Oppositional defiant disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a diagnosis described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the American Psychiatric Association and provides a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders...

(DSM) as an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior toward authority figures which goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behavior. People who have it may appear very stubborn and angry.

Behavioral features

Common features of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) include excessive, often persistent anger, frequent temper tantrums or angry outbursts, and disregard for authority. Children and adolescents with this disorder often annoy others on purpose, blame others for their mistakes, and are easily annoyed. Parents often observe more rigid and defiant behaviors than in siblings. In addition, these young people may appear resentful of others and when someone does something they don't like they often take revenge on them.

In order for a child or adolescent to qualify for a diagnosis of ODD these behaviors must cause considerable distress for the family and/or interfere significantly with academic or social functioning. Interference might take the form of preventing the child or adolescent from learning school material or making friends, or placing him or her in harmful situations. These behaviors must also persist for at least six months. Effects of ODD can greatly be amplified by other disorders in comorbidity such as ADHD.

Signs and Symptoms

Some signs and symptoms that must be perpetuated for longer than 6 months and must be considered beyond normal child behavior to fit the diagnosis are:
  • Actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules

  • Deliberately doing things that will annoy other people

  • Angry and resentful of others

  • Argues with adults

  • Blames others for own mistakes

  • Has few or no friends or has lost friends

  • Is in constant trouble in school

  • Spiteful or seeks revenge

  • Touchy or easily annoyed

Generally, these patterns of behavior will lead to problems at school and other social venues.


According to a 1992 article, if left untreated, about 52% of children with ODD will continue to meet the DSM-IV criteria up to three years later and about half of those 52% will progress into conduct disorder
Conduct disorder
Conduct disorder is psychological disorder diagnosed in childhood that presents itself through a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms are violated...


Psychosocial treatments

One of the key factors in the development and maintenance of the negative behaviors associated with oppositional defiant disorder results is reinforcement, whether intentional or not, of the unwanted behaviors. The most effective way of treating disruptive behavior disorders is behavioral therapies. Behavioral therapy for children and adolescents focuses primarily on how problematic thoughts or behaviors may accidentally get "rewarded" within a young person's environment.

These rewards or reinforcements often contribute to an increase in the frequency of these thoughts and behaviors. Behavior therapies can be applied to a wide range of psychological symptoms among adults, adolescents, and children. In behavioral therapy, therapists encourage children and adolescents to try new behaviors and not to allow negative "rewards" to dictate the ways in which they act. Furthermore, therapists may work with parents to discontinue ways in which they are unintentionally reinforcing negative behaviors.

Other approaches to the treatment of oppositional defiant disorder, include parent training programs, individual psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a general term referring to any form of therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client or patient; family, couple or group...

, family therapy
Family therapy
Family therapy, also referred to as couple and family therapy, family systems therapy, and family counseling, is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of...

, cognitive behavioral therapy, and social skills training. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is a 501 non-profit professional association in the United States dedicated to facilitating psychiatric care for children and adolescents. Established in 1953, the Academy is headquartered in Washington, D.C...

, treatments for ODD are tailored specifically to the individual child, and different treatments are used for pre-schoolers and adolescents.

An approach developed by Russell Barkley uses a parent training model and begins by focusing on positive approaches to increase compliant behaviours.

In culture

  • The 2007 play ODD by Hal Corley is about a New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     teenager with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
  • In his 2004 book My Prison Without Bars, Pete Rose
    Pete Rose
    Peter Edward Rose , nicknamed "Charlie Hustle", is a former Major League Baseball player and manager. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989....

     attributed his gambling to ODD.

  • Judith and Martin Land (2011), Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child, page 269, state that birth mothers are not always informed by social workers, medical doctors, or clergy that biological children given to others to raise have a high possibility of exhibiting selective mutism, oppositional defiant disorder, separation syndrome, and other unstable qualities. Giving a biological child to strangers can be a dangerous step to take—a shattering experience that leaves birth parents prone to emotional instability, insecurity, and psychiatric problems. More understanding and exposure of oppositional defiant disorder as a psychological trait characteristically associated with children who are orphaned, fostered, and adopted is encouraged.

  • The David Rovics
    David Rovics
    David Rovics is an American indie singer/songwriter. His music concerns topical subjects such as the 2003 Iraq war, anti-globalization and social justice issues. Rovics has been an outspoken critic of former President George W...

     song by the same name attacks this prognosis.

See also

  • Antisocial personality disorder
    Antisocial personality disorder
    Antisocial personality disorder is described by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition , as an Axis II personality disorder characterized by "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood...

  • Parent Management Training
    Parent Management Training
    Parent Management Training is a programme that trains parents to manage their children's behavioural problems at home and at school. PMT works to correct maladaptive parent-child interactions especially as they apply to discipline...

  • Passive-aggressive behavior
    Passive-aggressive behavior
    -External links:* * *...

External links

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