Review Article

The Global Prevalence of Conduct Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Objective: There has been little effort to conduct systematic reviews or meta-analyses of the available literature to find global prevalence rates of conduct disorder and analyze the sources of heterogeneity.

Method: We searched multiple databases, including Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar to identify cross-sectional studies with random or nonrandom sampling to assess the global prevalence of conduct disorder in children and adolescents aged under 18 in the general or school-based populations. Quality assessment and data extraction were independently carried out by two authors. Subgroup analysis was used to find the potential sources of heterogeneity.

Results: We reached 50 studies, incorporating 186,056 children and adolescents from 35 countries. The total prevalence of conduct disorder was 8% (CI: 7-9%; I2: 99.77%), including 7% in females (CI: 4-9%; I2: 99.56%) and 11% in males (CI: 7-15%; I2: 99.74%). The results of subgroup analysis showed that total heterogeneity could be explained by measurement tools. When diagnostic interviews such as the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children—Present and Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL) and Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) were employed, the pooled prevalence rates for conduct disorder were 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively, and heterogeneity decreased. However, the use of the screening tools such as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)-parent or teacher report and SDQ-self report increased the pooled prevalence of conduct disorder to 10% and 16% respectively.

Conclusion: The prevalence of conduct disorder in the epidemiological studies should be estimated by employing the diagnostic interviews to reach accurately assessments.

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IssueVol 16 No 2 (2021) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Conduct Disorder Meta-Analysis Prevalence Systematic Review

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How to Cite
Mohammadi M-R, Salmanian M, Keshavarzi Z. The Global Prevalence of Conduct Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Iran J Psychiatry. 16(2):205-225.