Adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD), including oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, present unique challenges for their families. Although, most empirically supported treatments for DBD are family-based, the emphasis is typically on the behavior of the child rather than on the life challenges and resultant distress experienced by the family members. Fifteen families of adolescents with DBD were recruited from a large publicly funded Community Mental Health Center. For this report, data from in-depth interviews with the adolescents’ primary caregivers were analyzed by standard content analytic procedures to describe the challenges they experienced living with and caring for the adolescents. The primary caregivers reported that the challenges were overwhelming, demanding, and unrelenting. The two most salient challenges were (a) managing the adolescents’ aggressive, defiant, and deceitful behaviors, and (b) interacting frequently with a number of child-serving agencies. A number of clinical implications are drawn from these findings.
- disruptive behavior disorders
- primary caregivers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Community and Home Care
- Family Practice