Academic journal article Journal of Gender and Social Issues

Psycho-Social Risk Factors of Conduct Disorder among Institutionalized Children

Academic journal article Journal of Gender and Social Issues

Psycho-Social Risk Factors of Conduct Disorder among Institutionalized Children

Article excerpt

Byline: Ms. Khushbakht and Dr. Humaira Jami


The purpose of the present study was to find out the main psycho-social risk factors for Conduct Disorder among children and adolescents. For this reason, study was conducted in two phases. Data from children residing in Child Protection and Welfare Bureau, Rawalpindi, were collected after seeking permission. In Phase I, 25 children having some conduct issues, as reported by administration of the Bureau, were selected. Urdu translated version of Disruptive Behavior Disorder Rating Scale (Loona and Kamal, 2011) was administered as a screening tool for conduct related problems. On the basis of screening, 10 participants were selected who met the complete criteria of Conduct Disorder and volunteered to participate in research. In Phase II, biographical interviews were conducted. Content analysis was done through line by line coding and various categories were produced from data that were further rated by another judge. Inter-rater reliability was 83%.

Findings revealed the most significant contributing factors for Conduct Disorder including personal factors, peer related factors, and the familial factors. Personal factor as perceived by participants were personal motivation, cognitive deficits, witnessing media violence, urbanization, element of supernatural forces, and abuse. Familial factors included inter-parental violence, marital discord, siblings' influence, family size, and low socio-economic status, presence of stepmother, drug addiction in family, lack of parental supervision, stressful familial situation, and maternal psychopathology. While peer related factors included peer pressure, closeness with peers, and having no peer.

Key words: Conduct Disorder, Delinquency, Parental Monitoring, Peers, Violence.


In the field of developmental psychopathology, childhood behavior problems including externalizing and internalizing problems are of significant concern. Externalizing problems consisting of disinhibited behaviors and other expressions of under socialization (Kovacs and Delvin, 1998) act as risk factors for the later juvenile delinquency, adult crime, and violence (Moffitt, 1993; Raine, 2002). Children with externalizing problems have low self-regulation skills that leads to under controlled behavior (Cole, Zahn-Waxler, Fox, Usher, and Welsh, 1996). Thus, it is extremely important to identify and to understand the early childhood behavioral problems to prevent their development in later life (Liu and Wuerker, 2005).

The essential features of Conduct disorder (CD) is a repetitive pattern of behavior that is linked with the violation of societal norms and basic rights of others, manifested by presence of one criterion in the past 6 months or three or more criteria in the past 12 months (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). The behavior can be categorized into four categories: Physical aggression to people and animals (bullying, fighting, using a weapon, stealing by confronting a victim, and forced sex); property destruction (fire settings, destroy the property of others); deceptiveness or theft (breaking and entering into others property, lying for personal gains, stealing without confronting a victims); and serious rule violations that is, spending night out of home before the age of 13, running away from home, being truant before the age of 13 (APA, 2013).

CD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents between the age range of 4-16 years (Shamsie, 2001). Findings revealed that up to 40% of those who had been diagnosed with CD in childhood, serious psychological disturbances continued in adulthood (Shamsie, 2001). The disruptive, impulse control, and CD all tend to be more common in boys than in girls (APA, 2013). Family structures including family size, home discord, and an antisocial parent acts as risk factors of CD (Capaldi and Patterson, 1991). Findings about the juvenile crimes in Pakistan revealed that those adolescents living in the rural set up were more likely to be involved in crimes as compared to those living in the urban areas. …

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