chapter  6
24 Pages

Adolescent conduct problems

Conduct problems constitute a third to a half of all clinic referrals and chronic conduct problems are the single most costly disorder of adolescence for three reasons (Kazdin, 1995). First, they are remarkably unresponsive to traditional individual approaches to treatment. Positive outcome rates for routine treatments range from 20-40 per cent. Second, about 60 per cent of adolescents with conduct problems have a poor prognosis. Adolescents with chronic conduct disorder turn to adult criminality and develop antisocial personality disorders, alcohol-related problems and a variety of psychological difficulties. They also have more problems with health, educational attainment, occupational adjustment, marital stability and social integration. The third reason for the high cost of conduct problems is the fact that they are intergenerationally transmitted. Adults with a history of conduct disorder rear children with a particularly high prevalence of conduct difficulties.