Oppositional defiant disorder

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a pattern of hostile behavior by children and teens toward their parents or other authority figures. They may argue about and break rules, lose their temper, annoy others on purpose, blame others for their mistakes or misbehavior, and be overly sensitive, angry, resentful, or vengeful.

Defiance is fairly common in all children, especially in teenagers. Before a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder can be made, the disorder characteristics need to persist over 6 months and cause significant problems within the family.

Many children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have oppositional defiant disorder. The oppositional defiant behavior of some children and teens will worsen and lead to conduct disorder. Children with conduct disorder may have a pattern of lying, stealing, and cheating, may skip school or run away from home, and may harm animals, property, and other people.

Treatment for children with oppositional defiant disorder includes therapy in anger management and communication.

Last Updated: April 17, 2008

Author: Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & Mina Dulcan, MD - Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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