Oppositional Defiant Disorder – Could Your Child Have ODD?

November 12, 2012

Oppositional Defiant Disorder - Could Your Child Have ODD?

Oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD, refers to a behavioral problem in children that is normally characterized by hostility and constant disobedience. On average, one out of ten children under 12 years old have ODD and it tends to be more common in boys than girls.

Oppositional defiant disorder is also part of a behavioral disorder group otherwise known as disruptive behavior disorders, along with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder. In general, early intervention would be of the utmost importance when it comes to children with oppositional defiant disorder and the same goes for its treatment.

In fact, if left untreated, some children might have trouble socializing with other people in their adult years. In turn, this could then affect heir job prospects, relationships and overall quality of life. In some cases, children who have ODD will also develop more serious conduct disorders that are characterized by violent, aggressive and law-breaking behaviors.

What are the Characteristics?

ODD behaviors normally appear during the child’s primary school years. However, children who are only 3 years old are sometimes known to have it, too. Other behaviors of children who have ODD might include the following:

  • Easy to anger, irritate or annoy

  • Frequent temper tantrums

  • Frequent arguments with adults, most of all with adults that they are used to seeing on a regular basis, like their parents

  • Refusal to obey the law

  • Deliberately tries to aggravate or annoy other people

  • Low self-confidence

  • Low frustration threshold

  • Quick to blame other people for misdeeds and misfortunes

How Does Family Life Factor into This?

Although the causes are generally unknown when it comes to disruptive behavior disorders, the family life’s overall quality usually plays a big part in the overall development of oppositional defiant disorder. In fact, several studies show that some environmental factors within the family could increase the chances of disruptive behavior disorders from appearing. This usually includes the following:

  • Marital conflicts

  • Physical or sexual abuse

  • Domestic violence

  • Poverty

  • Neglect

  • Bad parenting skills

  • Substance misuse in the family


In a nutshell, oppositional defiant disorder refers to a behavioral problem in children that is characterized by hostility and constant disobedience. A lot of the time, the parenting quality plays a big part in its development, though, so the family really should be observed on a regular basis. In fact, because of this, it would be highly advisable to look into family therapy and parent management treatment to treat it.


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