A child's family system, has an important role in the prevention and treatment of conduct disorder. The child needs to be considered as a component of a system, rather than as a single entity. Research supports the notion that parents of conduct disordered children have underlying deficits in certain fundamental parenting skills. The development of effective parenting skills has been considered as the primary mechanism for change in child conduct disorder, through the reduction of the severity, duration and manifestation of the disorder.
A number of parent training programs have been developed to increase parenting skills. Research indicates that the parent training programs have been positive, indicating significant changes in parents' and children's behavior and parental perception of child adjustment. Research suggests that parents who have participated in parent training programs are successful in reducing their child's level of aggression by 20 - 60 %.
Various training programs have been developed, which focus on increasing parents' skills in managing their child's behavior and facilitating social skills development. The skills focused on, include parents learning to assist in administration of appropriate reinforcement and disciplinary techniques, effective communication with the child and problem solving and negotiation strategies.
A further component of parental training incorporates behavioral management. This involves providing the family with simple and effective strategies including behavioral contracting, contingency management, and the ability to facilitate generalization and maintenance of their new skills, thus encouraging parents' positive interaction with their child.
However, although these interventions assist parents in developing effective parenting skills, a number of families require additional support. There are various characteristics within the family system that can have an impact on parents' ability to cope. This includes depression, life stress and marital distress. Research suggests that family characteristics are associated with fewer treatment gains in parent training programs.
As indicated by Webster-Stratton and Dahl (1995), several programs have expanded upon the standard parent training treatment. These programs have incorporated parents' cognitive, psychological, and marital or social adjustment. Through addressing the parent's own issues it assists their ability to manage and interact positively with the child.
Other Useful Links regarding Conduct Disorder
- Symptoms of Conduct Disorder
- Course of Conduct Disorder
- The onset of conduct disorder may occur as early as age 5 or 6, but more usually occurs in late childhood or early adolescence, learn more about the course of conduct disorder
- Subtypes of Conduct Disorder
- Causes of Conduct Disorder
- Read more about the various causes of conduct disorder, including, biological, family, genetic, neurological, parent related, and school factors.
- Treatment of Conduct Disorder