Multiple developmental pathways to conduct disorder: Current conceptualizations and clinical implications

Dustin Pardini, Paul J. Frick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Objectives: Recent research has uncovered several developmental pathways through which children and adolescents can develop a tendency to display the severe antisocial behavior associated with the diagnosis of conduct disorder (CD). Methods: This focused review is designed to briefly outline three different etiological pathways described in the literature. These pathways are distinguished by the age of onset of the antisocial behavior, the presence/absence of significant levels of callous-unemotional traits, and the presence/absence of problems with anger regulation. Results: Evidence from developmental psychopathology research (particularly longitudinal studies) that support the different life-course trajectories and putative etiological factors associated with antisocial behavior across these pathways is presented. Conclusions: Limitations in the available research on these developmental pathways and implications of this research for the prevention and treatment of children and adolescents with CD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Conduct disorder
  • Developmental pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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