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Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a childhood behavioral disorder. ODD is a pattern of negative, hostile, argumentative behavior. The child loses his/her temper, swears, uses obscene language, blames others for their behavior, sets out to annoy others, breaks rules, and defies adult requests.

Sources reveal that 50-70% of children with ADHD have a coexisting Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

A child must exhibit negative, hostile, defiant behavior for at least 6 months during which four or more of the following are present:

  • Frequently loses temper
  • Argumentative with adults
  • Actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests or rules
  • Often deliberately annoys others
  • Blames others for his/her mistakes and behaviors
  • Easily annoyed by others
  • Touchy
  • Angry
  • Resentful
  • Spiteful
  • Vindictive

The criterion is only met if the behavior occurs with greater frequency than is generally observed in children of the same age and developmental level.

How to Manage Oppositional Defiant Disorder

According to Russell Barkley, a PhD, there are approaches that work better for managing children with defiant behaviors. These would include giving rewards or negative consequences for behaviors as soon as possible after the behavior is exhibited. The consequences should be specific. The child will be able to gain more control over their behaviors if the consequences to their actions are consistent. Incentive programs need to be in place prior to punishing a child. Anticipate and plan for behavior accordingly and when the child complies with your request it is important to provide positive consequences.