Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Southcoast Behavioral Health Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Southcoast Behavioral Health Hospital.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Conduct Disorder Causes & Effects

The signs, symptoms, and effects of conduct disorder can look different for each person impacted. Learning about conduct disorder is one of the first steps toward healing.

Understanding Conduct Disorder

Learn about conduct disorder

Conduct disorder is characterized by persistent and repetitive behavior patterns that violate the basic rights of others or go against age-appropriate societal rules or norms. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition breaks down the specific behaviors that are characteristic of conduct disorder into the following four categories:

  • Aggressive conduct that causes or threatens physical harm to other people or animals
  • Non-aggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage
  • Deceitfulness or theft
  • Serious violations of rules

When individuals have conduct disorder, they may exhibit behaviors from all four categories or from one more predominantly than others. As a result of these behaviors, individuals with conduct disorder can experience significant disturbances in their ability to function socially, academically, and occupationally. These disturbances are present across a variety of settings and can lead to significant upheaval in the lives of the individuals with the disorder, as well as in the lives of those around them.

Conduct disorder can be diagnosed in adults, but it is most frequently diagnosed in children and adolescents younger than age 16. Those with adolescent-onset conduct disorder present with symptoms after age 10, and those with childhood-onset type present with symptoms prior to age 10. The exhibited behaviors are typically less severe in children of younger ages, but will progressively worsen as they get older. Those individuals with childhood-onset type are more likely to experience symptoms persisting into adulthood, while those with adolescent-onset type are more likely to experience a remission of symptoms by the time they reach adulthood.

The long-term effects that can arise when treatment is not sought can have a monumental impact on an individual’s overall wellbeing. Fortunately, there are treatment options available for conduct disorder that can help individuals learn the skills necessary to overcome their negative behaviors and instead live full, productive, and happy lives.


Conduct disorder statistics

According to the American Psychiatric Association, the prevalence of conduct disorder ranges from 2 percent to 10 percent, with an average of 4 percent of the population displaying symptoms of this condition. The rates of those afflicted by this disorder are said to rise from childhood to adolescence and more males are affected by conduct disorder than are females. There are no noted differences in the prevalence of this disorder across various cultures, races, or ethnicities.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for conduct disorder

There are a number of factors that can contribute to an individual’s susceptibility for developing conduct disorder. Such factors are discussed briefly in the following:

Genetic: The onset of conduct disorder is said to be influenced by genetic factors, such that those who have a biological parent or sibling who struggles with this disorder are more likely to experience symptoms themselves than are those who do not have the same type of family history. Additionally, individuals whose biological parents suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol use disorder, schizophrenia, or ADHD are said to be more vulnerable to experiencing the onset of conduct disorder.

Environmental: There are a number of environmental factors that can influence the onset of conduct disorder. Things such as suffering from parental rejection, neglect, harsh discipline, and inconsistent parenting can all impact an individual’s susceptibility to experiencing symptoms of this disorder. Additionally, being the victim of physical or sexual abuse, having a lack of supervision, or experiencing peer rejection can all play a role in the vulnerability one has to developing conduct disorder.

Risk Factors:

  • Being male
  • Being the victim of abuse or neglect
  • Early institutional living
  • Having a family history of substance use disorders
  • Experiencing a frequent change in caregivers
  • Parental history of criminal involvement
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of conduct disorder

The signs and symptoms displayed by those with conduct disorder are said to vary with age due to the fact that, as individuals get older, their physical strength, sexual maturity, and cognitive abilities all typically become stronger, affecting the way in which they behave. The severity of the behaviors will also vary from person to person, but may include the following:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Initiates physical fights
  • Bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
  • Has been physically cruel to people or animals
  • Has used a weapon to cause physical harm
  • Steals
  • Has forced someone into unwanted sexual activity
  • Sets fires
  • Destroys property
  • Lies
  • School refusal or truancy

Physical symptoms:

  • Burns from playing with fire
  • Sexually transmitted diseases from engaging in risky sexual behaviors
  • Injuries obtained from physical altercations

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Poor impulse control
  • Poor concentration capabilities
  • Having an intellect that is below average

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Lack of patience
  • Excessive agitation and irritability
  • Lacks a sense of guilt
  • Lacks remorse
  • Possesses a false sense of grandiosity
  • Lacks empathy

Effects of conduct disorder

When the symptoms of conduct disorder are allowed to persist without appropriate therapeutic interventions, the effects on an individual’s life can be devastating. Examples of such effects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • School suspension or expulsion
  • Academic failure
  • Problems in work adjustment
  • Job loss / chronic unemployment
  • Financial hardships
  • Legal difficulties
  • Contraction of sexually transmitted diseases or experiencing an unplanned pregnancy due to engaging in risky sexual behavior
  • Physical injuries as a result of acting out or aggressive behaviors
  • Onset of symptoms synonymous with other mental illnesses
  • Relationship problems
  • Discord within the family
  • Substance abuse and addiction
Co-Occurring Disorders

Conduct disorder and co-occurring disorders

It is not uncommon for those suffering from conduct disorder to experience the symptoms of other mental illnesses simultaneously. Unfortunately, those who suffer from conduct disorder in addition to another disorder frequently experience worse outcomes. Examples of disorders that frequently co-occur alongside conduct disorder include:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Specific learning disorder

I now am on the road to recovery because of the process groups and my personal therapist at Southcoast. Thank you for helping me get my life together. I am forever grateful!

– Anonymous Client
Marks of Quality Care
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation