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Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders

angry teenLet's take a look at the Disruptive, Impulse-Control, and Conduct Disorders chapter of the DSM. How do you distinguish the diagnosis from one another? This could come in handy on the licensing exam. 

First, the criteria. Then some quick practice questions.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

A pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months.

Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Recurrent behavioral outbursts representing a failure to control aggressive impulses as manifested by either verbal or physical aggression for a period of 3 months or three outbursts involving damage or destruction to property or physical injury within a 12-month period.

Conduct Disorder

A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major societal norms are violated in the past 12 months with criteria present in the last 6 months (aggression, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, serious violation of rules).

The other diagnoses in the chapter differentiate themselves: Pyromania (fire setting), kleptomania (stealing).

And then there's antisocial personality disorder, which requires a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since before age 15. Not diagnosed before age 18.

So...got all that? There are some basic ideas that are easy to memorize, and several numbers that, depending upon your memory, might get confused. How many months required? What ages?

Here are some quick practice questions to test how well you've absorbed the above info. The choices for each:

A. Oppositional defiant disorder

B. Intermittent explosive disorder

C. Conduct disorder

D. Antisocial personality disorder

and let's throw in another option (one more that you'll get on the ASWB exam)

E. Doesn't meet criteria for a DSM diagnosis.

Your practice questions:

A social worker sees a client who...

1. ...is 17, has been caught torturing small animals with regularity since he was 14. He denies the behavior, even when caught in the act. He shows little remorse and has few friends.

2. ...is 18 and a member of a gang. He has been participating in fights, vandalism, and some drug dealing since he joined last year.

3. ...is 14 and refuses to listen to anything his parents ask him to do. When they insist that he do household chores, he covers his ears to avoid hearing, sometimes chanting or humming loudly to block them out.

4. ...is 13 and, while generally well-behaved, ever since entering puberty a year ago, throws huge tantrums when she doesn't get her way, sometimes smashing a plate or punching the wall.

5. ...is 15 and for the last year has skipped school regularly, instead smoking pot and hanging out in the local convenience store parking lot. Confronted by his mother, the moody teen demands to be left alone and sometimes has laughed when she begins to tear up.

What is the BEST diagnosis for these clients?

Scroll down for answers….


















Answers:

1. C. Conduct disorder. (Sounds like ADD, but ADD can't be diagnosed till age 18.)

2. C. Conduct disorder.

3. E. Doesn't meet criteria for a DSM diagnosis.

4. B. Intermittent explosive disorder.

5. A. Oppositional defiant disorder

How's you do?

If you found this helpful, please post and share. And just imagine how helpful complete practice exams will be. Smile

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

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Social Work Exam Practice - New Dx for a Client with MDD

A client previously diagnosed with major depressive disorder reports that she has recently been experiencing unusual giddiness at work and has been spending more than usual on groceries. She reports sleeping much more than she's used to. The most likely new diagnosis for the client is...

Check out this new video walk-through for offered answers and how to get to the correct answer. Subscribe to SWTP on YouTube for the whole exam question walk-through series, old and new.

 

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Free ASWB Exam Practice: A 15-year-old boy is court-ordered into therapy...

crime scene Here's a free practice question to help you get ready for the social work licensing exam:

A 15-year-old boy is court-ordered into therapy after several brushes with the law, including charges for breaking and entering, assaulting a classmate, and driving a stolen vehicle. Although the boy witnessed all these incidents, he appears unconcerned and denies he was involved in any of them. The MOST appropriate diagnosis is:

A. Conduct disorder

B. Schizophrenia

C. Antisocial personality disorder

D. Substance abuse

What do you think?

Here are the steps to getting the question answered. First, ask yourself what type of question is this? That's easy. It's a DSM question. DSM questions usually involve either just knowing the answer out of the gate or using process of elimination to get to the correct answer. Let's do that.

Schizophrenia involves a break with reality, usually evident in the form of hallucinations or delusions. This client shows no symptoms of psychosis. Strike answer B.

There is no indication that the client has a substance-abuse problem. Strike answer D.

Now you're left with two plausible-seeming answers. This happens all the time as you're taking the ASWB exam. Choosing between the last two answers standing calls for you to dig deep into your social work info in these cases.

So, what do you know about conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder?

Even if you don't recall much about either, there's a way to get this answered. Personality disorders are lifelong, correct? How old is this client? Just 15. Can you even diagnose a personality disorder at 15? You don't need to know the answer to that last question to have just enough gut feeling to push you toward one answer over the other.

(Yes, most personality disorders can be diagnosed in teens. They rarely are. Antisocial personality disorder is usually reserved for people over 18.)

So, with some narrowing down and a little bit of common-sense guesswork you have your answer: A, Conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is the preferred diagnosis when a child acts out in ways that are incompatible with the rules and laws of society.

And now you're that much more prepared to go pass the ASWB exam. Want to get lots more preparation? Sign up for SWTP complete practice test!

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

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ASWB Exam Practice - PTSD Symptoms

How well do you know the criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder? This video journey through a DSM practice question will test and strengthen your PTSD symptom knowledge.

How best to narrow down to the best answer? Sometimes, with DSM questions especially, you just have to know the material. How to learn the material? Practice tests.

Complete exams, about DSM and a myriad of other topics covered on the ASWB exam, are available on the site. Sign up, get practice, get licensed. Good luck on the exam!

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ASWB Exam Practice Walk-Through: Social Worker Psych Ward Burnout

A new ASWB exam practice question video walk-through. This one's about social worker burnout.

A psychiatric hospital social worker tells her supervisor she's been feeling irritable, exhausted, restless at night, and unsure of her ability to do her job anymore. She's thinking of quitting. The supervisor suggests a new hobby, some exercise, and time with friends. How is the supervisor most likely conceptualizing the social worker's complaints?

Get the offered answers plus strategies about how to narrow down to the correct answer. Follow SWTP on YouTube or Facebook to get these as they post. For complete, 170-question practice tests for some serious ASWB exam prep, sign up!

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