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Behavior Disorders (Disruptive)

Disruptive Behavior Disorders, also referred to also as Behavior Disorders, are the most common reasons children are referred for mental health practitioners for possible treatment. All disruptive behavior is not the same, Behavior Disorders is an umbrella term that includes more specific disorders, such as Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and ADHD.

Attention Deficit Disorder:

ADHD or ADD is characterized by inattention or hyperactivity, persisting for at least 6 months to a degree that is maladaptive and immature.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder:

In Oppositional Defiant Disorder, the child breaks the rules of those in the family and the school. Oppositional Defiant Disorder may occur in children of any age and in adolescents. Sometimes Oppositional Defiant Disorder leads to Conduct Disorder.

Conduct Disorder Behaviors:

In Conduct Disorder, the rules broken include the regulations and laws made by society. Conduct Disorder usually occurs in older children and adolescents. Between one and four percent of young persons seven to seventeen have Conduct Disorder.


Research has identified both biological and environmental causes for Disruptive Behavior Disorders. Youngsters most at risk for Oppositional Defiant and Conduct Disorder are those who have low birth weight, neurological damage or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Youngsters may also be at risk if they were rejected by their mothers as babies, separated from their parents and not given good foster care, physically or sexually abused, raised in homes with mothers who were abused, or living in poverty.


Because so many of the factors that cause Disruptive Behavior Disorders happen very early in a child’s life, it is important to recognize the problems as early as possible and get treatment. The treatment which appears to have shown the best results is a combination of s
pecialized Parent Skills training. Parent training and therapy with the child or adolescent, is most effective when done in the family home.

Counseling and Psychotherapy [ See Therapy Section ]:

Behavior Therapies to teach how to control and express feelings in healthy ways.

Pharmacotherapy [ See Psychopharmacology Section ] :

No medications have been effective in reducing the symptoms of Oppositional Defiant or Conduct Disorders.


DSM Code

312.9 Disruptive Behavior Disorder

None Identified

Disorder Sheets

The National Autistic Society
393 City Road
London EC1V 1NG, UK
Tel: +448450704004
Help Line: +448450704004
Email: Click Here
Website: Click Here

Recommended Book

Handbook of Disruptive Behavior Disorders - Click Here to View


Behavior Disorders (Disruptive)

Misc Information


Developmental Disorder's