conduct disorder and under-achievement The young people who are the subject of this book are responsible for a disproportionate amount of difficulty for society. They are the chronic rule-breakers and bullies. They may threaten, intimidate, manipulate, steal, and use violence to get what they want. Many are drug abusers and drug dealers. Most have problems with self-control and self-discipline. Nearly all of them are academic underachievers. Unfortunately, they are also incredibly resistant to psychological intervention. Exhibiting a range of behaviors grouped under the DSM rubric "Conduct Disorder," these children and adolescents are legion and their numbers continue to grow at an alarming rate. In Conduct Disorder and Underachievement, a leading authority on CD underachievers explores the causes, assessment, treatment, and prevention of disruptive behavioral problems in underachieving children and adolescents. He summarizes many of the assessment tools developed for CD underachievers and provides a unique, comprehensive risk-factor model which can be used to help identify disorder problems before they occur.
And, perhaps most importantly, he describes a dynamic cognitive/developmental treatment model which has proven to be extraordinarily successful with certain types of CD underachievers. Conduct Disorder and Underachievement offers new hope for finding psychological solutions to one of today's most pressing social problems. Much has been unearthed in recent years about the origins and development of conduct disorder (CD) in children and adolescents. Yet there is still considerable disagreement about the role academic underachievement plays in CD. Is underachievement a contributing factor to or a result of CD? While the jury is still out on this issue, one thing is certain: eventually, the relationship between them becomes a dialectical one--bad grades and antisocial behavior usually go hand in hand. Can this seemingly facile observation provide the basis for interventions with certain types of conduct disorders? In Conduct Disorder and Underachieve-ment, a leading authority on underachievement answers that question with a resounding "Yes" and demonstrates how. Dr.
Mandel begins with a thorough review of the latest research findings on the etiology, assessment, and treatment of conduct disorder in children and adolescents. From there, the focus narrows to issues of CD underachievement. While most forms of conduct disorder and underachievement are discussed, the clinical emphasis is on less severely disturbed children for whom underachievement is still manageable but, if left unchecked, can lead to more severe conduct problems. Through the window of two case histories complete with test results and diagnostic interviews, Dr. Mandel explores the full range of assessment issues, critically examines predominant treatment strategies, and provides helpful prevention guidelines. In the prescriptive portion of the book, the author delineates a cognitively oriented approach to treating CD underachievers. He espouses a treatment strategy based on the assumption that, from one case to the next, underachievement may either contribute to or result from conduct disorder. The most constructive approach, therefore, is to reconstruct the unfolding of individual scenarios and then determine what can be done to mend fractured developmental pathways.
Through a series of therapy excerpts which take the reader inside a treatment session, Dr. Mandel brings to vivid life the issues that must be dealt with, the struggles that must be overcome, and the complex interactions that develop between child and therapist during therapeutic intervention. Combining a comprehensive review of the latest findings with a dynamic new approach to intervention, Conduct Disorder and Underachievement is a valuable resource for mental health professionals, guidance counselors, and educators who deal with this increasingly common problem.