorder; they may be biological, like certain injuries to the brain or genetics, like history of mental illness in the family, but that is not necessarily true. Teen conduct disorder may develop in an unhealthy environment like dysfunctional family or child abuse and traumatic experience; also social aspects contribute to all these factors.

Unfortunately there are currently only two ways by which teen conduct disorder is treated, psychotherapy and medication. For milder cases psychotherapy is used, it is a form of counseling by which the teen is learned how to control and express his anger through some more appropriate ways. On the other hand medication is a bit tricky, since there is no drug that treats conduct disorder specifically various drugs may be used to treat different symptoms.

The best form of treatment can be done if the symptoms of conduct disorder are caught early, then with psychotherapy success is something real and can be expected, while in cases where conduct disorder is not caught early while it’s developing, treatment is almost impossible.



  1. I have my son in counsiling and am 90% sure that his ODD is now becoming Conduct Disorder. Last night for 3rd time he used me as punching bag. I need a place where parents help each other in the Charlotte, NC area.
    Please help.

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