Conduct disorder

What is conduct disorder?

Conduct disorder is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior where the basic rights of others or societal norms and rules are violated. Behaviours include aggression to people or animals, destruction of property, theft, and truanting. These behaviours cause impairment in social, academic, and occupational functioning and are often accompanied by a lack of feeling, remorse, concern, or empathy.

To meet a diagnosis of conduct disorder, at least three symptoms need to be present during the past 12 months, with at least one present in the past 6 months. In addition to the individual’s self-report, it is necessary to consider reports by others who have known the individual for extended periods of time in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

What is the evidence for conduct disorder and PTSD?

Moderate quality evidence finds the rate of PTSD in children and adolescents with conduct disorder is around 11%. In adults with conduct disorder, it is around 14%, and in juvenile offenders it is around 32%. These rates of PTSD are higher than in people without conduct disorder. Females with conduct disorder showed higher rates of PTSD than males with conduct disorder. Conduct disorder symptoms tended to be apparent before trauma exposure and subsequent PTSD symptoms.

No reviews were identified that assessed rates of conduct disorder in people with PTSD.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 11:16 pm, 2nd August 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

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