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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Definition:
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a behavior disorder in children and teens. Those with this disorder show negative, angry, and defiant behaviors much more often than most people of the same age, and so much that these behaviors begin to adversely affect the person’s relationships and ability to perform successfully in school, work, and family situations.

Causes:
The cause of ODD is unknown. Like other psychiatric disorders, ODD results from a combination of genetic, family, and social factors. Children with ODD may inherit chemical imbalances in the brain that predispose them to the disorder.

Risk Factors:
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for ODD include:
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Childhood and teen years
  • A parent with a mood, conduct, attention deficit, or substance abuse disorder
  • Marital conflict
  • Child abuse
  • Inconsistent parental attention
  • Low socioeconomic status
Symptoms:
Symptoms usually begin around age 8 and increase over several months.

Children with ODD often:

  • Argue with adults
  • Lose their tempers
  • Refuse to follow adults' requests or rules
  • Deliberately annoy others and are annoyed by others
  • Are angry and resentful
  • Are spiteful or vindictive
  • Blame others for their own mistakes
  • Have low self-esteem
Diagnosis:
The doctor will ask about symptoms, medical history, and family history, and perform a physical exam. The doctor will also look for other conduct disorders.

Diagnosis of ODD is based on these criteria:

  • Child displays at least four common symptoms. (See symptoms above.)
  • Symptoms occur more often and have more serious consequences than is typical in children of a similar age.
  • Symptoms lead to significant problems in school, work, or social life.
  • Symptoms are continuously present for at least 6 months.
Treatment:
Treatment may include the following:

Parent Training – to help parents manage their child's behavior

Child Psychotherapy – to teach the child better ways to manage anger

Family Psychotherapy – to help improve family communication skills

Cognitive-Behavior Therapy – to help the child and family members learn problem-solving skills and decrease negativity

Social Skills Training – to help the child reduce frustration with peers

Prevention:
There are no guidelines for preventing ODD.
 
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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