Subfactors of DSM-IV Conduct Disorder: Evidence and Connections with Syndromes from the Child Behavior Checklist

Jennifer L. Tackett, Robert F. Krueger, Michael G. Sawyer, Brian W. Graetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Is conduct disorder (CD) as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) a unitary entity, or do variants of CD exist? We addressed this question, using data collected from the parents of 1,669 Australian boys, aged 6-17. Parents were interviewed to assess DSM-IVConduct Disorder (DSM-IV CD) criteria. Results revealed 2 subfactors of DSM-IV CD symptoms, made up of overt behaviors (e.g., initiating physical fights) and covert behaviors (e.g., stealing without confrontation). Ordinary least squares regressions showed the 2 CD subfactors to be significantly and uniquely predicted by Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; T. M. Achenbach, 1991a, 1991b) syndromes labeled Aggressive Behavior and Delinquent Behavior, respectively. The results are discussed in terms of the utility of differentiating these 2 variants of CD in future editions of the DSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-654
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Child and Adolescent Component of the National Survey of Mental Health and Well-Being was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care and supported by a national collaborating group of researchers in Australia. Robert F. Krueger was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH65137.


  • Antisocial behavior
  • Child behavior checklist
  • Conduct disorder
  • Factor analysis


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