Children with conduct problems repeatedly and regularly show aggressive and violent behavior that is dangerous for others and themselves. They engage in activities that are against the rules, be it in school, in society, or at home. Conduct problems may start with pushing, kicking, biting, and hitting. But later they may develop to more serious behaviors like bullying, torturing animals, vandalism, arson, deceit, etc.
A more common kind of conduct problem, known as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), is when a child tends to do just the opposite of what they are told to do. This behavior tends to be limited around people that they know closely.
When conduct problems remain untreated they can spiral to substance abuse, self-harm, anti-social behavior, etc. Seek psychiatric treatment if you notice conduct problems in your child for more than 6 months.
What Causes Conduct Problems?
- History of trauma
- Neglect at home, dysfunctional family
- Past or ongoing physical or sexual abuse
- Poor nutrition
- Undetected physical illness
- Stressful lifestyle like poverty
- Peer pressure
- Overly strict discipline
- Exposure to violence
- Having other psychiatric disorders like ADHD, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc.
- Stress in home life like a family member fighting a fatal illness or loss of a family member
- Brain injury
How Are Conduct Problems Treated?
“To treat conduct problems, it is important to find out the root cause of it. The course of treatment solely depends on what’s creating these behavior issues,” says Dr. Manoj Kumar, the chief psychiatrist at Serene Mind Clinic. To diagnose the condition, there is counseling, therapy, and evaluation tests. Once diagnosed, it can be treated with medication, training, and therapy. Even though conduct problems cannot be treated solely at home, the home environment and parenting skills play a significant role in the treatment process.