38. Diagnosis and therapy of acute behavioral disorders.

Page created on February 23, 2022. Not updated since.

What even are “acute behavioural disorders”? The Hungarian topic list (which is identical to ours) uses the term “acut magatartászavarok”, which are the conduct disorders, so I assume that’s what they mean.


Conduct disorder is a disorder characterized by a repetitive and persistent pattern of dissocial, aggressive, or defiant conduct. This leads to major violations of age-appropriate social expectations and is more severe than ordinary childish mischief or adolescent rebelliousness. These children are at high risk of developing antisocial personality disorder as adult.

Examples of these behaviours include excessive levels of fighting or bullying, cruelty to other people or animals, severe destructiveness to property, fire-setting, stealing, repeated lying, truancy from school and running away from home, unusually frequent and severe temper tantrums, and disobedience.

A milder form, characterized by angry, defiant behaviour to authority figures such as parents and teachers, is known as oppositional-defiant disorder.


Diagnosis requires thorough history from the parents, and possibly the school as well. The symptoms must last >6 months and impair functioning for the diagnosis to be made. ADHD is a frequent comorbidity.


Treatment is difficult. Parent management training programmes are effective but require significant parental cooperation and motivation to be successful. Psychotherapy for the child, including teaching problem-solving skills and anger management, is also useful.

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