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Conduct Disorder

  • By: Elizabeth Talbott
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Conduct disorder (CD) is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) as “a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 93). Patterns of behavior associated with CD fall into four main categories (American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 94):

  • “Aggressive conduct that causes or threatens physical harm to other people or animals”
  • “Nonaggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage”
  • “Deceitfulness or theft”
  • “Serious violations of rules”

Conduct disorder may have its onset in childhood or in adolescence; prevalence estimates of CD in the population of youth range from 1% to more than 10% (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

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