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Conduct Disorder 

Introduction
Conduct disorders are one of the most common psychological disorders among children and adolescents.  Children or teenagers with a conduct disorder display a consistent disregard for the rules of society or rules at home.  They may continually demonstrate socially unacceptable or violent behavior such as starting fights, lying, stealing, skipping school, drug use, breaking the law, and destruction of property.  They may have problems at their school, home, job, or with the law.  It is important to diagnose and treat conduct disorder as early as possible to ensure the best potential outcome.  In some cases, untreated conduct disorder can lead to adult anti-social personality disorder.

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Causes
You should contact a psychiatrist for an evaluation if you suspect that your child or adolescent has conduct disorder.  The psychiatric evaluation will include a discussion with the child or adolescent, as well as his or her parents.  The psychiatrist will conduct an assessment of your child using structured evaluations, interviews, and behavior analysis.  A psychiatrist would be able to diagnose any co-existing conditions such as depression or substance abuse.

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Diagnosis

You should contact a psychiatrist for an evaluation if you suspect that your child or adolescent has conduct disorder.  The psychiatric evaluation will include a discussion with the child or adolescent, as well as his or her parents.  The psychiatrist will conduct an assessment of your child using structured evaluations, interviews, and behavior analysis.  A psychiatrist would be able to diagnose any co-existing conditions such as depression or substance abuse.

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Treatment
Treatment of conduct disorder may include therapy, behavior management, anger management, and medications.  Medication is rarely used alone without therapy.  Family therapy is important as well.  Early diagnosis and treatment of conduct disorder is important to optimize the chance for a successful outcome.  For some youngsters, untreated conduct disorder can lead to anti-social personality disorder in adults.

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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.