Research Paper

Treating Adolescent Males For Conduct Disorder

Introduction

Conduct disorder
Conduct disorder is an illness or a condition that affects the young generation, and the most affected are children and adolescents. It involves chronic behaviour problems which include being defiant and impulsive, substance abuse like drugs, criminal activities that include rowdiness and theft. Conduct disorder is repetitive and such behaviour in adolescents is persistent with the age. Conduct disorder is mostly common among boys at adolescence. It can also lead to depression and other disorders like bipolar disorder. There are various methods and practices to treat conduct disorder (American Academy of child and adolescent psychiatry. (2009).

Evidence based and best practices in treating conduct disorder

Treatments include multi systematic therapy, family behavioural therapy, individual cognitive problem solving, cognitive behaviour therapy, family psycho education, and community reinforcement approach. One major form of treatment is intervention. Many physicians diagnose conduct disorder correctly and give the right kind of treatment that is required. The mistake that is done is that treatment is done but only for a short period of time. For a successful breakthrough, interventions have to be done over a long period of time. They have to be consistent with how treatment and intervention go hand in hand. Intervention includes training so that the adolescent can acquire the skills needed to effectively curb mental disorder. Interventions lead to effective management of the disorder. They may also include starting of programs that teach the adolescents about effective change of behaviour, and the importance of parental support.
Medications given to patients should be administered with the correct dosage and conditions. Prolonged aggression is one result of improper medication. Other techniques like psychoeducation, behavioural parenting training and cognitive-behavioural techniques have proven to help contain conduct disorder. For successful interventions, a correct assessment has to be done so as to note where the main problem lies. The patients’ history is a matter of interest and should be considered first hand (Weisz, et al., 2005). Also, there should be accession of the severity of the disorder and this will require the expertise of a subspecialist. Treatment of substance abuse first is more important since without it being addressed then the problem will continue. Another practical way to deal with conduct disorder is for a long time prognosis to be given. The adolescents’ activities should be structured in a way that will be consistent with the guidelines for behaviour. Parental monitoring is important and there is also the presence of curfews to adolescents. Peers activities should at most be supervised since it is from these that there is need to abuse substance and commit other crimes (Development and Psychopathology, 2008). Rewards for good behaviour should be present in order to encourage them adolescents to behave well.
Focusing on the family background and if there was any form of abuse of substance in the family. This gives insight on how best to proceed. There are certain historical facts in the family that might help the clinician to make the correct diagnosis. Things like substance abuse, maternal infections, and if anyone in the family has been on medication before. Other factors to be included may be abuse, physical or sexual. Another effective way to treat conduct disorder is to interview the patient.
Having a face to face interview with a patient makes it possible to review the life of a patient. It also allows the clinician to have a view of the patient history through the interview. Obtaining the patient history in this manner may be a very effective way since the patient is comfortable with the clinician and is able to relate to the clinician. Relation is important since it might be what lacks in most adolescents. Most of the crimes and things that they do is so as to gain the attention that they need from the society.
In assessment, the strengths and resiliency of the youth patients should be looked into. Also included should be the family strengths and the community. These factors should be considered since it will help build successful strategies that provide skills, services and support for the troubled youth. Conduct disorders have been known to be a combination of psychological, social and biological issues (Vermont, 2012). A comprehensive evaluation of those at risk of having conduct disorder is required so as to help with early intervention. Comprehensive evaluation includes detailed medical history, profiles for the family, interviews, and testing. Such is where psycho education reveals problems associated with the intellectual wellbeing of the adolescent.
Psychotherapies help the adolescents to identify their problems, recognize certain causes, and learn to appreciate consequences and also how to express their feelings. It also enables them to create new ideas and alternative ways on how to handle difficult situations. Psychotherapy treatment involves certain types of treatment namely; Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and is concerned with the patterns and behaviour of certain disorders and how to treat them, Psychoanalysis which is concerned with psychic tendencies, Systematic therapy which is also known as family therapy. Medication may vary depending on the individual disorder that a person has. Residential therapy programs are very helpful when it comes to treatment programs for school based problems. Such school programs enable children to have confidence in themselves and this will help them be successful in school and also increase their self esteem. Pharmacotherapy should be present to help adolescents deal with their aggressive and impulsive behaviour.
Antidepressants are often used for a variety of disorders. It is also the recommended treatment in clinical depression. Anxiolytics, which also include sedative, are used to treat anxiety disorders and problems related to such like insomnia. Bipolar disorders are treated by mood stabilizers, while psychotic disorders are treated by antipsychotics. Having the medication to mental disorders does not guarantee that there is a chance of containing the illness as there can be certain effects of medication when the wrong diagnosis is made and thus, the wrong medication is given. Treatment that is provided to patients should have allowance for flexibility of modifications into treatment should the current ones not work. Consultation in terms of treating conduct disorders may apply to minor disorders. Conduct disorder requires treatment that is extensive and has long term follow-ups.
Parents should be trained to have positive relations with their adolescent children. A program should be initiated that will help parents overcome their harsh responses and behaviour to their children. Some of the conduct behaviour results from mistreatment from the parents. Training parents to have positive relations and expectations of their children helps prevent and also treat conduct disorder. Parental psychopathology helps teach both parents and adolescents about substance abuse. For adolescents who have already been using for a long time, they should be regularly followed up to ensure that treatment is successful (Vermont, 2012).

Conclusion

Peer intervention is important since most adolescents are influenced into doing certain things by their friends. In peer intervention, there is the reconsideration of friends and how they should be discouraged from their deviant behaviour association. Peer intervention program is aimed at creating a socially positive appropriate peer network that will guarantee a success in treatment. Having a social network of friends who contribute positively is appropriate for treatment. Another successful technique is use of a juvenile justice system intervention. This includes using supervision from the courts and other special programs that will enable treatment to run more smoothly (ACAD, 1997). Community projects also help in that they help in creating leaning and recovery environments to the adolescents. They help in providing services to those adolescents with conduct disorder problems. They help in behaviour modification and psychosocial gaining of skills such as assertiveness and anger control.

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Annotated Bibliography

J. AM. ACAD. (1997). Practice parameters for the assessment and treatment of children and
adolescents with conduct disorder. AACAP Official action. Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from http://www.capefearpsych.org/documents/BestPracticesConductDisorderUBH.pdf
In this article, the best practices include proper diagnosis, treatment and prevention of conduct disorder. It shows how early and proper diagnosis results in detecting the early problems that are associated with patients helps overcome conduct disorder. It provides evidence based treatment which includes proper and prolonged intervention, evaluation of the patient both physically and intellectually (ACAD, 1997). It also talks about guidance and parental psychopathology, peer intervention and the discouragement of deviant behavior in peers.
Weisz, J. R. et al. (2005). Promoting and protecting youth mental health through evidence-
based prevention and treatment. American Psychologist. Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from <http://pei.ocde.us/Assets/Promoting and Protecting Youth Mental Health through Evidence-Based Prevention and Treatment.pdf>
In this article, it shows how mental health conditions arise from adolescent age due to the changes in the psychological, social and biological being of a person. It also states the best practices which include Psychotherapy, Cognitive behavioural therapy, Systematic therapy, Residential therapy, Pharmacotherapy.
Development and Psychopathology. Vol. 5, Issue 1-2 pp. 277-310. DOI; Published online: 31 October 2008
This article is about the developmental phases of adolescence and how they influence a lot in their lives. Behavior such as aggression, anger issues, crime such as theft and also substance abuse has been highlighted in the article. Evidence based treatment includes therapies and prolonged intervention.
Vermont. Department of Mental Health Agency of Human Health. Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from <http://mentalhealth.vermont.gov/sites/dmh/files/publicationsDMH-CAFU_Conduct_Disorder_Treatment.pdf>
This article describes what mental disorder is, and how conduct disorder is more likely to affect male adolescents than female adolescents. It also describes what follows after conduct disorder has affected an individual; the changes in emotional stability and physical strength. It describes conduct disorder as hard to understand why it affects males more than females, but a logical reasoning would be the changes.
American Academy of child and adolescent psychiatry. (2009). Conduct disorder resource center. Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from <http://www.aacap.org/cs/ConductDisorder.ResourceCenter>
This is an article that describes conduct disorder and how the problem is persistent and repetitive if not given the right diagnosis and treatment. Most of the recommended treatment methods require close follow up and prolonged intervention to avoid relapse particularly if an individual was a substance abuser.

References

American Academy of child and adolescent psychiatry. (2009). Conduct disorder resource
center. Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from <http://www.aacap.org/cs/ConductDisorder.ResourceCenter>
Development and Psychopathology. Vol. 5, Issue 1-2 pp. 277-310. DOI; Published online: 31
October 2008.
J. AM. ACAD. (1997). Practice parameters for the assessment and treatment of children and
adolescents with conduct disorder. AACAP Official action. Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from http://www.capefearpsych.org/documents/BestPracticesConductDisorderUBH.pdf
Vermont. Department of Mental Health Agency of Human Health. Retrieved on November 17,
2012 from <http://mentalhealth.vermont.gov/sites/dmh/files/publicationsDMH-CAFU_Conduct_Disorder_Treatment.pdf>
Weisz, J. R. et al. (2005). Promoting and protecting youth mental health through evidence-
based prevention and treatment. American Psychologist. Retrieved on November 17, 2012 from <http://pei.ocde.us/Assets/Promoting and Protecting Youth Mental Health through Evidence-Based Prevention and Treatment.pdf>

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