From from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:
“Conduct disorder” refers to a group of repetitive and persistent behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have great difficulty following rules, respecting the rights of others, showing empathy, and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They are often viewed by other children, adults and social agencies as “bad” or delinquent, rather than mentally ill.
Many factors may lead to a child developing conduct disorder, including brain damage, child abuse or neglect, genetic vulnerability, school failure, and traumatic life experiences.
Behavior therapy and psychotherapy are usually necessary to help the child appropriately express and control anger and also to address any underlying trauma that may be contributing to the behavior. Special education may be needed for youngsters with learning disabilities. Parents often need expert help to develop and carry out special management and educational programs in the home and at school. Home-based treatment programs such as Multisystemic Therapy (MST) are effective for helping both the child and family.
Learn more about Conduct Disorder at the AACAP’s website, below.