by Rick Alan
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. So much so that these behaviors begin to adversely affect the person’s relationships and ability to perform successfully in school, work, and family situations.
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.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors for ODD include:
Symptoms usually begin around age 8 and increase over several months.
Children with ODD often:
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:
Treatment may include the following:
Training is designed to help parents manage their child's behavior.
The purpose of the psychotherapy is to teach the child better ways to manage anger.
Family therapy helps to improve family communication skills.
This type of therapy helps the child and family members learn problem-solving skills and decrease negativity.
This is training to help the child reduce frustration with peers.
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Psychological Association
American Psychiatry Association. Available at: http://www.psych.org.
Children with oppositional defiant disorder. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website. Available at: http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/72.htm. Accessed July 2003.
The Merck Manual of Medical Information—Home Edition. Simon and Schuster, Inc.; 2000.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 09/30/2012