Conduct disorder is a serious behavioural and emotional disorder that can occur in children and teens. A child with this disorder may display a pattern of disruptive and violent behaviour and have problems following rules.
It is not uncommon for children and teens to have behaviour-related problems at some time during their development. However, the behaviour is considered to be a conduct disorder when it is long-lasting and when it violates the rights of others, goes against accepted norms of behaviour and disrupts the child’s or family’s everyday life.
Children with conduct disorder tend to be impulsive, hard to control, and not concerned about the feelings of other people.
- Breaking rules without obvious reason
- Cruel or aggressive behaviour toward people or animals (for example: bullying, fighting, using dangerous weapons, forcing sexual activity, and stealing)
- Failure to attend school (truancy — beginning before age 13)
- Heavy drinking and/or heavy illicit drug use
- Intentionally setting fires
- Lying to get a favour or avoid things they have to do
- Running away
- Vandalizing or destroying property
These children often make no effort to hide their aggressive behaviours. They may have a hard time making real friends.