Conduct disorder, affecting children under the age of 18, involves difficulty with emotions and behaviors. A child with conduct disorder acts violently, does not understand or respect the physical boundaries of others, and violates social norms or behavioral expectations. Lying, stealing, difficulty in school, truancy, and violent attacks on people or animals are characteristic symptoms of CD. About 9 percent of boys, and 2-9 percent of girls, struggle with the disorder.
There are many potential contributors to conduct disorder, but this condition is often triggered by feelings of alienation from others. This can occur in an unstable or unsafe home environment, or at school when the child does not make friends. If left untreated, conduct disorder can turn into other disorders in adults, such as antisocial personality disorder. The condition also co-occurs with other health problems, such as mood disorders or substance abuse.