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
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.
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
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
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
What is the BEST diagnosis for these clients?
Scroll down for 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.
Happy studying and good luck on the exam!