RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT CENTER FOR TROUBLED TEENAGE BOYS

CONDUCT DISORDER

Although children and adolescents experience some behavioral and emotional issues during their developmental years, the behavior of a youth with conduct disorder presents additional problems and lasts longer than normal teenage outbursts. Conduct disorder includes violent actions that infringe upon the rights of others and the violation of accepted societal values and rules – both of which have an extremely negative effect upon the child and their family. The behaviors associated with conduct disorder fall into four distinct categories: physical aggressiveness, which causes or threatens injury to people or animals; actions that cause loss or damage to possessions or property; lying or stealing; and severe and persistent abuse of rules.

PARENTS CAN LEARN TO RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF CONDUCT DISORDER

Research shows that factors including unhealthy choices during pregnancy, poor parenting, a dysfunctional home, and a disadvantaged environment might contribute to the development of a conduct disorder.

Other influences may contribute: a genetic predisposition, a traumatic event, abuse, brain damage and/or continued academic failure.

Parents of teens diagnosed with conduct disorder identify the following symptoms:

Emotional

  • Disturbed relationships with peers
  • Antisocial
  • Low self-esteem
  • Non-remorseful
  • Depression
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • Defiance
  • Irresponsibility

Physical

  • Fighting
  • Bullying
  • Cruelty to people or animals
  • Molestation or rape
  • Early sexual activity
  • Use of weapons
  • Stealing
  • Lying
  • Breaking curfew
  • Truancy
  • Running away
  • Vandalism, including arson
  • Drinking or drug abuse

TEENS WITH CONDUCT DISORDER FEEL IT IN A BIG WAY

For a child to be diagnosed with conduct disorder, the negative behaviors must be present for 6 months or longer. Usually by the time a formal diagnosis occurs, the parents and family of these teens have had their lives turned upside down by the challenges of their situation. The parents feel completely out of control.

A teen with conduct disorder deals with on-going disapproval from parents and siblings. Viewed as annoying and difficult to be around, he also regularly receives negative feedback from his peer group and has very few friends. Although a teenage boy with conduct disorder recognizes these issues, he does not necessarily know how to fix them. He might deal with the following symptoms:

Emotional

  • Irritable
  • Angry
  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Indifferent
  • Insecure
  • Out of control
  • Fearful

Physical

  • Aggressive
  • Violent
  • Destructive

STATS ON CONDUCT DISORDER AMONG TEENS IN THE USA

The incidence of conduct disorder continues to rise and is now the most prevalent psychiatric issue identified among children. Estimations reveal that 1 to 4 percent of children between the ages of 9 and 14 in the United States are dealing with conduct disorder. Boys have a significantly higher rate of conduct disorder than girls. Teens with conduct disorder have a much higher rate of alcohol and drug abuse. If not addressed, a child with conduct disorder might develop antisocial personality disorder as an adult.

HELP YOUR TEEN OVERCOME THEIR CONDUCT DISORDER

If you suspect that your teen has conduct disorder, you can help. Spend time monitoring their activities and behavior. Keep a journal and write down specific behaviors, incidents, triggers and consequences. The information you gather will help you pinpoint times and causes of specific issues, which you will need when soliciting professional help.

Seek assistance early and develop a strong support system for your child and other family members, including yourself. Dealing with an issue as complicated and severe as conduct disorder takes a tremendous amount of energy, patience and knowledge. Although progress might seem slow, consistency is the key with any treatment program. Creating new attitudes, establishing acceptable behavior patterns and forming innovative coping strategies does not happen overnight, so don’t lose hope!

Learn effective communication techniques and assess your parenting skills. Set clear rules and expectations with enforceable consequences. Develop a rapport with your son’s teachers and communicate regularly with them. Ask them to notate unacceptable behaviors and social or academic problems along with the circumstances surrounding any incidents. Utilize the professional staff at school, including the counselors.

TEENS WITH CONDUCT DISORDER CAN ALSO HELP THEMSELVES

Behavior therapy and psychotherapy can help your son unlearn inappropriate and antisocial beliefs and behavior and replace them with appropriate social conduct through proper rewards and consequences. This therapy needs to be in cooperation with parents, practiced at home in everyday family situations for the best results.

Most teens with conduct disorder also struggle with other physical and emotional issues. Some disorders, such as attention disorders or impulse problems, respond to medication. Schedule a thorough medical examination and mental health evaluation for your child and learn about the various intervention strategies and medications available.

Teens with conduct disorder can positively contribute to their own health by eating a variety of nutritious foods, sticking to their treatment plan and exercising regularly. Physical activity has a positive effect on teens dealing with depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues.

Boys Can Find Hope and Healing from Conduct Disorder at Sundance Canyon Academy

A parent or family might not be able to handle some cases of conduct disorder at home. For the benefit of all involved, a treatment facility with 24-hour care and trained professionals might offer the best option. Sundance Canyon Academy boasts success with troubled boys. They can find help and healing and an opportunity to discover who they are, the gifts and talents they possess and the potential they carry.

Sundance Canyon Academy creates an environment of love, trust, and accountability where teen boys feel safe while they work on the emotional and behavioral issues that have hindered their happiness and success in life. The facility employs a variety of therapeutic methods developed around solid values, family relationships and multi-systemic issues with great success. An experientially based treatment program including music, art, recreation, outdoor and equine therapy allows students to be actively involved in their healing program and recovery.

With a family-oriented approach, Sundance Canyon Academy believes in recreating and restoring relationships to effect permanent changes. Each boy has his own unique story and needs personalized treatment. The boys work together to create strong peer relationships and produce a culture of helping others while they help themselves.

At Sundance Canyon Academy, your son will work with caring teachers to receive a well-rounded education, including character development and personal growth. We achieve our goal when your son becomes a self-confident, life-long learner.