Behavioral Disorders

What is a Behavioral Disorder?

They include disorders in the form of destructive, aggressive or antisocial behavior, in violation of the norms and rules accepted in society, and causing harm to other people. Violations are more serious than quarrels and pranks of children and adolescents.

Causes of Behavioral Disorders

Behavioral disorders are based on a number of biopsychosocial factors:

Relationship with parental attitudes. Misuse or abuse of children affects the development of maladaptive behavior. Etiologically significant is the struggle of parents among themselves, and not the destruction of the family. A major role is played by the presence of mental disorders, sociopathies, or alcoholism in parents.

Sociocultural theory – the presence of difficult socio-economic conditions, contributes to the development of behavioral disorders, as they are considered acceptable in conditions of socioeconomic deprivation.

Predisposing factors are the presence of minimal dysfunction or organic brain damage; rejection by parents, early placement in boarding houses; improper upbringing with strict discipline; frequent change of teachers, guardians; illegitimacy.


It is quite common in childhood and adolescence. It is determined in 9% of boys and 2% of girls under the age of 18 years. The ratio of boys and girls ranges from 4: 1 to 12: 1. It is more common in children whose parents are asocial persons or suffer from alcoholism. The prevalence of this disorder is correlated with socio-economic factors.

Symptoms of Behavioral Disorders

A behavior disorder should last at least 6 months, during which at least three manifestations are observed (the diagnosis is made only until the age of 18):

  1. Theft of something without the knowledge of the victim and the fight more than once (including forgery of documents).
  2. Run away from home all night at least 2 times, or once without returning (when staying with parents or guardians).
  3. Frequent lies (except when lying to avoid physical or sexual punishment).
  4. Special involvement in arson.
  5. Frequent absenteeism of lessons (work).
  6. Unusually frequent and severe outbursts of anger.
  7. Special penetration into someone else’s house, premises, car; special destruction of another’s property.
  8. Physical cruelty to animals.
  9. Forcing someone to have a sexual relationship.
  10. The use of weapons more than once; often the instigator of fights.
  11. Theft after the fight (for example, hit the victim and grabbed the wallet; extortion or armed robbery).
  12. Physical cruelty to people.
  13. Defiant provocative behavior and constant, overt disobedience.

Diagnosing Behavioral Disorders

Separate acts of antisocial behavior are insufficient for diagnosis. Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, general developmental disorder, hyperkinetic disorder, mania, and depression should be ruled out. However, the presence of lungs, situationally specific phenomena of hyperactivity and inattention; low self-esteem and mild emotional manifestations do not exclude the diagnosis of a behavior disorder.