Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) Introduction Children in the developmental stages experience different kinds of mood shifts. Expression of anger and defiance is a common behavior among developing children. In fact, these are developmentally appropriate behaviors as they help the children learn to fight for their rights while learning their boundaries and the behaviors others especially elders expect from them…
ODD is not a very common disorder, though a significant population of children suffers from it. “There are various statistics on the incidence of Oppositional Defiant Disorder in the U.S. Numbers range from 2-16% of children and teens in the U.S. have ODD” (Healthy Place, 2012). Children generally start acquiring the ODD at the age of 8 years (Healthy Place, 2012). In a vast majority of cases, children acquire the ODD before the start of teenage, though in certain cases, children may acquire the ODD in the late teenage. The effects of ODD start showing up gradually and aggravate with the passage of time. Causes of ODD A number of theories have surfaced that explain the causes of ODD in children. One of the main causes of ODD in children commonly identified by these theories is the development of temperament in the child and the response made by family to it. Some children have an inherited predisposition to ODD. Children in families where at least one parent contains a history of mood disorder have increased susceptibility to ODD. There is a whole range of parental mood disorder that can make a child vulnerable to ODD. Such mood disorders include but are not limited to conduct disorder, depressive disorder, antisocial personality disorder, attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and substance abuse. Families that frequently migrate from one place to another make it difficult for the children to adjust in the new locality. As a result of this, children express their discomfort through anger and hostility. ODD may also be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain or because of a head injury. In addition to that, tension between parents may also be a significant cause of ODD in children. In some families, parents have bad terms with each other which affects the psychology of the children in a negative way. In many cases, such tensions lead the marriage to the point of breakup and a child may acquire ODD as a consequence of the divorce between the parents. Symptoms of ODD Differentiating between a child who is just emotional and another child who has ODD is complicated since the display of oppositional behavior is an integral feature of certain stages of development. However, there exists a range between the ODD and the normal oppositional behavior of a child. Children with ODD display a range of behaviors that include but are not limited to stubbornness, rudeness, short-temperedness, frequent defiance from the family principles and rules, placing the blame of their own mistakes on others, resentfulness, and irritability. However, they do not become violent to the physical extent or to the level that they start violating others’ rights. Actually, the hostile behavior of the children with ODD results from their lack of ability to distinguish between the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Children with ODD do not realize that they are overreacting or expressing unnecessary anger. Instead, they think that their parents are demanding too much from them or are placing unreasonable demand on them. Accordingly, these children may feel guilty for having done something seriously wrong if they realize. Diagnosis of ODD A psychologist or psychiatrist diagnoses a child with ODD if he/she displayed the symptoms of ODD. There are numerous disorders which may ...
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