Understanding the Causes of Conduct Disorder in Children

Parents with children who suffer from conduct disorder often have a lot of difficulty handling their aggression and impulses. This condition, although largely unknown to most people, is quite common. Parents often find themselves frustrated, as they are not sure how to deal with a child who has this condition. Although the causes for the disorder itself are not clearly understood, there are some theories that try to explain the disorder.

Conduct disorder is a frustrating condition, to say the least. Not only is it frustrating to the parents, but also to the child as well. Although it may not seem so, the child is just as confused by their inability to control their impulses and aggression. Conduct disorder affects a child’s ability to understand and conform to socially accepted conduct. Although most children will, at times, exhibit destructive and aggressive behavior, those with conduct disorder tend to repeatedly engage in social vices such as stealing, vandalism and lying.

Theories Explaining the Cause of Conduct Disorder
As stated, researchers have been unable to come up with a descriptive cause for conduct disorder. However, it has been theorized that the child’s environment, as well as the brain’s inability to respond to certain stimuli such as pain and distress, may have a great hand in the actual cause of the condition.

Neuropsychologia Journal Report
Researchers who conducted a search on teens who suffered from conduct disorder published in 2008 in the Neuropsychologia journal. The teens were shown movies and the study found that the teens felt “happy” when seeing people in the movie suffer. MRI scans of their brains showed that the receptors that are stimulated by reward were activated at the time of watching the movies. While normal teens may feel some empathy for the characters in the movie who were suffering, those with conduct disorder did not. It has also been noted that children with a family history of mental health issues tend to suffer from chronic conduct disorder.

Psychiatric News Report
While the cause of conduct disorder may not exactly be known, researchers have identified two chromosomes that they believe are likely to be responsible for at least 70% of the chronic disorder conditions. This research published in the Psychiatric News issue in 2004 indicates that the genes are located on chromosome 19, as well as chromosome 2. Moreover, these gene areas have been linked to alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse. This has led the researchers to believe that environmental stimuli may have a part to play in the development of conduct disorder.

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