Conduct disorders in children and adolescents

Conduct disorders are characterised by repetitive defiant, antisocial or aggressive conduct which violates age-appropriate social expectations. Early intervention, which addresses both the risk factors and individual features of the conduct disorder, does improve the prognosis of these often difficult to treat disorders. A comprehensive intervention usually warrants the use of a multiprofessional team with effective networking facilities. If the symptoms go unchecked, those close to the child will start to see behavioural problems as part of the child’s personality and not as treatable symptoms. This in turn may lead to pessimism as regards the possibility of treatment.