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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a childhood disorder defined as a persistent and frequent pattern of irritability, anger, defiance and vindictiveness toward authority figures and parents. ODD is characterized by frequent hostility, disobedience, negative behavior with at least 4 of behaviors such as: arguing with adults, deliberately annoying other people, losing temper, blaming others for mistakes and misbehavior, being vindictive or spiteful, and being easily annoyed by others.
ODD often begins in preschool years and most always before early teen years. It can vary in severity from mild to moderate and severe. In order to diagnose ODD both behavioral and emotional symptoms must be included and must be displayed more often than is typical for the child’s peers. In children younger than 5, this type of behavior must occur on most days for a period of at least 6 months. For 5 years and older, the behavior must occur at least once a week for at least 6 months.

Symptoms include at least four from any of these categories:

  • Angry and resentful mood, defiant behavior, vindictiveness, argumentative behavior
  • Causes problems at school or home
  • Deliberately annoys people
  • Easily annoyed by others
  • Often blames others for misbehavior and mistakes
  • Occurs with at least one individual that is not a sibling
  • Lasts at least six months
  • Doesn’t occur as part of a substance use disorder, depression or mental health problem

Treatment Options

  • Behavioral therapy implemented through parent training
  • Family Therapy
  • Self-help such as support groups