What do we know about the different types and causes of conduct disorders? Discuss.
The onset of symptoms coincides with the onset of adolescence. This group tends to be less aggressive, and are less likely to continue to show the behaviour into adulthood (Frick, 2012; Frick & Vidin, 2009; Moffitt, 2006).
The adolescent-onset group is also less likely to show neuropsychological deficits (such as executive functioning deficits), personality risk factors (such as impulsivity and emotional regulation), and cognitive deficits (such as low intelligence) (Frick, 2012; Moffitt, 2006). However, compared to other types of CD, this group tends to be more rejecting of conventional values and status hierarchies and show greater rebelliousness (Dandreaux & Frick, 2009).
It has been proposed by many that the adolescent-onset type of CD, can be viewed as an exaggeration of normal adolescent development (Moffitt, 2006), as some level of rebellious behaviour is normative in the adolescent years. However those with adolescent-onset CD are likely to exhibit more severe and impairing rebellion than typically normal, due to a range of factors. These factors include; poor parental supervision, deviant peer groups, lack of regard for institutions and certain personality traits (such as those characterised by a rejection of traditional status) (Dandreaux & Frick, 2009).
CD with CU traits
One type of CD – termed ‘CD-CU’ is characterised by early childhood onset and the presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits, such as; a lack of guilt, lack of concern about others’ feelings, no concern over one’s own performance and a lack of meaningful emotional expression (Frick, 2012; Patrick, 2006). These traits have been likened to those of adulthood psychopathy (Hare & Neumann, 2006).
Children with this type of CD tend to show more severe and aggressive patterns of behaviour than the other two types. Their behaviours are also more stable over time and often continue into adulthood (Rowe et al, 2009). Research has also suggested that youths within this group of CD have marked difficulties processing negative emotional stimuli and struggle specifically with controlling their reactions to signs of fear and stress in others, they also respond less to punishment cues (Frick & White, 2008). In addition to this they also tend to exhibit more thrill seeking behaviours, are often ‘fearless’ and are significantly less anxious than...