Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for Introduction to Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology (4th edition)

9. Conduct Problems in Children & Adolescents

Learning Objectives

Description & Epidemiology

Describe the key features of oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, and intermittent explosive disorder.

Explain how clinicians and researchers differentiate among different types of conduct problems shown by children and adolescents.



Identify the main biological, psychological, and social-cultural factors that can contribute to the development of conduct problems in youths.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Describe evidence-based treatments for children and adolescents with oppositional, defiant, and/or aggressive behavior.

Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.


Childhood Aggression

In this excellent video, J. Mark Eddy, PhD (University of Washington) discusses aggressive behavior and other conduct problems in children.

How to Use Time Out

Dr. Gregory Fabiano (University at Buffalo) describes the behavioral principles that underlie Time Out and how parents can use this strategy more effectively with their children.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

This video, produced by the Santa Clara Center for CBT, provides a short illustration of PCIT, an evidence-based treatment for young children with oppositional-defiant behavior.


This excellent video shows how caregivers can use PRIDE skills during the child-directed interaction phase of PCIT: praise, reflect, imitate, describe, & show enthusiasm.

Time Out

Time Out is an effective strategy to decrease noncompliant behavior in young children, but only if it is used correctly. The CDC produced this video to help caregivers.

Treatment Foster Care Oregon

Although it's called Treatment Foster Care Oregon, this evidence-based intervention is used around the world. This video shows how it is used in the UK to help at-risk youths.

The Incredible Years

This video provides an overview of the Incredible Years Program, developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton, PhD. It nicely illustrates the use of videotaped vignettes, parenting groups, and skills training for parents and children.

Child Training Program

As described in the textbook, the Incredible Years Program as a Child Training Program to help your children learn to regulate their actions and emotions. This video provides a short summary of the program with examples.

Multisystemic Therapy

This video provides an excellent overview of MST, an intensive therapy for adolescents with more serious conduct problems. It illustrates how therapists work with parents, teachers, and the community to help at-risk kids.

ART: Skillstreaming

Skillstreaming is used to reduce angry and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents by systematically teaching, modeling, and practicing problem-solving skills. In this video, adolescents learn skills to make an effective compliant without yelling or arguing.

ART: Anger Control

Anger control training is used to help youths identify triggers that can lead to acts of aggression, regulate their emotions, and engage in more effective problem-solving skills. In this session, adolescents practice ways to avoid a fight at school.

ART: Moral Reasoning Training

In moral reasoning training, youths discuss vignettes that describe common moral dilemmas (e.g., cheating, fighting, stealing). They're taught to consider the effect their actions might have on others' rights and feelings.

Learn More

Effective Child Therapy: Disruptive Behavior Disorders

The Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (APA Division 53) summarizes the latest research on conduct problems in children and their evidence-based treatment. Their site provides detailed descriptions and videos of the most efficacious treatments available. It's the best place to go to learn more about conduct problems in kids.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

The OJJDP’s website is the first place to look for information about juvenile justice in the Unites States. Most of the documents located in the “Publications” section are available online, but many are not peer reviewed so their methodological rigor varies. The “Statistics” link will take you to a wealth of information regarding antisocial behavior and criminal activity among youth.

Police Documents: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 15 people and injured 24 others at Columbine High School before killing themselves. At this site, you can see evidence collected by Jefferson County police documenting their involvement in the shooting. These documents a psychological evaluation of Eric Harris completed approximately one year before the shooting. It illustrates the difficulty that mental health professionals have predicting violence in adolescents.