Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a behavior disorder, usually diagnosed in childhood, which is characterized by uncooperative, defiant, negativistic, irritable, and annoying behaviors towards parents, peers, teachers, and other authority figures. Children and adolescents with ODD are more distressing or irritable to others than they are distressed or troubled themselves. Almost 50 percent of all children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (especially boys) tend also to have ODD, characterized by negative, hostile, and defiant behaviors. ODD is reported to affect 2 percent to 16 percent of children and adolescents in the general population and is more common in boys than girls.

Clinically Significant Symptoms of ODD include at least four of the following:

  • Often loses temper
  • Often argues with adults
  • Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults’ requests
  • Often deliberately annoys people
  • Often blames others for his/her mistakes or misbehavior
  • Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
  • Is often angry or resentful
  • Is often spiteful or vindictive

The disturbances must cause significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning. Age of onset typically occurs before the age of 8 and not usually later than adolescence. The pattern of behavior must last for at least six months and not be associated in stages in which oppositional behavior does occur (Peak time is between 18 and 24 months of age or the “terrible twos”).
Treatment for ODD includes individual therapy with the child and counseling or training with the parents in child management skills.


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