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Conduct Disorder

Intervention Process

Clearly, professional skills are critical to the success of interventions, especially those that target parenting practices (Patterson 1985). Parents and other adults can develop negative attributions and expectations toward children with CD. Those issues must be sensitively addressed before interventions can move forward. Therapist skills in supporting and validating negative parenting experiences, while simultaneously encouraging proactive behavior management strategies, are especially important.

An exemplary parenting intervention designed to address conduct issues in young children utilizes videotaped modeling and collaborative group process to encourage change in parenting (Webster-Stratton 1990). For adolescents with more serious CD symptoms, Scott Henggeler and colleagues (1998) conducted parenting interventions in the home, expanding the array of issues addressed to include contextual, peer, and other systemic barriers to change. Thus, youth with extreme CD symptoms that warrant removal from the home may be effectively treated within a family-centered model.

Mark Eddy and Patti Chamberlain (2000) report that training foster parents in proactive behavior management skills and monitoring reduces serious delinquent behavior, compared to invoking group-home interventions. Though conduct problems may appear to be intractable, interventions that engage parents and buttress their efforts to improve family management skills can be effective in mitigating antisocial behavior.


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily Health IssuesConduct Disorder - A Model Of Conduct Problems, Biological Factors, Family Management, Peer Deviance, Contextual Influences