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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Disruptive and conduct disorders, comprising oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, are characterized by behaviors that violate the rights of others or bring the individual into significant conflict with societal norms or authority figures. These disorders are highly prevalent, emerge early in childhood, and are associated with profound disability and societal burden. Given the heterogeneity in presentation and outcomes of youth with disruptive and conduct disorders, attempts have been made to identify more homogeneous subgroups. Notably, children displaying callous–unemotional traits (e.g., lack of empathy, remorse/guilt) represent a distinct group with severe, aggressive, and chronic conduct problems. To identify this and other important clinical considerations, it is imperative that conduct problem assessment is effective and comprehensive. Assessment findings should inform implementation of evidence-based treatment tailored to the child’s and family’s individual needs. Additional clinical considerations and recommendations for the next frontiers of research into disruptive and conduct disorders are discussed.

Keywords: disruptive behavior, conduct disorder, oppositionality, callous–unemotional, empathy, childhood

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