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What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children?

Learn about oppositional defiant disorder from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.


Oppositional defiant disorder, or as some people know as ODD, occurs in about 20 percent of the school age population, and is definitely more commonly seen in boys than girls. Children with ODD usually are diagnosed by the age of 8-years-old, and it's a consistent pattern of defying authority, being vengeful, seeking revenge, not following rules, and getting into trouble all of the time. I often consider that children who have these signs and symptoms of ODD, it's really secondary to a bigger problem; anxiety, depression, some type of school related difficulty.

When I see this pattern of behaviors, and when it may be discussed with different parents, we're often looking for other underlying causes of the ODD. Because it is a series of negative behaviors, ODD can be treated with behavioral therapies and behavioral management. It's important for the parents to seek professional help, so that they can learn some of the key factors to help manage the behavior. So while there are many other factors to consider with a child who's oppositional, these are some of the key points that parents should understand and recognize to help their children.

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