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Last Updated on : 18th Apr, 2016

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Disruptive Behavior Problems - Children

Rule breaking, defiance, and generally "acting out" are some of the defining features of a group of disorders referred to as child and adolescent disruptive behavior problems. Please see the sections below (as well as the left menu box) for more information about these difficulties and to learn about the best-supported treatment options.

What are Disruptive Behavior Problems?

Children and adolescents with disruptive behavior problems may engage in various behaviors which are deemed to be inappropriate or which negatively impact their environment, such as stealing, arguing, lying, etc. These behaviors may also impede an adolescent's or child's ability to learn or interact successfully in society and/or with peers.

These problems are generally a source of great concern for parents as they often seriously disrupt family life, result in disciplinary problems at school, and even trouble with the police.

The two main types of disruptive behavior disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD), cover several different types of problem behaviors. Although the various treatment recommendations are listed under each of these separate disorders, often these interventions can be successfully implemented to address specific problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, disregard for rules, etc.).

As can be seen below, behavior therapy currently has the most research evidence for the treatment of disruptive behavior problems in young people. This treatment and the others listed below can be administered in a variety of different formats, each of which has varying levels of research support.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) & Conduct Disorder (CD)

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Might Work
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Source : Eyberg, S. M., Nelson, M. M., & Boggs, S. R. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent with disruptive behavior. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37, 215-237.

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