What Causes Behavioral Problems In Children?

All young children can be mischievous, deceptive and impulsive from time to time. It is completely normal. However, some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviors that are out of the norm for their age. When parents of challenged child’s get news about their disabilities they disbelief and face anxiety, fear, and loss of their hope.

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Many children exhibit bad behaviors such as Disruptive behaviors, aggressive tendencies, anxious behaviors. Such as nail-biting, and self-destructive behaviors as hitting, hair-pulling, and headbanging. It affects their family and parents. The most common disruptive behavior disorders include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

All young children can be naughty, defiant and impulsive from time to time, which is perfectly normal. However, some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviors that are outside the norm for their age. Following are the various types of behavioral problems in children.

Causes of Behavioral Problems in children

Following are some of the causes behind behavioral problems in children :


Genes control the child’s behavior and temperament. Thus behavioral disorders and genes have interrelation with each other. Due to hereditary factors, a child carries the same disorders from their ancestors.

Economic Causes

Economy or financial conditions are the prevalent cause of behavioral problems. Lack of money and scarcity of the resources makes the child unable to meet their demands. This results in anxiety, irritation, negative feelings in the child.

Environmental Causes

The causes related to the surrounding in which the child is living and spending his time. Dirty, noisy and negative environment leads to the behavioral problems in the children.

Social Causes

Family, school, friends, peer groups, neighbor, etc affects the child’s behavior positively and negatively. Fights between the members of the family, disputes between the groups and friends are responsible for behavioral problems in children.

Physical Causes

Malnutrition, brain damage, and physical disability is the main physical cause of behavioral disorders in children. Prolong disease and disability contributes the negative feelings, bad mood, high temperament, and other mood problems.

Oppositional defiant disorder

Based on analysis by the experts, one in ten children under the age of 12 years are thought to have an oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), The oppositional defiant disorder includes:

  • Refuses to obey rules.
  • Seems to deliberately try to annoy or aggravate others.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Low frustration threshold.

Conduct Disorder

Children with conduct disorder (CD) don’t follow or accept rules and have delinquent behavior. Some of the typical behaviors of a child with CD may include:

  • Repeated truancy.
  • The tendency to use drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, at a very early age.
  • Lack of empathy for others.
  • Being aggressive to animals and other people or showing sadistic behaviors. Such as bullying and physical or sexual abuse.
  • Keenness to start physical fights.

Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit

Around two to five percent of children are thought to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with boys outnumbering girls by three to one. The characteristics of ADHD can include:

  • Inattention – difficulty concentrating, forgetting instructions, moving from one task to another without completing anything.
  • Impulsivity – talking over the top of others, having a ‘short fuse’, being accident-prone.
  • Overactivity – constant restlessness and fidgeting.

Risk factors in children’s behavioral disorders:

  • Gender: A boy is more affected by the behavioral disorder than a girl.
  • Gestation and birth: Some child behavior is affected by difficulty occurred pregnancies, premature birth, and low birth weight.
  • Temperament: some child gets difficulty in managing, a temperamental or aggressive form of age which is responsible to develop behavioral disorders in the child.
  • Family life: Sometimes, a behavioral problem in a child is caused due to their family problems. Such as domestic violence, poverty, poor parenting skills or substance abuse are a problem.
  • Learning difficulties: The problems occurred in reading and writing are associated with behavior problems.
  • Intellectual disabilities: The children with their intellectual disabilities are more chance to have behavioral disorders.
  • Brain development: The studies have shown that areas of the brain which control attention appear to be less active in children with ADHD.

Diagnosis of behavioral disorders of children

Disruptive behavioral disorders are complex and may involve many different factors that work in combination. For example, a child who exhibits the behavior or conduct disorder. It can also be ADHD anxiety, depression and even difficult home life.

The methods of diagnosis can include:

  • Diagnosis by specialist service, including pediatrician, psychologist or child psychiatrist,
  • An in-depth interview with parents, children, and teachers,
  • Behavior checklist or standardized questionnaire.

Managing the problem of behavior is not easy. And to include it in the evaluation, prevention, and management of the affected persons, and to provide social, economic and psychological-emotional support to the affected families, at various levels. Health care providers provide an integrated multi- Requires a related effort.

Getting Help for a Behavioral Disorder

Due to the severity of these mental health issues, it is important to get help for a behavioral disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective way of treating medicines for treating disorders such as ODD.  For better support, you should consult with Paediatrician, Child psychologist, and  Child Psychiatrist. The sooner you get help, the easier it is to make your life normal.

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