Preschool Conduct Disorder

Preschool Conduct Disorder (CD) is one of the most prevalent and impairing behavior disorders affecting young children. The condition is characterized by a persistent pattern of serious rule violations, which can take the form of serious aggression, destruction of property, deceitfulness or threat. These young children repeatedly fail to take into account the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms.  Parents of children suffering with CD can struggle on a daily basis with explosiveness and general unpredictability. Affected parents can often feel frustrated, helpless, ineffective, and even embarrassed as they struggle to manage their child’s very serious behavior problems. Childhood CD is associated with considerable impairments in family, peer, and academic functioning, and when left untreated it can be associated with subsequent criminality and substance later in life. Accordingly, early intervention for CD is critical.


  • Young child often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
  • Young child often initiates physical fights
  • Young child has been physically cruel to people
  • Young child has been physically cruel to animals
  • Young child has deliberately destroyed others’ property
  • Young child lies much more than other same-aged children to avoid obligations
  • Young child has stolen nontrivial items

If many of these symptoms seem relevant to your young child, we can help. Feel free to contact us by calling our main desk at (617) 353-9610, or by emailing Bonnie Brown, our nurse administrator, at Also, if your child qualifies for one of our ongoing research studies, you may be eligible to receive free treatment as part of our current research opportunities.