Depressive conduct disorder: Symptom patterns and correlates in referred children and adolescents

Mima Simic, Eric Fombonne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: In order to examine the validity of the ICD-10 diagnostic category of depressive conduct disorder (DCD), a sample of 58 patients (mean age 11.6) with this diagnosis consecutively referred to a teaching hospital was compared with 151 patients with conduct disorder (CD) (mean age 12.3) and with 128 patients with depressive disorder (DD) (mean age 14.2). Method: Data on symptom profile, sociodemographic characteristics, duration of disorder, family history and psychosocial background were collected using the Maudsley item sheet. Comparison of the three groups was performed using SPSS. Results: Controlling for age and gender differences, the DCD group had fewer biological depressive symptoms, fewer anxiety symptoms, less guilt and lower severity of overall depression compared to the DD group. They also displayed more self-injurious behaviour and had more adverse psychosocial circumstances than the DD subjects. Compared to the CD group, the DCD patients were less overtly aggressive and violent than the CD subjects, in addition to having significant depressive symptoms and a more frequent history of abuse. Limitations: The study was based on case-control and diagnosis had been reached after the discussion of clinicians involved in assessment. Conclusions: Overall, the results tentatively support the validity of this diagnostic subgrouping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-185
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct disorder
  • Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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