Diagnosis Criteria and the Role of the School Psychologist.

Essay by L1LFLIPHigh School, 12th gradeA, November 2003

download word file, 9 pages 3.0


This paper shall examine the field of child psychology in respect to the topic of conduct disorder (CD). In child psychology, conduct disorder is an extremely difficult subject to accurately address and clarify, due primarily to the need to distinguish between normal childhood behaviors and the onset or development of an actual disorder. Once a child matures to the stage where he or she is allowed into the school system, however, it becomes pressing to identify and clarify the presence of CD in order to better assess the behaviors of that child.

This paper shall investigate the issues and the psychological development of conduct disorder in both the childhood and the adolescent years. The diagnosis of conduct disorder shall be compared and contrasted against oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and the correlation that conduct disorder has with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Standard medical definitions for these disorders, as well as the growing body of literature on this field, shall be included to better round out the discussion and to signify the impact of such disorders on children and adolescents.

Conduct Disorder

Conduct disorder (CD) is defined by the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychology (AACA) as: "'Conduct disorder' is a complicated group of behavioral and emotional problems in youngsters. Children and adolescents with this disorder have great difficulty following rules 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." (AACA: 2000) The AACA then classifies the disorder through providing a list of behaviors that children suffering from CD often manifest in their daily activities, which includes:

-Aggression to people and animals

-Destruction of Property

-Deceitfulness, lying, or stealing

-Serious violations of rules

The AACA defines and describes the extent and...