Definition of Oppositional defiant disorder
Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
This disorder is more common in boys than in girls. Some studies have shown that it affects 20% of school-age children. However, most experts believe this figure is high due to changing definitions of normal childhood behavior, and possible racial, cultural, and gender biases.
Signs and tests
Children with symptoms of this disorder should be evaluated by a psychiatrist or psychologist. In children and adolescents, the following conditions can cause similar behavior problems and should be considered as possibilities:
The best treatment for the child is to talk with a mental health professional in individual and possibly family therapy. The parents should also learn how to manage the child’s behavior.
Some children respond well to treatment, while others do not.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Michelle Benger Merrill, MD, Instructor in Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY. Also reviewed byDavid Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 1/30/2010