August, 18 2018

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Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Described as one of the most difficult of behavior disorders, oppositional defiance disorder is a continuous pattern of tantrums, anger, and defiant and hostile behavior towards authority figures in children or teens. All children experience periods in their lives when they exhibit oppositional behaviors. However, if these behaviors remain consistent with a child or teen, last more than six months, and disrupt the home or school environment, he or she may have oppositional defiance disorder.

Characteristics of Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Behavior in the form of negativity, defiance, disobedience, and hostility towards authority figures typically begins about age 8 and may be manifested in the following ways: arguing with adults, loss of temper, angry and resentful of others, actively defying adults’ requests, spiteful or vindicative behavior, blaming others for own mistakes, touchy or easily annoyed, few or no friends or loss of previous friends, and constant trouble in school.

Factors Influencing Oppositional Defiance Disorder

Though the cause of oppositional defiance disorder is unclear, a combination of biological, parental, and environmental factors may contribute. These factors may include the child’s inherent temperament, the family’s reponse to the child’s style, a lack of supervision, poor quality daycare or family instablity, a biochemical or neurological factor, and the child’s perception that he or she isn’t receiving enough of the parent’s time and attention.
ODD may also occur along with other behavior disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, or depression.

Treating Oppositional Defiance Disorder

For parents of children with ODD there is hope. By working with the child’s primary care doctor and a qualified medical or child health professional, parents can learn specific skills and parenting techniques to help improve the child’s behavior and strengthen the parent-child relationship. Learning how to show consistent, unconditional love and acceptance of the child, even during tough or disruptive situations, and treating any other disorders the child may have is a key to reversing the effects of oppositional defiance disorder.

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