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In this chapter, the nature of conduct disorder and its symptoms will be reviewed briefly, and then an overview of a set of child, family, peer and community risk factors that can predict the emergence of serious antisocial behaviour in youth will be provided. Based on the contextual social–cognitive risk factors that have been implicated in the development of antisocial behaviour, a set of empirically supported cognitive behavioural interventions have been developed for youths from pre-adolescence through to the adolescent age periods. These programmes will be discussed, along with the research indicating their effectiveness.
The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) defines conduct disorder (CD) as symptoms consisting of aggressive conduct that threatens physical harm to other people or animals or non-aggressive conduct that causes property loss or damage, deceitfulness and theft and serious violations of rules. CD is a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour which violates societal norms or the basic rights of others. These serious conduct problems are differentiated from oppositional defiant disorder which represents a recurrent pattern of defiant and disobedient behaviour (see Chapter 13). In the USA, rates of CD are estimated to be in the range of 6–16% for boys and 2–9% for girls (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), and to be more prevalent in boys than girls at a rate of about 3:1 (Kazdin, 1998).
Public health ethics, like the field of public health it addresses, traditionally has focused more on practice and particular cases than on theory, with the result that some concepts, methods, and boundaries remain largely undefined. This paper attempts to provide a rough conceptual map of the terrain of public health ethics. We begin by briefly defining public health and identifying general features of the field that are particularly relevant for a discussion of public health ethics.
Public health is primarily concerned with the health of the entire population, rather than the health of individuals. Its features include an emphasis on the promotion of health and the prevention of disease and disability; the collection and use of epidemiological data, population surveillance, and other forms of empirical quantitative assessment; a recognition of the multidimensional nature of the determinants of health; and a focus on the complex interactions of many factors—biological, behavioral, social, and environmental—in developing effective interventions.
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