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 Disability Information - Conduct Disorder


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 General Information

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Continuing Education Glossary - Glossary of terms, acronyms and laws for educators of students with emotional or behavioral disorders.


"Conduct disorder" is a complicated group of behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have great difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They are often viewed by other children, adults and social agencies as "bad" or delinquent, rather than mentally ill.
Chances are that if you are a new parent to this site you probably aren't having a great parenting day. Come in, familiarize yourself to our site, ask questions and read our stories. We are a group of parents who are raising challenging children. Our kids have many different diagnoses but all of them are oppositional and resistant to parenting. We use many different methods and treatment plans with a variety of results. We have found that there isn't a "magic bullet" but we are always looking and supporting each other along this journey. We are parents who are committed to helping our children grow and flourish and survive their childhood.

About Early-Onset Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression) is a serious but treatable medical illness. It is a disorder of the brain marked by extreme changes in mood, energy, and behavior. Symptoms may be present since infancy or early childhood, or may suddenly emerge in adolescence or adulthood. Until recently, a diagnosis of the disorder was rarely made in childhood. Doctors can now recognize and treat bipolar disorder in young children.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) in Children and Adolescents: Diagnosis and Treatment
by Jim Chandler, MD, FRCPC

ODD is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by two different sets of problems. These are aggressiveness and a tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others. It is often the reason that people seek treatment. When ODD is present with ADHD, depression, tourette's, anxiety disorders, or other neuropsychiatric disorders, it makes life with that child far more difficult. For Example, ADHD plus ODD is much worse than ADHD alone, often enough to make people seek treatment.

What is Conduct Disorder?
Conduct disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in children and adolescents in which the rights of others or basic social rules are violated. The child or adolescent usually exhibits these behavior patterns in a variety of settings—at home, at school, and in social situations—and they cause significant impairment in his or her social, academic, and family functioning.

Children and Adolescents with Conduct Disorder
Children with conduct disorder repeatedly violate the personal or property rights of others and the basic expectations of society. A diagnosis of conduct disorder is likely when symptoms continue for 6 months or longer. Conduct disorder is known as a "disruptive behavior disorder" because of its impact on children and their families, neighbors, and schools.

Children with bipolar conduct disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depression, is a disorder of the brain marked by extreme mood swings, rise or fall in activity levels, and erratic behavioral changes. Most children with this disorder will go from a nearly euphoric high mood (manic) to a deeply depressed pessimistic and sometimes even suicidal mood (Depressive).

About Conduct Disorder (CD)
The child with a Conduct Disorder does not respect authority, has little regard for the basic rights of others and breaks major societal rules; he or she demonstrates aggressive conduct that threatens physical harm or property damage, deceitfulness, theft, truancy or running away from home. The child with a Conduct Disorder is often vengeful, irascible, and has a chip on his shoulder. The cause of Conduct Disorder is believed to be a combination of genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. Treatment plans might include behavior therapy with the child and parents and pharmacotherapy.

Conduct Disorder
Conduct disorder is the most serious psychiatric disorder in childhood and adolescence. Research suggests that conduct disorder is a more severe form of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) , the main difference being safety for family and society.

Disruptive Disorders
U.S. Surgeon General
Disruptive disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, are characterized by antisocial behavior and, as such, seem to be a collection of behaviors rather than a coherent pattern of mental dysfunction. These behaviors are also frequently found in children who suffer from attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder, another disruptive disorder, which is discussed separately in this chapter. Children who develop the more serious conduct disorders often show signs of these disorders at an earlier age. Although it is common for a very young children to snatch something they want from another child, this kind of behavior may herald a more generally aggressive behavior and be the first sign of an emerging oppositional defiant or conduct disorder if it occurs by the ages of 4 or 5 and later. However, not every oppositional defiant child develops conduct disorder, and the difficult behaviors associated with these conditions often remit.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
"Conduct disorder" is a complicated group of behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have great difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They are often viewed by other children, adults and social agencies as "bad" or delinquent, rather than mentally ill.

with Richard A. Gardner, MD
The American Psychological Association Psychotherapy Video Series II presents distinguished psychotherapists of different theoretical orientations demonstrating specific treatments for specific problems and populations. Designed for clinical training as well as for continuing education, the videotapes show spontaneous and unscripted sessions, typically representing the third or fourth session in an ongoing course of psychotherapy and typically lasting 40 to 50 minutes. The clients are portrayed by professional actors on the basis of real case materials.

Fact Sheets for Health Professionals
Conduct Disorder refers to a persistent pattern of behaviour in which the basic rights of others or major societal rules, given the particular age of the child, are violated. Conduct disorder is one of a triad of Disruptive Behaviour Disorders often referred to as challenging behaviours. It is the extreme end of the spectrum of difficult and challenging behaviour.

Fact Sheet: Conduct Disorder
Symptoms may include stealing; running away; lying; fire-setting; truancy; breaking and entering; destruction of property; physical cruelty to animals or people; forcing sexual activity on others; using weapons in fights; frequent physical fights; drug or alcohol abuse; cheating in games and/or at school; manipulating or taking advantage of others; verbally or physically bullying; intimidating or threatening others; frequent outbursts; impairment in social, school or occupational functioning; staying out late at night despite parental prohibition (under age 13); or disobeying rules.

Conduct disorder in children
By Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
Conduct disorder is a personality disorder seen in children or adolescents where there are repeated bouts of disruptive behavior. These children or adolescents frequently break rules and ignore the basic rights of other people. They also cause physical harm to others or animals, steal, lie, and show other "bad" behaviors.

Childhood Mental Health: Conduct Disorders
The term conduct disorder refers to a complicated group of behavioural and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have great difficulty following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They are often viewed by other children, adults and social agencies as bad or delinquent, rather than mentally ill. Many factors may contribute to a child developing conduct disorder, including brain damage, child abuse, genetic vulnerability, school failure, and traumatic life experiences.

Department of Psychology, Memorial University of Newfoundland
The importance to society of determining any contributing factors to criminal behavior is obvious. A number of studies have shown that conduct disorder in children has a significant effect in placing children at a higher risk for adult criminal behavior. A study by Kratzer and Hodgins (1997) assessed this very question by studying adult outcomes of children with conduct problems. They did not exclusively look at criminal behavior, but it is this component of their study that is of importance here. Sampson and Laub (1997) discussed conduct disorder as not being a single cause of adult criminal behavior, but instead the start to what they termed a life of "cumulative disadvantage". A detailed analysis of the research into this question will help to better answer it.

Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Conduct Disorder
Conduct disorder is a behavior disorder, sometimes diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by antisocial behaviors which violate the rights of others and age-appropriate social standards and rules. Antisocial behaviors may include irresponsibility, delinquent behaviors (such as truancy or running away), violating the rights of others (such as theft), and/or physical aggression toward others (such as assault or rape). These behaviors sometimes occur together, however, one or several may occur without the other(s).

Disruptive Behavior Disorders, Coping Strategies for Parents
Though many children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder or Conduct Disorder are found to have neurologically related symptoms over time, the primary problem is behavior. Parents need an arsenal of coping strategies to reduce the behavioral problems at home. The first step is effective diagnosis and treatment by a practioner with experience in mental disorders of childhood. Nearly all of the behaviors associated with the Disruptive Behavior Disorders may be seen in normal children from time to time. The Disruptive Behavior Disorder diagnosis is made when the frequency and persistence of these symptoms result in clinical impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning. Ongoing supervision by a competent mental health practitioner is crucial because the disruptive behavior disorders are frequently accompanied by other disorders such as ADHD, Anxiety, and Mood Disorders.

Conduct Disorder
Children with conduct disorder repeatedly violate the personal or property rights of others and the basic expectations of society. A diagnosis of conduct disorder is likely if the behavior continues for a period of 6 months or longer. Because of the impact conduct disorder has on the child and his or her family, neighbors, and adjustment at school, conduct disorder is known as a "disruptive behavior disorder."

My Child Has a Problem, Aggression
It may seem odd that the best thing to do to help aggressive children is the same thing you do to help shy children, teach assertiveness! Of course you are coming at it from a different angle. The first step in changing the pattern of aggressive behavior in your child is to develop a sense of empathy. Observe and discuss with your child the emotions of others to help him understand how people feel when they are treated badly. TV and books are useful tools for teaching your child to recognize the feelings of others. Treat your child with empathy and respect, and he will learn to treat others in the same way.

Causes of aggressive behaviour
Twin and adoption studies suggest a large shared (family) environmental effect, a moderate non-shared (unique) environmental effect, and a modest genetic effect. Typical twin concordance rates for adolescent delinquency are 87% for monozygotic twins and 72% for dizygotic twins.[11] Adoption studies suggest that genetically vulnerable children--that is, children whose birth parents were antisocial--may be especially susceptible to unfavourable family conditions, so that an interaction is seen (fig 2).[12] The genetic element seems to be stronger for adult criminality than childhood conduct disorder and delinquency.[13] To understand what these environmental and genetic factors might be, we need to turn to other studies.

Controlling Anger -- Before It Controls You
Anger is "an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage," according to Charles Spielberger, PhD, a psychologist who specializes in the study of anger. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.

6 Ways to Help Foster Kids Express Anger Constructively!
by Michele Borba, Ed.D.
I've included six ideas from my new book, Parents Do Make a Difference to help teach your kids calmer more constructive ways to express their anger. These ideas have been presented to many foster parents in trainings and the feedback has been profound: they're simple techniques and when used consistently they will work. And the younger we teach these techniques to children, the better! It's one of the ways we can prevent the development of aggressive, hostile behavior that is tormenting too many kids today.

Conduct disorder
MedLine Plus
Conduct disorder has been associated with family conflicts, child abuse, poverty, genetic defects, and parental drug addiction or alcoholism. The diagnosis is more common among boys and is estimated to be as high as 10%.

Behavioral problems and conduct disorder
Mental Health and Growing Up, Second Edition
It takes time for children to learn how to behave properly. With help and encouragement from parents and teachers, most of them learn fast. Of course, children are sometimes disobedient. Occasionally a child will have a temper tantrum or an outburst of aggressive or destructive behaviour. Normally, these do not last long and can be dealt with quite easily.

Counseling Children with Conduct Disorder
By Laurie L. Hayes, Special to Counseling Today
As many as one in 10 children may have a conduct disorder, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Conduct disorders are characterized by the repeated violation of personal or property rights of others and the basic expectations of society. It is among the more difficult behavior disorders to diagnose and even harder to treat.

Conduct Disorders
A childhood antisocial behavior disorder characterized by aggressive and destructive actions that harm other human beings, animals, or property, and which violate the socially expected behavior for the child's age.

Conduct disorder
Paula Anne Ford-Martin
Conduct disorder (CD) is a behavioral and emotional disorder of childhood and adolescence. Children with conduct disorder act inappropriately, infringe on the rights of others, and violate the behavioral expectations of others.

Behavioral Disorders: Focus on Change
ERIC Digest #518
Students who are referred to as having "conduct disorders" and students who are referred to as having "emotional disabilities," "behavioral disorders," "serious emotional disturbances," or "emotional and behavioral disorders" have two common elements that are instructionally relevant: (1) they demonstrate behavior that is noticeably different from that expected in school or the community and (2) they are in need of remediation.

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 Education & Classroom Accommodations

Frequently Asked Questions About Autism, Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD), Behavior Issues, Sensory Issues, and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) - click here.


Educator's Guide To Receiving Bipolar Students After Hospitalization
by Tracey Trudeau
Erratic school attendance makes it difficult to assess academic potential or impairment, therefore awareness of lack of opportunity to learn as opposed to the inability to learn is important. Students require flexibility in their academic programming, including those capable of learning core subjects when well and stable. This ultimately becomes an attendance issue rather than a problem defined by a deficit in potential.

Behavior disorders and educational intervention
Behavior disordered is a term frequently used interchangeably with emotionally disturbed or socially maladjusted. These terms describe children who are troubled and who may also cause trouble for parents, teachers, peers, and others. Problems associated with defining and identifying behavior disorders, or conduct disorders, are far more difficult than those relating to physical disabilities. Estimates of the prevalence of behavior disorders vary considerably depending on the criteria used for identification and on whether estimates include mild as well as severe instances. It has been estimated that 15% to 19% of U.S. children and adolescents have problems requiring some form of mental health services. Factors that contribute to the development of behavior disorders vary greatly. They are often classified as genetic or congenital versus social or psychological. Given adequate knowledge of biological history and environment, it is sometimes possible to identify children who may be at greater risk for behavior disorders than others.

Addressing Problem Behaviors in Schools: Use of Functional Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans
Robert A. Gable, Mary Magee Quinn, Robert B. Rutherford Jr., and Kenneth Howell
Educators have long recognized that behavior difficulties can keep students from performing successfully in class. The 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) address the issue of classroom behavior problems by requiring school- based IEP (Individualized Education Program) teams to use positive behavioral interventions and supports to address behaviors that interfere with the learning of students with disabilities and that of others (or that require disciplinary action). The amendments to the IDEA state that the relationship between behavior and learning must not only be considered, but acted upon. This legislative mandate redefines the roles and responsibilities of both general and special educators.

Conduct and Behavior Problems: Intervention and Resources for School Aged Youth
In this introductory packet, the range of conduct and behavior problems are described using fact sheets and the classification scheme from the American Pediatric Association.

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 Michigan Resources, Support Groups, Listservs & Websites


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 National Resources & Websites

Adirondack Leadership Expeditions, New York (ages 14-17)
Adirondack Leadership Expeditions is a character development wilderness program for troubled teens that promotes personal growth through a focus on insight-oriented experiences. The forested, mountain setting removes urban distractions and simplifies options to help students gain insight into their core values and accept responsibility for their choices. Our wilderness program's nurturing approach helps participants address personal issues, achieve success in a safe environment, and develop their leadership potential. Wilderness programs for troubled teens serve as excellent alternatives to boot camps because teens learn through natural consequences and positive peer relationships.

SUWS of the Carolinas, North Carolina (ages 14-17)
SUWS of the Carolinas is a therapeutic camping program with a focus on clinical intervention and assessment. The program uses the outdoors as an alternative to conventional treatment environments, while engaging students using traditional therapeutic methods. The wilderness setting removes modern distractions, simplifies choices and teaches valuable lessons. As a result, students begin to accept responsibility for personal decisions, address individual and family issues, and become invested in their character development. Since 1981, SUWS programs have provided essential guidance and support to thousands of misdirected and at-risk adolescents.

Lone Star Expeditions, Texas (ages 14-17)
Lone Star Expeditions is a therapeutic intervention that combines traditional therapy with a wilderness setting to engage students in exploring their character in a safe, but challenging environment. Lone Star is a licensed treatment program with a focus on assessment, intervention and aftercare. The forested, camp-like surroundings remove modern distractions and simplify choices to help students gain insight into their values and accept responsibility for their decisions. As they progress through the program's sophisticated level system, students experience success and develop healthy self-esteem.

Aspen Achievement Academy, Utah (ages 13-17)
Being a teenager is tougher in today's society than it has ever been. The clear-cut rites of a simpler society permitted children to move into adulthood in a natural and predictable way. Today's teenagers and their parents no longer have the benefit of such clear rites and predictable pathways. As a result, even talented young people and well-meaning parents often struggle with a balance between independence and reliance upon families. Teens today lack cultural rituals and pathways or "rites of passage" to maturity. Nowhere is the need for such "rites of passage" and help for teens and parents more apparent than in the case of the troubled teenager. The remarkable aspect about our innovative outdoor therapy program is its proven ability to allow nature and skilled staff to nurture self-reliance and self-respect, opening up a "rite of passage" to responsible young adulthood.

Aspen Ranch, Utah (ages 13-17)
Aspen Ranch is a licensed residential treatment center located in a long, sage-filled valley amid open ranges and majestic mountains in rural Loa, Utah, about three hours south of Salt Lake City. The Ranch is an ideal environment for young people, between the ages of 13 and 17, who need an opportunity to turn their lives around. Low self-esteem, academic underachievement, substance abuse, and family conflict are some of the issues the teenagers at Aspen Ranch may be struggling with when they first arrive. Through exposure to a wholesome environment where the basic concepts of education, work ethic, and self-scrutiny are taught and embodied in adult role models, Aspen students rediscover a sense of self-worth.

Turn-About Ranch, Utah (ages 12-18)
The objective of Turn-About Ranch is to provide a tough, hard-hitting, high-impact residential program that will remold and turn around the lives of rebellious, troubled teenagers. The program objectives are facilitated through the environment of an historic, real life, cow and horse ranch and the use of old-time values and morals such as honesty, respect, teamwork and accountability. Turn-About Ranch has a unique behavior modification program that promotes and achieves needed changes in the lives of struggling youth. The program mission is to empower our students with traditional Christian values of honesty, openness, respect, teamwork, and accountability in order to instill a positive, responsible, cooperative attitude that will prepare them for successfully living within their family, community, and society.

SUWS Youth & Adolescent, Idaho (ages 11-17)
SUWS Adolescent and Youth Treatment Programs specialize in helping troubled teens and defiant teens with behavioral and emotional problems. Operating in southern Idaho since 1981, SUWS has assisted young people to identify and work through internal conflicts and emotional obstacles that have kept them from responding to parental efforts, schools, and treatment. These are children who are inherently good and have the ability to be successful, but because of unhealthy misperceptions about themselves, they have limited access to their own abilities and strengths.

Diamond Ranch Academy, Utah
The accredited academic system at DRA has proven effective for teaching students with and without ADD/ADHD. With close support from a licensed teacher-tutor, each student moves effectively through courses. Course credit is not based on time spent in class but on mastery of the subject matter, which maximizes the learning process and the earning of credits. At Diamond Ranch Academy our mission is to help youth implement positive, lifelong change. This is done through a system of natural rewards and consequences. This system provides an opportunity for making choices that allow for self-discovery, accountability, and responsibility. As this pattern of life is internalized, self-esteem and emotional growth is achieved and lives are changed.

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 Articles Related to this Disability

The Psychopharmacology of Bipolar Disorder
by Peter M. Brigham, MD

Bipolar disorder has a prevalence of 1-3%, although some think it may be higher. Goodwin & Jamison (1990) estimate that approximately 1/3 of bipolar disorder is ever diagnosed, and only 1/3 of those diagnosed are in treatment, and only a small proportion of those in treatment are receiving optimal treatment. The peak ages of onset are 15-19, a fact that is well documented but under-appreciated. Going by the statistics, the average untreated bipolar patient will have the first episode of mood disruption at age 16 and 10 episodes by age 26! (Sachs) Considering the importance of this decade of development in establishing autonomy, vocational independence, and primary relationships outside the family, it is obvious that early diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder can have a profound effect on the course of a patient's life. In addition, the lifetime incidence of completed suicide in bipolar patients is on the order of 20% - this is an illness with a high degree of lethality, so our efforts to treat it should be vigorous and well informed.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see. Children with emotional, behavioral, learning or impulse control problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence. The impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child's behavior or may surface years later, and young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence.

Do Positive Self-Perceptions Have a "Dark Side"? Examination of the Link between Perceptual Bias and Aggression
The hypothesis that positive self-perceptions may have a "dark side" was investigated in the present study by examining the relationship between positively biased self-perceptions and aggression. Ratings of actual and perceived social acceptance of third-grade (n = 278), fourth-grade (n = 260), and fifth-grade (n = 321) students were compared to form a measure of perceptual bias. Peers provided nominations for overt and relational aggression. Gender differences were found for aggression (males were more overtly and relationally aggressive than females) but not perceptual bias. African-American children held more positive perceptions of their social acceptance and were perceived by peers as more aggressive than Caucasian children. Even after controlling for the effects of gender and ethnicity, more positively biased perceptions were associated with more peer nominations for overt and relational aggression. Contrary to an optimal range of bias hypothesis, even moderately positive self-perceptions were associate d with elevated levels of aggression.

Nancy Eisenberg
Recent issues concerning the role of such empathy-related responses as sympathy and personal distress to prosocial and antisocial behavior are discussed, as is the relation of empathy-related responding to situational and dispositional emotionality and regulation. The development and socialization of guilt, shame, and empathy also are discussed briefly. In addition, the role of nonmoral emotions (e.g. anger and sadness), including moods and dispositional differences in negative emotionality and its regulation, in morally relevant behavior, is reviewed.

Preventing Conduct Problems in Head Start Children: Strengthening Parenting Competencies
by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
The effectiveness of a parenting program with 394 Head Start mothers was examined. Nine Head Start centers were randomly assigned to either an experimental condition in which parents, teachers, and family service workers participated in the intervention or a control condition in which the regular Head Start program was offered. Mothers in the intervention group were observed at home to have significantly fewer critical remarks and commands, to use less harsh discipline, and to be more positive and competent in their parenting when compared with control mothers. Teachers reported that intervention mothers were more involved in their children's education and that their children were more socially competent. Intervention children were observed to exhibit significantly fewer conduct problems, less noncompliance, less negative affect, and more positive affect than control children. One year later most of the improvements were maintained.

Temper Tantrums: What Causes Them and How Can You Respond?
by Dawn Ramsburg
Temper tantrums can be frustrating and embarrassing for parents, especially when they occur in public places. Parents may find it helpful to remember that tantrums are often an expression of frustration for the children. Preschoolers, in their eagerness to control the world around them, may want to be more independent than their skills or safety allow (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1993, pp. 502-504). They may also have trouble expressing their feelings in words and therefore resort to a temper tantrum during which they act out their frustration and anger by crying, whining, shrieking, or pounding their hands, legs, and head on the floor. Temper tantrums can occur because a child is tired, hungry, or feeling helpless. Children may also throw tantrums to get an adult's attention, to get their own way, to hurt back if they feel hurt, or to get others to leave them alone.

Drug Abuse and Conduct Disorder Linked to Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy
By Raymond Varisco, NIDA NOTES Contributing Writer
Researchers at Columbia University in New York City have found new evidence that children whose mothers smoke during pregnancy are at much greater risk than other children for drug abuse and conduct disorder. The findings reinforce those of other studies spanning more than 25 years that have shown similar problems associated with prenatal exposure to smoke in children ranging from toddlers through teens. The study also revealed marked gender differences, with girls at significantly increased risk for drug abuse and boys at significantly increased risk for conduct disorder.

Child Conduct Disorders Research Review
By Andy Gill
The definition of child conduct disorders is rather vague and imprecise and is relative to what is construed as "normal" and "abnormal" behaviour. The social and cultural context of conduct disorders is important in making sense of the way children and parents experience labelling and negative perceptions of their abilities.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Reactive Conduct Problems
by Deane G. Baldwin, MD
P.D.D. is not generally considered to be associated with aggression. However, many children with P.D.D. come to mental health care professionals because of aggressive behavior. Their targets are usually caregivers/teachers or playmates/classmates who are engaged with them in activities where there are close encounters.

Conduct Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment in Primary Care
H. Russell Searight, Fred Rottnek, Stacey L. Abby
Conduct disorder is a common childhood psychiatric problem that has an increased incidence in adolescence. The primary diagnostic features of conduct disorder include aggression, theft, vandalism, violations of rules and/or lying. For a diagnosis, these behaviors must occur for at least a six-month period. Conduct disorder has a multifactorial etiology that includes biologic, psychosocial and familial factors. The differential diagnosis of conduct disorder includes oppositional defiant disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorder and intermittent explosive disorder. Family physicians may provide brief, behaviorally focused parent counseling, pharmacotherapy and referral for more intensive family and individual psychotherapy.

Conduct disorder: relationships to early peer rejection
Catherine L. Grus
This study examined the role of early school-age peer rejection and aggression in the development of early conduct problems.

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 Medical Information

DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria
A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months.

Medication Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Treating patients with bipolar disorder is never easy, and the array of pharmacologic interventions
can be difficult to understand and deploy. These guidelines offer a “one stop” reference. They
deal with the initial and long-term management of common scenarios as well as complicated
treatment issues. Interventions for the specific types of bipolar disorder—mania, bipolar depression,
and rapid-cycling bipolar disorder—are outlined in detail. Initial and secondary options are
presented for each type of disorder, along with advice regarding multiple- vs. single-drug therapy,
side effects, and inadequate response to therapy. The section A Guide for Patients and Families
(page 97), which includes information, resource groups, and a reference list, is exceptionally well
done and will be practical for use by both groups. It will also serve as a helpful primer for primary
care physicians.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity -- or Bipolar?
Last week I saw an 18 year old, whose mother is convinced he has ADHD. She's probably right. However, he may also have a Bipolar condition. The Bipolar Disorder, if he has it, might actually account for some or even all of his attention/distractibility problems. I've seen at least one adult on a stimulant have better attention/focus abilities when she was off the stimulant and on a mood stabilizer. Should this 18-year-old be given a stimulant?

American Description, Diagnostic Criteria
A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months.

European Description, Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders
World Health Organization
Conduct disorders are characterized by a repetitive and persistent pattern of dissocial, aggressive, or defiant conduct. Such behavior, when at its most extreme for the individual, should amount to major violations of age-appropriate social expectations, and is therefore more severe than ordinary childish mischief or adolescent rebelliousness. Isolated dissocial or criminal acts are not in themselves grounds for the diagnosis, which implies an enduring pattern of behavior.

Treatment of Children with Mental Disorders
National Institute of Mental Health
There has been public concern over reports that very young children are being prescribed psychotropic medications. The studies to date are incomplete, and much more needs to be learned about young children who are treated with medications for all kinds of illnesses. In the field of mental health, new studies are needed to tell us what the best treatments are for children with emotional and behavioral disturbances.

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 Books & Videos

Handbook of Disruptive Behavior Disorders
by Herbert C. Quay (Editor), Anne E. Hogan (Editor)
The purpose of this handbook is to provide the researcher, clinician, teacher and student in all mental health fields with comprehensive coverage of this important area of child psychopathology. The Disruptive Behavior Disorders (as labeled in DSM IV) are Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (three subtypes), Conduct Disorder (two subtypes), and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Taken together, these disorders account for at least three fourths of the combined prevalence of all psychopathological disorders of childhood and adolescence. An understanding of the biological and psychosocial etiologies of these disorders, the settings that engender and maintain them, their natural history, and what may be the most effective intervention and prevention strategies for them are of prime importance to all professionals who must deal with these troubled youths. This Handbook, with over 50 contributors and 2600 references, is the most complete resource available on this important topic.

Helping Children with Aggression and Conduct Problems: Best Practices for Intervention
by Michael L. Bloomquist (Author), Steven V. Schnell (Author)
Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Text reviews the characteristics and developmental pathways of children with aggression and conduct problems and discusses social competence training, parent and family skills training, mental health treatments, and school-based interventions.

Antisocial Behavior in School: Strategies and Best Practices
by Geoff Colvin, Elizabeth Ramsey, Hill M. Ramsey Walker
This indispensible resource describes the "best practices" for coping with antisocial behavior patterns among children and youth in school. Designed to enhance educators' understanding of the nature, origins, and causes of antisocial behavior, this book offers interventions and model programs that can be used in preventing or remediating this growing problem in the schools.

Antisocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Analysis and the Oregon Model for Intervention
by John B. Reid (Editor), Gerald R. Patterson (Editor), James J. Snyder (Editor)
Summarizes the ongoing work at the Oregon Social Learning Center. Provides approaches to reducing the occurrence of antisocial behavior beginning in the earliest years in childhood. Uses the coercion theory as an organizing framework, distilling more than 30 years of research. Written for researchers and clinicians.

Aggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and Adolescents: Research and Treatment
by Daniel F. Connor (Author)
Univ. of Massachusetts, Worcester. Written from a clinical-developmental perspective and includes a description of the types and subtypes of aggressive behaviors. Key dimensions of aggression are identified, and the limitations of diagnostic categories are discussed. Presents findings on how and why some children 'grow out of' early-onset aggression.

Rage-Free Kids: Homeopathic Medicine for Defiant, Aggressive, and Violent Children
by Robert Ullman N.D., Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman N.D. M.S.W.
Although anger is a normal emotion, in certain children it can spiral out of control and become something much less manageable—rage. If your child exhibits bouts of uncontrollable anger, tantrums, aggression, or violence, you should know that there is a safe and effective treatment that is completely drug-free. In Rage-Free Kids, renowned homeopathic physicians Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman present a natural answer to extreme anger that has worked for over 1,500 challenging children. If you have a difficult child, this book is a must read.

Conduct Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence
by Jonathan Hill (Editor), Barbara Maughan (Editor)
Conduct disorders are very common conditions and the most frequent reason for clinical referrals to child and adolescent mental health facilities. Aggression and oppositional behavior in youth often becomes persistent, and substantially increases the likelihood of adult problems of criminality, unstable relationships, psychiatric disorder, and harsh parenting. This comprehensive book by leading clinicians and researchers reviews established and emerging aspects of conduct disorder. It highlights the complexity and probable heterogeneity of the condition, including the biological, neuropsychological, cognitive factors, and role of attachment and family influences. The book reviews preventive and treatment approaches and outcomes with developmental and gender-based variations emphasized throughout. This uniquely authoritative survey of a common clinical and social problem integrates findings from a wide range of research perspectives, and will be essential reading for mental health practitioners and others with clinical, sociological, or medicolegal interests in child health and behavior.

Controlling the Difficult Adolescent
by David B. Stein
Introduces specific methods for parents and for therapists on how to teach parents to control difficult and oppositional adolescents. The oppositional/defiant adolescent engages in behavior that can be described as abusive to and inconsiderate of other family members. Such teenagers do not typically respond well to traditional methods of psychotherapy and often therapists commit these youngsters to psychiatric hospitals. The methods introduced in this book are based on years of research and can be effectively carried out in the home setting, removing the need for hospitalization. Simple rules of conduct and clear expectations for the teen's behavior are established at the beginning. Enforcement of these rules is carried out by systematically controlling the teen's economic resources (The Real Economy System for Teens.) Both parents and practicing therapists can benefit from the information contained in this book. Contents: How Did it Happen; Discipline and Punishment; How Control the Difficult Adolescent: The REST Program; Special Problems-Lying and Aggression; Special Problem-Poor School Performance; Special Problem-College; Special Problem-Drug and Alcohol Abuse-Hardcore Behaviors; Special Problems-Acting Out Behaviors - Runaway Reaction, Suicide Attempts, and Delinquent Behaviors; Special Problems-Divorce; Communications; A Case Study; Not the Final Chapter.

Conduct Disorders & Severe Antisocial Behavior (Clinical Child Psychology Library)
by Paul J. Frick
This book outlines a scientific approach to understanding and treating children and adolescents who display a severe pattern of aggressive antisocial behavior. Unlike other works which tend to focus exclusively on research data or practical guidelines for treatment approaches, this valuable reference integrates both of these aspects, providing clear guidelines for intervention based on the most current research. Outstanding features include 23 tables and figures, and two chapters detailing a comprehensive approach to treatment tailored to the needs of the individual child or adolescent.

Complete Early Childhood Behavior Management Guide
by Kathleen Pullan Watkins, Lucius Durant
Center for Applied Research in Education; (August 1992)

Disruptive Behavior Disorders Children Disruptive Behavior Disorders in Children and Adolescents
by Robert L. Hendren (Editor)
Robert Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ. Reviews current research and clinical observations on the topic. Discusses attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder. For clinicians and therapists. Softcover. DNLM: Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders.

Causes of Conduct Disorder and Juvenile Delinquency
by Benjamin B. Lahey (Editor), Terrie E. Moffitt (Editor), Avshalom Caspi (Editor)
Univ. of Chicago, IL. Text provides an understanding of the causes of conduct disorders and serious delinquency. Presents specific, testable hypotheses about the causal factors and mechanisms in conduct disorder and delinquency. Models are presented focusing on various causes. Also includes animal research models on aggression. For researchers and practitioners.

Conduct Disorders: The Latest Assessment and Treatment Strategies
by J. Mark, Ph.D. Eddy, J. Mark Eddy
Conduct disorders account for half of all referrals to child mental health clinics. What are the new types of conduct disorders in the DSM-IV? How do conduct-disordered children function as adults? Is this an inherited condition? How do you differentiate conduct disorders from child anti social behavior and other disorders? How effective are the commonly used treatment models? Written for the professional in a jargon free, easy to read format, this Compact Clinicals’ book provides up-to-date assessment and pertinent treatment approach information for Conduct Disorders.

When Acting Out Isn't Acting: Understanding Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity and Conduct Disorders in Children and Adolescents
by Lynn W., M.D., Ph.D Weisberg, Rosalie; M.D. Greenberg, Andrew E. Slaby, Lynne W. Weisberg

Conduct and Oppositional Defiant Disorders: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Treatment
by Cecilia A. Essau (Editor)
Fourteen chapters by researchers from around the world provide an overview of conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorders in children and adolescents. The book summarizes classification and assessment, epidemiology and commorbidity, and the course and outcome of the disorders. It also identifies factors that put children and adolescents at risk for the disorders and presents empirically supported approaches to prevention and treatment.Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Conduct Disorder and Underachievement: Risk Factors, Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention
by Harvey P. Mandel (Author)
The young people who are the subject of this book are responsible for a disproportionate amount of difficulty for society. They are the chronic rule-breakers and bullies. They may threaten, intimidate, manipulate, steal, and use violence to get what they want. Many are drug abusers and drug dealers. Most have problems with self-control and self-discipline. Nearly all of them are academic underachievers.

Conduct Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Etiology, Assessment, and Treatment
by G. Pirooz Sholevar (Editor)
Examines the phenomenology, etiology, and diagnosis of conduct disorders; the range of therapeutic and preventative strategies; and new interventions. A final chapter highlights promising research findings and concludes with suggestions for future research. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

The Whipped Parent: Hope for Parents Raising an Out-Of-Control Teen
by Kimberly Abraham, Marney Studaker-Cordner, Kathryn O'Dea (Contributor)

Conduct Unbecoming: Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit, and Disruptive Behavior Disorders ((Encyclopedia of Psychological Disorders)
by Elizabeth Russell Connelly, Carol C. Nadelson (Editor)
Describes disruptive behavior disorders before going on to discuss historical documentation of their appearance, their causes, treatments, and impact on society.

Conduct Disorders and Social Maladjustments: Policies, Politics, and Programming (Working With Behavioral Disorders)
by Frank H. Wood, Christine O. Cheney, Daniel H. Cline, Kristina Sampson, Carl R. Smith, Eleanor C. Guetzloe

What Parents Need to Know About Odd: Up-To-Date Insights and Ideas for Managing Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Other Defiant Behaviors
by James D. Sutton
64 pages

Helping the Noncompliant Child, Second Edition: Family-Based Treatment for Oppositional Behavior
by Robert McMahon, Rex Forehand
Univ. of Washington, Seattle. Provides researchers and clinicians with a detailed description of the program which is designed to teach parents to improve their children's compliance and related oppositional behavior. Primarily for the parents of 3- to 8-year-old children. Covers assessment and intervention. Previous edition: c1981.

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