Conduct Disorder

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Causes of Conduct Disorder

Parent Psychological Factors

It is known that a child's risk of developing conduct disorder is increased in the event of parent psychopathology. Maternal depression, paternal alcoholism and/or criminalism and antisocial behavior in either parent have been specifically linked to the disorder.

There are two views as to why maternal depression has this effect. The first considers that mothers who are depressed misperceive their child's behavior as maladjusted or inappropriate. The second considers the influence depression can have on the way a parent reacts toward misbehavior. Depressed mothers have been shown to direct a higher number of commands and criticisms towards their children, who in turn respond with increased noncompliance and deviant child behavior.

Webster-Stratton and Dahl suggested that depressed and irritable mothers indirectly cause behavior problems in their children through inconsistent limit setting, emotional unavailability, and reinforcement of inappropriate behaviors through negative attention (Webster-Stratton & Dahl, 1995).

Other Useful Links regarding Conduct Disorder

  • Symptoms of Conduct Disorder
  • Course of Conduct Disorder
    • The onset of conduct disorder may occur as early as age 5 or 6, but more usually occurs in late childhood or early adolescence, learn more about the course of conduct disorder
  • Subtypes of Conduct Disorder
  • Causes of Conduct Disorder
    • Read more about the various causes of conduct disorder, including, biological, family, genetic, neurological, parent related, and school factors.
  • Treatment of Conduct Disorder
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