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Child Biological Factors Involved in Conduct Problems

“What biological factors (if any) are involved with a child who acts-out frequently?”

Considerable research has been carried out into the role of child temperament (i.e., the tendency to respond in predictable ways to events) as a predictor of conduct problems. Aspects of the personality (e.g., activity levels displayed by a youngster, emotional responsiveness, quality of mood and social adaptability) are part of his or her temperament.

Studies have found that although there is a relationship between early patterns of temperament, and adjustment during adulthood, the longer the time span the weaker this relationship becomes.

A more important determinant of whether or not temperamental qualities persist has been shown to be the manner in which moms and dads respond to their kids. "Difficult" infants have been shown to be especially likely to display behavior problems later in life if their parents are impatient, inconsistent, and demanding.

On the other hand "difficult" infants, whose parents give them time to adjust to new experiences, learn to master new situations effectively. In a favorable family context, a "difficult" infant is not at risk of displaying disruptive behavior disorder at 4 years old.

Cognitions may also influence the development of conduct problems. Kids with behavioral issues have been found to misinterpret or distort social cues during interactions with peers (e.g., a neutral situation may be construed as having hostile intent). Also, kids who are aggressive have been shown to seek fewer cues or facts when interpreting the intent of others.

Kids with conduct problems experience deficits in social problem-solving skills. As a result, they generate fewer alternate solutions to social problems, seek less information, see problems as having a hostile basis, and anticipate fewer consequences than kids who do not have behavioral problems.

==> Effective Disciplinary Techniques for Defiant Teens and Preteens

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