Conduct Disorder (CD)

CD is a repetitive and persistent pattern of  behavior in which the basic rights of others or age appropriate societal norms are violated. CD is more severe than ODD and may persist into adulthood. CD behaviors fall into four major groups:

1. Aggression to people and animals: Bullies, threatens or intimidates others; initiates physical fights; has used a weapon that can cause serious injury; has been physically cruel to people or animals; has stolen from their victim in the victim's presence: mugging, purse snatching, armed robbery.

2. Destruction of property: Deliberately sets fires with the intention of causing serious damage; has deliberately destroyed other people's property.

3. Deceitfulness or theft: has broken into someone's house building, or car; often cons other people; has stolen items without the presence of a victim, such as shoplifting, and forgery.

4. Serious Violations of Rules: often stays out at night despite parental rules (before the age of 13); has ran away from home at least twice; is often truant from school (beginning before age 13).

CD can begin in childhood (prior to age 10), or in adolescence (after age 10). CD is classified as mild, moderate or severe. CD often precedes the diagnosis of sociopathic/antisocial personality disorder after the age of 18.

Treatment for CD is difficult and requires a strong desire from the child or adolescent to change, and a recognition of his behavior as being maladaptive to functioning in the adult world. Talk therapy and behavior therapy with medications for depression and anxiety are often used to treat CD.