The high costs of aggression: Public expenditures resulting from conduct disorder

Edward Michael Foster, Damon E. Jones, Mark T. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Citations (SciVal)


Objectives. We explored the economic implications of conduct disorder (CD) among adolescents in 4 poor communities in the United States. We examined a range of expenditures related to this disorder across multiple public sectors, including mental health, general health, school, and juvenile justice. Methods. We used self- and parental-report data to estimate expenditures during a 7-year period in late adolescence of a sample of youths. We contrasted expenditures for youths with CD and youths with oppositional defiant disorder, elevated symptoms (no CD diagnosis), and all others. Diagnosis was determined with a structured assessment. Results. Additional public costs per child related to CD exceeded $70000 over a 7-year period. Conclusions. Public expenditures on youths with CD are substantially larger than for youths with closely related conditions, reflecting the importance of prevention and early treatment for the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1767-1772
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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