ADHD and conduct disorder

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity is a disorder being diagnosed in children who have difficulty paying attention, are hyperactive and tend to be impulsive. The children struggling with difficulty paying attention are grouped into a classification of the inattentive type. These children tend to process information at a more gradual pace then their peers, tend to look almost sluggish and seem to be daydreaming or disoriented. Children in the hyperactive/impulsive type category appear to have a better awareness of where they are however; they tend to be overactive and impetuous. The third type of classification is the inattentive/hyperactive/impulsive type of children. This is the most common of the three classes and combines the behaviors of the inattentive type and the hyperactive/impulsive type child.

Families raising children with ADHD deal with large amounts of various stresses inside the home and parents are challenged to keep a positive energy within the family as they themselves are dealing with their own issues. Over fifty percent of adults raising children with this disorder suffer from ADHD themselves and frequently have secondary conditions that contribute to the depleting family dynamic. Many parents dealing with ADHD have difficulty becoming active outside of the home and do not participate in community and social events as often as the fortunate families who are not dealing with disorders inside of their homes. Because of the families non participation the child is not being exposed to social networks and observing normal behaviors. The disorganization involving both parent and child create higher levels of stress which tends to lead to more uncontrollable outbursts by one or both involved.

The socio-economic status of a child is a factor that can attribute to the severity of ADHD in children. Knowledge is power and educated wealthy parents are better able to do their own research and have proper medical care for their child. The majority of ADHD children do have behavioral issues. Coping mechanisms for the parent and child can help reduce frustration in the home and for severe behavioral problems medication can be life changing for the child and the family environment. However, keep in mind this disorder has no boundaries and can greatly affect anyone in any socio-economic class. Financial stability is by no means a safety net for children suffering with ADHD.

The authoritarian style of parenting can be difficult for the ADHD child as it is demanding of the child to be respectful to the parent solely because of authority. It is common for parents to dictate without regard for the child's issues at hand. Unfortunately many of these types of parents will scream at the child's inappropriate behavior while making negative comments to him or her. For the child, hearing these negative comments on a regular basis will tend to have the child become that person. As time passes many children with ADHD will then develop poor self image that may later lead to depression and or anxiety type disorders.

It is difficult to predict anti-social behaviors except to say this disorder has many variables that change from child to child. Extremely mild cases of ADHD can be outgrown. For the majority of the young, loud, constantly moving, and socially awkward children; they will tend to slow down during adolescence. However, because of these childhood behaviors they tend to not have traditional friendships and not much support amongst their peers.

There is no prevention to ADHD but certainly early intervention will be helpful to the child and help maintain a smoother order in the family. Children, who are fortunate enough to have early intervention with both mental and physical help, continued support in their schools and with their parents, whether better socially as they find their coping skills and apply them in everyday life.

Conduct disorder is an antisocial problem which presents itself in children who show antisocial behaviors, have no respect for the property of others, are violent in behavior, and in general have significant conduct problems. Help is needed for these children as they can be verbally and physical abusive to their family and social peers. The media will lend itself to having society feel that this is just the way some children behave and are helpless to change. However, anti-social behaviors begin early as observations can be made when the child is not accepted socially because of temper tantrums, foul language, and in general defiance to rules other children can easily obey. As these children grow into adolescence their conduct can become more serious to include assault, burglary, theft, and or vandalism. When conduct disorder strongly exists there is a relationship that can be made to neglect, physical and or verbal abuse, and low income that are present for a large percentage of these children. These behaviors can also present themselves in children with ADHD. Research is showing children who present both ADHD and conduct disorder together have, "extreme personality profiles." (Taylor, Schatschneider, Cukrowicz, & Iacono, 2006, para 1) Doctors felt when both ADHD and conduct disorder co-existed children are at greater risk to become high school drop outs, adult criminals, be involved in drug and or alcohol abuse and suffer with depression. Researchers feel strongly that personality should be looked at strongly when clinicians are evaluating children. Better intervention could be possible at an earlier age when both disorders co-exist.


Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children, Webmd. Retrieved 1/24/10 From

Mash, E. J., Wolfe, D. A.( 2010, 2007), Abnormal Child Psychology, Fourth Edition. Belmont,CA: Wadsworth.

Taylor, J., Schatschneider, C., Cukrowicz, K., & Iacono, W., (2006), Extreme Personality Poses Risk of ADHD, Conduct Disorder. Science News, (pg. 1 & 2) . Retrieved from

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