What Is Conduct Disorder?

If your child regularly misbehaves, you may have wondered whether they’re simply acting out or suffering from conduct disorder. But what is conduct disorder, exactly, and how can you tell whether your child has it?

Conduct disorder is a mental health condition that can cause various behavioral and emotional problems involving a disregard for others. Individuals with conduct disorder often find it difficult to obey rules and conform to behavioral norms, and some even act violently.

What Are the Symptoms of Conduct Disorder?

Conduct disorder symptoms tend to worsen with age, with adolescents and teenagers often taking part in more dangerous and potentially criminal activities. Only a trained provider can accurately diagnose conduct disorder, but with that said, many people with this condition:

  • Act aggressively (e.g., assault, bite, hit, kick, or push)
  • Break curfew
  • Bully
  • Cheat
  • Commit arson
  • Drink or use drugs
  • Hurt animals
  • Lie
  • Manipulate
  • Pick fights
  • Run away from home
  • Skip school
  • Steal
  • Threaten
  • Trespass
  • Vandalize

While it’s normal for many children to display at least some of these behaviors as they’re growing up, they may have conduct disorder if the behaviors occur frequently, continue for an extended period of time, or are particularly intense. Notably, in many cases, individuals with conduct disorder find it difficult to express their emotions and empathize with others. They rarely feel remorse and tend to blame others for their own faults.

Get Help With Conduct Disorder

If you think your child might have conduct disorder, you need an experienced therapist who can guide you through diagnosis and any necessary treatment. Luckily, you can entrust your child’s care to our knowledgeable team. We have extensive experience working with children with conduct disorder and we can provide you with the help your family needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.



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Denver, CO 80224

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(720) 863-6100

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