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Rule Breaking, Defiance, & Acting Out

Created on August 5, 2017. Last updated on November 12th, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Take me to the effective therapies for disruptive behavior problems

Rule breaking and “acting out” are some of the signs of child and adolescent disruptive behavior problems.

What are Disruptive Behavior Problems?

Children and teens with disruptive behavior problems may act in ways that are upsetting or troubling. This can include stealing, fighting, not doing what has been asked of them, or lying. These problems may also get in the way with a child’s ability to learn or interact with the people around them.

Parents become worried about these problems, because they can upset family life. These behaviors can also lead to problems at school, and even cause trouble with the police.

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) are the two main disruptive behavior disorders, and cover many problem behaviors.

Effective Therapies for Disruptive Behavior Problems

Parent behavior therapy with child participation and group parent behavior therapy are two effective treatments. They bring together tactics from family, behavioral, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. These therapies have been proven effective for treatment of disruptive disorders in adolescents.

Listed in the chart below are many treatments for each of these disorders. Although therapies are listed within each treatment, they can often be used to treat problem behaviors (e.g., aggression, disregard for rules, etc.).

 

Level 1: Works Well Combined Behavioral Therapy + CBT + Family Therapy Examples:

Multisystemic Therapy (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO); formerly Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Level 2: Works CBT

 

Examples:

Aggression Replacement Training + Positive Peer Culture (Equipping Youth to Help One Another) (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Solution-Focused Group Program (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Combined Behavioral Therapy + CBT + Family Therapy Examples:

Functional Family Therapy (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Multisystemic Therapy

Level 3: Might Work Behavioral Therapy or Parenting Skills Examples:

Familias Unidas

Non-Violent Resistence

CBT Examples:

Cognitive Mediation (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Combined Behavioral Therapy + CBT + Family Therapy Examples:

Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy

Support to Reunite, Involve, and Value Each Other

Level 4: Experimental Behavioral Therapy or Parenting Skills Examples:

Behavior Management Training + Problem-Solving Communication Training

Parenting with Love and Limits

Triple P Teen (Self-Directed Enhanced with Phone Consultations)

CBT Examples:

Aggression Replacement Training (Learned Resourcefulness) (targeting school/classroom disruption)

Anger Management + Think Good, Feel Good (targeting school/classroom disruption)

Assertive Training (targeting school/classroom disruption)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Training + Phone Coaching (RealVictory Program (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Juvenile Cognitive Intervention (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Juvenile Probation Services Intervention (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Life Skills (Psychoeducation) (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Mindfields (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Multi-Family Group Counseling (targeting school/classroom disruption)

Rational-Emotive Mental Health Program

Family Therapy Example:

Brief Strategic Family Therapy

Mentoring Example:

Monitored Youth Mentoring Program (targeting school/classroom disruption)

Combined Behavioral Therapy + CBT Examples:

Anger Control Training with Contingency Management

Anger Management for Female Juvenile Offenders (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Corrections Modified (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy – Skills Training Only

Motivational Interviewing + Solution-Focused Counseling + Behavioral Shaping

Parent Management + Problem-Solving + Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Combined CBT + Mindfulness Example:

Meditation on the Soles of the Feet

Combined Behavioral Therapy + Attachment Based Therapy Examples:

Connect Program

Multiple-Family Group Intervention (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Combined Family Therapy + Emotionally Focused Approaches Example:

Family-Centered Treatment (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Combined Behavioral Therapy + CBT + Family Therapy Examples:

Integrated Families and Systems Treatment

Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO); formerly Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) + Trauma-Focused CBT (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Combined Behavioral Therapy + CBT + Wraparound Example:

Parenting with Love and Limits—Re-entry (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Level 5: Tested and Does Not Work Behavioral Therapy or Parenting Skills Examples:

Positive Family Support-Family Check-Up (formerly Adolescent Transitions Program)

Cognitive Management

Relaxation Breathing Exercise

CBT Examples:

Motivational Interviewing (Personal Aspiration and Concerns) (targeting juvenile justice system)

Positive Life Changes

SafERteens

Psychodynamic Example:

Human Relations Training

Combined Behavioral Therapy + CBT Examples:

Aggression Replacement Training + Token Economy (targeting youth involved in juvenile justice system)

Anger Control Training with Behavior Management

Combined Humanistic + Bibliotherapy +Psychodynamic + CBT Example:

Counseling Intervention (targeting school/classroom disruption)

 

 

To find out more about how these treatment levels are defined, click here.

Source(s): McCart, M. R., & Sheidow, A. J. (2016). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for adolescents with disruptive behavior. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 45, 529-563. doi:10.1080/15374416.2016.1146990

Kaminski, J. & Claussen, A. (2017). Evidence Base Update for Psychosocial Treatments for Disruptive Behaviors in Children. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. 1-23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2017.1310044

Evidence-based Psychosocial Treatments for Adolescents with Disruptive Behavior

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Evidence-based Services Committee of Hawaii