An Italian study of 198 children with conduct disorder found that those who were referred for the condition before puberty tended to come from more deprived backgrounds. Their condition was more severe when they were referred although they responded to treatment as well as those whose conduct disorder began in adolescence. They were more aggressive and more likely to suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The girls in the study tended to be older and come from more deprived backgrounds. The girls' condition was worse when they started treatment and they were more likely to harm themselves but they responded better to treatment than the boys. Rates of ADHD were lower than in the boys. Those who did not respond to treatment were worse when they were first referred, more physically and verbally aggressive, had a higher rate of drug abuse and were more likely to commit pre-meditated violence rather than lashing out impulsively. Psychosocial interventions were found to be effective for this group of children.
Masi, Gabriele ... [et al] - Conduct disorder in referred children and adolescents: clinical and therapeutic issues Comprehensive Psychiatry 2008, 49, 146-153