Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Clinical Psychology Competencies

pp 1329-1350

Conduct Disorder and ODD

  • Ross W. GreeneAffiliated withHarvard Medical School


Social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in children are best understood through transactional models of development emphasizing factors associated with the child and environment and their reciprocal influences. Along these lines, conduct problems – often categorized as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) – can be conceived as the byproduct of incompatibility between child and environment, or what can be referred to as “child-environment incompatibility.” The goal of assessment is to understand these incompatibilities; the goal of intervention is to address them. Numerous models of psychosocial treatment have been applied to conduct problems, many of them evidence-based. However, the fact that conduct problems remain a significant public health issue suggests that greater innovation in thinking and intervention are needed. The primary focus of this article was Collaborative Problem Solving, an innovative, “hybrid” psychosocial treatment model. The CPS model combines elements of social learning theory, systems theory, and research in the neurosciences, and its effectiveness has been examined in families, schools, inpatient psychiatry units, residential facilities, and juvenile detention facilities. CPS is a challenging model to implement, and effectiveness of a clinician in doing so hinges on experience and supervised practice.