Relation to other disorders

Conduct disorder is one of the two disruptive disorders of childhood (also known as externalizing disorders); the other is the hyperkinetic syndrome (ICD-10), also known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (DSM-IV). Conduct disorder and the hyperkinetic syndrome are distinct disorders but they often co-occur. As discussed in§L9.1:1 on the classification of childhood psychiatric disorders, disruptive disorders can be distinguished on a number of criteria from the other main grouping of child psychiatric conditions, namely the emotional disorders (also known as internalizing disorders). For example, unlike emotional disorders, disruptive disorders are more common in boys, the socially disadvantaged, children from large families, and where there is parental discord.

Juvenile delinquency is a legal term referring to an act by a young person who has been convicted of an offence, which would be deemed a crime if committed by and adult. Many, but not all, recurrent juvenile offenders have conduct disorder. In this chapter the term conduct disorder is used as defined by ICD-10 diagnostic criteria; the term conduct problems will be used for less severe antisocial behaviour.

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