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Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Basic Information

Welcome to our Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) topic center. ODD is a developmental disorder diagnosed in children who display extreme disobedient behavior. While all children may go through periods where they reject and rebel against their parents or caregiver’s commandments, Oppositionally Defiant Disordered children display a level of disobedience that is above and beyond anything that a normal child can produce, both in intensity and duration. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental problems), a child must display a continuing pattern of extreme disobedience lasting for over six months before meriting a diagnosis of ODD. Temper tantrums, talking back to adults, failing to observe rules, provoking others, failing to take responsibility for own actions, and a high degree of irritability and general meanness are all commonly observed and acceptable signs of disobedience.

Most of the time ODD doesn’t develop in a vacuum. Rather, ODD children tend to take on some of the characteristics displayed by their parents or caregivers. ODD is known to be more common in homes where parents chronically fight with one another, and in homes where one or more parents has a history of conduct problems, anti-social behavior, or drug abuse. While parental dysfunction doesn’t directly cause ODD, it seems that it helps foster the development and maintenance...

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Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses