Conduct Disorder

Conduct Disorder in Children and Young People: Understanding the Disorder and Coping Strategies

Conduct disorder is a behavioral and emotional disorder that affects children and young people. It is characterized by a pattern of aggressive, antisocial, and rule-breaking behavior. This disorder can cause significant distress for the affected individual, their families, and those around them.

Children and young people with conduct disorder are often prone to lying, stealing, violence, bullying, and other antisocial behaviors. They may also have difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships, performing well in school, and following rules and laws.

The causes of conduct disorder are complex and may include a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. Some risk factors that have been linked to the development of conduct disorder include poverty, exposure to violence and abuse, family conflict, and parental mental health problems.

There are a number of strategies that can help parents and caregivers cope with a child or young person with conduct disorder. Here are some tips that may be useful:

  1. Get professional help: It is important to seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in conduct disorder. A mental health professional can help the affected individual and their family understand the disorder and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
  2. Use positive reinforcement: Encouraging positive behavior by providing rewards and praise can help build confidence and self-esteem in children and young people with conduct disorder.
  3. Set clear rules and boundaries: Children and young people with conduct disorder often struggle with rules and boundaries. It is important to establish clear rules and consequences for breaking them, and to enforce them consistently.
  4. Encourage open communication: Encourage children and young people with conduct disorder to talk about their feelings and experiences. This can help them develop better communication skills and improve relationships with family members and peers.
  5. Practice stress management techniques: Children and young people with conduct disorder often experience high levels of stress. Encouraging them to engage in stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, and relaxation, can help them better cope with difficult emotions and behaviors.

In conclusion, conduct disorder is a serious and complex disorder that affects children and young people. While it can be challenging to cope with, there are strategies that can help individuals and their families manage the disorder and improve their overall quality of life. With the right support and treatment, children and young people with conduct disorder can learn to manage their behaviors and develop healthier relationships with others.


  1. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2021). Conduct Disorder. Retrieved from
  2. National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Conduct Disorder. Retrieved from
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Conduct Disorder. Retrieved from