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What are the symptoms of conduct disorder?

Most symptoms seen in children with conduct disorder also occur at times in children without this disorder. However, in children with conduct disorder, these symptoms occur more frequently and interfere with learning, school adjustment, and, sometimes, with the child's relationships with others.
The following are the most common symptoms of conduct disorder. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. The four main groups of behaviors include the following:
  • Aggressive conduct causes or threatens physical harm to others and may include the following:
    • intimidating behavior
    • bullying
    • physical fights
    • cruelty to others or animals
    • use of a weapon(s)
    • forcing someone into sexual activity, rape, molestation
  • Destructive conduct may include the following:
    • vandalism; intentional destruction to property
    • arson
  • Deceitful behavior may include the following:
    • lying
    • theft
    • shoplifting
    • delinquency
  • Violation of ordinary rules of conduct or age-appropriate norms may include the following:
    • truancy (failure to attend school)
    • running away
    • pranks
    • mischief
    • very early sexual activity
The symptoms of conduct disorder may resemble other medical conditions or behavioral problems. Always consult your child's (adolescent's) physician for a diagnosis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.