Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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Oppositional Defiant Disorder

How common is ODD?

ODD is relatively common condition with some studies suggesting a prevalence rate of 5% in pre-school children rising to about 13% in pre-adolescents. ODD is more common in boys.

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What behaviours are associated with ODD?

Typical behaviours of ODD include:

losing one's temper
arguing with adults
actively defying adults' requests or rules
deliberately annoying others
blaming others for their mistakes
is touchy and easily annoyed
being angry and resentful
being spiteful or vindictive

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Diagnosis

Most children will exhibit these behaviours at some point in their childhood. In particular during toddlerhood when many children experience the 'Terrible Two's' and during the teenage years when it is 'normal' for adolescents to exhibit a range of challenging and discordant behaviours similar to those of ODD children. ODD is therefore diagnosed because of the frequency, perseverence and severity of these behaviours. Diagnosis requires at least four of the eight behaviours identified above to be present for at least six months. Some behaviours may wax and wane depending on other factors affecting the child and their family but will tend to be consistent over time. An informal assessment tool is available for mapping the behaviour exhibited and its frequency.

Assessment ODD

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Behaviour Frequency Matrix

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Risk Factors For ODD

ODD is rarely diagnosed in isolation. It is often diagnosed in children with ADHD and less frequently in children with autistic spectrum disorder or other anxiety conditions. Evidence suggests that these conditions have a large degree of inheritability and likewise ODD has a high level genetic inheritability. However, a range of environmental factors also influence the likelihood of developing ODD. These include:

irritability and intense reactions to negative situations in toddlerhood
poor relationships with peers
social and economic disadvantage
poor reading of other's emotions particularly fear
housing in areas prone to crime and violence
inconsistent parenting and particularly poor attachment with one or more parents

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Co-Morbid Risks Associated With ODD

A small proportion of individuals with ODD go on to be diagnosed with conduct disorder

Many children with ODD go on to develop depression

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You may also be interested in the following pages:

ADHD

Conduct Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

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Sources

Barry, T. D. and Lochman, J. E. (2010) Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1-2.
Cavanagh, M. et al (2014) Oppositional Defiant Disorder Is Better Conceptualized as a Disorder of Emotional Regulation Journal of Attention Disorders 1-9 SAGE Publications
Frick, P. & Nigg, J. (2012) Current Issues in the Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2012 ; 8: 77-107. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032511-143150.
Quy, K. and Stringaris, A. (2012) Oppositional Defiant Disorder. IACAPAP Textbook of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

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