Facts about the Conduct Disorder in Children and Adolescence
Contact disorder refers to a mental defect that displays itself among children and adolescents. This disorder possesses certain characteristics that are largely unfriendly and violent. In particular, it is characterized by unfaithfulness in young children as well as adolescents. A child or adolescent affected by this disorder shows signs of theft, lying and even breaking of rules every time. This kind of behavior in the society is normally viewed as uncouth and unacceptable. However, it is immensely sad that these defects majorly occur among the younger generation. Statistics shows that this childhood psychiatric disorder has portrayed immense advancements in adolescents. Failure to identify and rectify this problem, in its earlier stages, the child by develops poorly in terms of behavior. Some end up being criminals (Attwood, 2007).
Some of the features of a diagnosed patient include aggressiveness, sleep outs, and constant lying. Most of the time, children affected by this defect tend to act angrily and often destroy property. Some engage in theft behavior. This disorder requires a serious therapy from a well- trained therapist who has good experience on how to deal with the problem. Most of the current therapists currently have the role of handling a broad array of psychiatric disorders. However, each disorder should be treated in its own special way. It is because the disorders may be caused by different environmental or social factors. The issue becomes even more delicate since it involves children and adolescents. Hence, both parents and the therapists should be very careful (Carsons, 1998).
The diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder may be quite elaborate. It is due to the severity of the case. For instance, in a case given in one of the references, there was a boy, Tim, whose condition was so severe. The severity was such that even the physicians his mother took him to give up on immunizing him. Here, the boy was always rebellious and never listened to his mother. As such, she found herself moving from one physician to another to seek treatment for her son’s condition. Now, going back to the diagnostic criteria, this disorder, the psychiatrists often check for certain persistent behavior in the child. The child shows a constant poor and immoral behavior in a certain frequency. For instance, the child may be a frequent bully. A set of character would appear in the past set of twelve months, however, in this set, one basic act would appear mostly in the past six months. The bad behaviors would always tend to go against the right of others. In addition, the acts often appear against the societal norms.
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Below is a well-arranged list of the symptoms of conduct disorder in their supposed order of occurrence:
- Bullying and/or intimidating others
- Frequent initiations into physical fighting
- The child uses a weapon of physical harm to others. Could be a knife or stone.
- The child has been physically cruel to fellows and animals.
- Has committed theft in the event of a confrontation with someone. It may be through purse snatching or armed robbery.
- In other situations, he/she has forced another person into sexual activity.
- In some instances, the child is engaged in fire setting. It might be done with the motive of causing immense damage of property or even deaths.
- Deliberate destruction of property belonging to others, especially through fire setting
- Acted deceitfully. It was caused by breaking into another person’s car or home.
- Has acted as a con in one way or another. For instance, might lie in order to gain something out of it.
- Other deceitful acts such as shoplifting and forgery.
- Before the age of 13, the child may stay out overnight even after the parents’ warning not to do so.
- Such a child might also run away from home and stay away for a long time.
- In other cases, the child aged below 13 is often sent away from school through suspensions and in worse cases expulsions.
- Clinical impairments eventually depict themselves in the children’s occupational and social life.
- Individuals of age 18 and above tend to lack the antisocial personality disorder (Olive, 2009).
The above list shows the diagnostic criterion for this disorder. As earlier stated, the diagnosis is carried out for at least 12 months. However, for a clearer verification of the constant character, the checks should be done for the last six months. Various symptoms are associated with this disorder. These symptoms have several methods of treatment. However, not all of them are highly effective for the complete elimination of symptoms. First, we should go back to the basic symptoms that are associated with this disorder. It is associated with immense aggression and threats to harm other people as well as animals. In addition, the victim takes part in deliberate destruction of property. It may be carried out through fire setting. All the above- mentioned cases are an elaborate explanation of the symptoms of conduct disorder.
The first step in treating conduct disorders includes consultations from family therapists. The therapists have firsthand solution to the problem and can to identify the stages in which the disorder has reached. In the therapy, the psychiatrist would be able to emphasize on the importance of the involvement of the parents in the entire therapy. The therapist should also be committed to carrying out constant visits considering the severity of the case. Some children and adolescents show advanced cases of the defect. It may be shown through aggressiveness. In this case, they should be immunized in accordance with a physician to reduce aggressiveness. The physicians should also be able to warn about a prolonged prognosis on the individual (Gherovici, 2003).
For steps to prevent the subsequent symptoms in children and adolescents, the parents should avoid harsh discipline for the children. In addition, they should take up the role of monitoring their children’s development. Most of the parents whose children suffer this defect often have numerous issues with the law that hinder them from living normal lives and taking good care of their children. In addition, such parents do not wish for their children to lead similar lives. More successful method of avoiding the symptoms of the conduct disorder is through good and close monitoring of the children. Parents have an upper hand in ensuring that their children do not get this defect. If the parents carried out close monitoring of their children, then it would be much easier to identify the early signs of this disorder (Milunsky, 2005).
From an elaborate experiment carried out by teachers to rate the amount of criminal activity in relation to child’s age, it appeared that from ages six onward, there were evident proofs of criminal convictions. From extensive researches carried out, it appeared that the group, which is at a higher risk of getting this disorder, is children and infants. In particular, these are children of about 0- 6 years. Some vital causal factors tend to cover the children whose ages fall within this age bracket. The first cause is said to be breast-feeding. Breast milk is one of the most nutritional feed for a new born. In addition, breast-feeding is an act that acts as a bonding factor for mother and infant. As such, research has shown that children who are not breast fed well in their infancy onwards tend to adopt certain conduct disorders. It may also lead to other related mental disorders (Smolak, 1999).
Another basic cause of this disorder is genetic and environmental etiology of disregard for rules. In another research carried out to verify this phenomenon, it appeared that in children of ages 20- 64 months, there occurred a constant disregard of rules set by the parents. When a child commits an offence, the parents omit the mistake claiming that he or she is just a child. In this situation, the child continues with the mistake repeatedly knowing that he or she will not be given any kind of punishment. This repeated disregard for mistakes develops the child into an aggressive and hostile child. Eventually, the child starts to show signs of conduct disorder. When the adults around the child do not provide strict curbing of bad behavior through external punishment, the child develops psychopathy and antisocial behavior disorder. More symptoms are conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. These symptoms appear more in young children of the above- stated ages, that is 29- 64 months (Robinson, 2004).
Children become highly rebellious of the rules set by the parents. In addition, they fail to comply with these rules. The children also tend to resist any relevant issue extended to them by their parents and other adults. Another cause of this disorder is immigration. It has been evident in adolescents of Caribbean and Philippians origins. These adolescents tend to get affected by the immense immigrations of the parents into other countries. The children are separated from their parents at childhood. As such, the children lack good childhood monitoring and mentoring. In that case, they end up getting the conduct disorder. The cases may be severe since adolescents stay in groups that might develop into gangs. In these gangs, they indulge in destructive acts such as damage of property through setting fires. Others become rapists since they may try forcing others into sexual activities. Generally, most of them commit offences that go against the human rights of others. These acts are not always associated with the societal norms. In this separation caused by immigration, psychological stressors have an upper hand in causing this disorder among this category of teenagers (Solberg, 2008).
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In the current harsh financial times, most of the Caribbean and Philippians tend to migrate to Canada in search of domestic and casual jobs. Their stay is normally prolonged. When they eventually reunite with their children later in Canada, the children experience difficulties trying to adapt to the new environment. Moreover, more pressure and stress comes from the schools they attend. They may be secludes or even encounter racism from the Canadian students. Some of these factors make these adolescents alter their behavior. Gradually, they start engaging in uncouth behavior. The symptoms then grow and develop into conduct disorder.
A research that was carried out in Quebec showed that Caribbean- Canadian youths are more represented in the special facilities of Canada. It is because most of that encounter extreme cases of stress. Such cases are also mainly court ordered for treatment. In most cases, the externalizing symptoms of conduct disorder come because of racism in the schools and other related institutions. A Filipino adolescent was shown to encounter more cases of stress and low self- esteem that other communities in the society of the US (Schou, 1979).
Earlier sufferers of this disorder may be able to heal from it, though the chances are rather narrow. However, with constant monitoring and medication to lower depression and aggression, they may recover from the disorder. It should be detected in the earlier stages so that early treatment can be administered. Some instances may be rather difficult to cure completely. For instance, in a case where the child is separated from the parent at an earlier stage, identifying the symptoms may be difficult. It occurs since there is literally no one responsible enough to monitor the development of the child. Some of the signs grow and develop into the conduct disorder. With later immigration with the parents, such children affected by changes in cultures they are exposed to. More pressure and stress increase the severity of the case.
Most of the schools in the United States of America encounter mixed races within them. In addition, most of these youths have gone through immense genetic and environmental etiology of disregard rule. These, coupled with the high levels of peer pressure among the youth, have led to increased levels of the conduct disorder. In America, there are a larger number of immigrants. Most of them shift into the states to seek job opportunities. For this reason, they tend to overstay in this new environment. Their children are forced to have their education in the available schools. These children may encounter immense racial discrimination and segregation. It leads to a lot of pressure towards such children and youths. Due to this, they begin showing some signs of stress and aggression. Such youths become aggressive and full of lies. These signs develop gradually, and if not identified instantly, the child grows into a criminal. Some of the affected children feel less important. They often make comparisons of themselves with other children they view as well- off. This lack of self- respect and satisfaction causes them to indulge in certain uncouth characters.
For instance, the teenager may start taking off at night without due permission from parents. In such situations, the child may stay away for longer periods. In other scenarios, the youth appears withdrawn and alone mostly. It is a clear sign of depression. Most of these cases often lead to crimes. The child is pushed by these feelings to do uncouth characters. This is why it is in America that most special facilities are found. Looking at most of these facilities, it appears that most of the cases are stress related, mainly brought about by racism and other related causes.
This problem is more generic. It is caused by more genetic factors than environmental ones. Therefore, it affects more individuals at a childhood stage. The causal factors tend to surround children more. Some of these causes are outcomes of the way the children are raised. On the other hand, most environmental factors also lead to this disorder. For instance, in the case of the Caribbean- Canadian youths, they get affected by immigration form their homeland to Canada. In this way, they find it difficult to adjust to the new environment. Moreover, they encounter immense racial segregation than all the other minor communities in America. Research has it that most of the youths in the special facilities are of Caribbean origin (Richard A. Gardner, 2005).
Conduct disorder is a sign of future criminal records. This would occur since in later adulthood, the individual affected has difficulties socializing with others. The bad behavior done in adolescence is now advanced, and the individual has a greater urge to harm others. Hence, they may become rapists, armed robbers, or even assassins. In this way, they may find themselves in gangs that would lead to their eventual imprisonment or even death. In rare cases, some of the youths are cured of the disorder.
Parents have an upper hand in solving the problems associated with conduct disorder in their children. For this reason, they should be well informed about the early signs and management of the disorder. In particular, parents should be able to keep track of their children’s whereabouts as well activities. Some of the parents do not make thorough follow-ups for the activities of their children. On the same note, the parents should be in a better position to identify the adaptations of their children. In a case where the child flees from home for several days without permission, there is a clear show of irresponsibility in the parents.
The parents can try enrolling the children in some after- school activities that would help in developing them positively. Moreover, the parents can set specific playing times and dates with their friends. On the same note, the parents would check on the groups with which their children indulge. It would be an effort towards ensuring that their children are in good company. In the case of teenagers, the procedures for monitoring should be altered. This group tends to encounter the desire to get some level of freedom. However, they should not be denied their freedom. In such a case, they should be monitored in the way they relate with their general environment. There are times when the children may leave home for play. In this way, they may not identify where they went to play. As such, the parents should take the initiative of tracking the children in their parents of their children’s friends.
Clinical reports have recently shown that most children with conduct disorder lacked parent monitoring in their early childhood. Hence, parents should ensure that they prioritize the development of their children.
In conclusion, Conduct disorder is a mental defect that displays itself among children and adolescents. This disorder possesses certain characteristics that are largely unfriendly and violent. In particular, it is characterized by unfaithfulness in young children as well as adolescents. A child or adolescent affected by this disorder shows signs of theft, lying and even breaking of rules every time. This kind of behavior in the society is normally viewed as uncouth and unacceptable. However, it is immensely sad that these defects majorly occur among the younger generation. Statistics show that this childhood psychiatric disorder has portrayed immense advancements in adolescents. If this problem is not identified and rectified in its earlier stages, the child will develop poorly in terms of behavior. Some end up being criminals. This problem is more generic. It is caused by more genetic factors than environmental ones. It is because it affects more individuals at a childhood stage. The causal factors tend to surround children more. Some of these causes are outcomes of the way the children are raised.
Finally, Parents have an upper hand in solving the problems associated with conduct disorder in their children. For this reason, they should be well informed about the early signs and management of the disorder. Conduct disorder can be treated if the parents are fully involved. According to clinical reports, children with high parental monitoring have narrower chances of getting this disorder. However, being a genetic and environmental problem, the right steps should be taken by elderly members of the society to curb this disorder. Being that racism is one of the main causes of this disorder, American schools and colleges should sensitize the White-American students to stop this act.