Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) symptoms usually develop by
preschool age, but can appear in early adolescence. If you are a parent,
your child’s behavior may be difficult to manage alone. While
occasionally misbehaving is a normal part of development, frequent
patterns of excessive disobedience and aggression can wreak havoc on
home and school life.
Remember that all children act out from time to time, especially when
tired, hungry, upset, stressed or ill.
Behaviors shouldn’t cause concern
unless they severely disrupt day-to-day life. Also, take note if your
child appears much less cooperative than peers of their same age.
What are the ODD symptoms? The following are common examples:
- Often irritable or angry
- Throws frequent temper tantrums
- Easily annoyed by other people
- Deliberately upsets other people
- Frequently gets into fights
- Constant defiant behavior
- Frequently argues with and disrespects adults o Refuses to listen to adults or people of authority
- Refuses to follow any rules
- Blames other people for his or her disobedience
- Vengeful attitude
- Is mean and hateful towards others, especially when upset
- Appears spiteful and vindictive
- Seeks revenge
Children frequently exhibiting several of the behaviors above may
benefit from a psychological evaluation. Diagnosis and treatment are
important to prevent worse or additional symptoms from occurring.
Keep in mind that there are varying degrees of ODD – mild, moderate and
severe – the severity normally depends on the number of environments the
symptoms occur in.
The exact cause of ODD is unknown, but studies have shown that the
following factors may contribute:
Understand your child’s risk factors:
- Temperament: A child who is highly sensitive and emotionally reactive could be more susceptible to ODD.
- Parenting: A child experiencing lack of supervision, abuse, neglect, or inconsistent
discipline is more prone to developing ODD.
- Family issues: A child experiencing a tumultuous home environment or living with a parent who
has a substance use disorder could develop ODD.
ODD is a complicated disorder. Many children have accompanying conditions as well: