Oppositional Defiant Disorder

//Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

By their very nature, children can be challenging or uncooperative at times. Perhaps they have an occasional tantrum. When these tantrums and defiant behaviors become routine and interfere with daily life, the child may be showing signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Oppositional Defiant Disorder is typically diagnosed in children and adolescents and is based on a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behaviors, and/or vindictiveness that lasts at least 6 months. Children and adolescents with this disorder tend to have trouble with authority figures and tend to be touchy and uncooperative when given directives. To qualify for a diagnosis of ODD, these behaviors must be disrupting normal functioning (i.e., school adjustment, home life, etc.) and not attributable to another mental health disorder (i.e., depression, trauma, etc.).

Having a child with ODD can place significance stress on the entire family system. It is commonly understood that parents and adults are more distressed by the child’s oppositional defiant behaviors than the child is him- or herself. As parents try to manage their child’s behaviors, the increased limit-setting can trigger an increase in oppositional behaviors. This pattern can become very stressful and place great strain on the caregivers, as well as create a more stressful environment for the child. This is why having a neutral third party, such as a therapist or group treatment provider, can be the best approach to treatment.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder may subside with age and treatment, especially with early intervention. In some cases, children may go on to develop Conduct Disorder, which is characterized by more rule-breaking and antisocial-type behavior. Children and adolescents with ODD also commonly possess other behavioral or emotional challenges, such as ADHD, anxiety, or depression. There is no clear cause for this disorder, but genetic, environmental, and developmental factors are suspected.

By |2019-08-19T14:27:51+00:00August 19th, 2019|

About the Author:

Dr. Stephanie M. Fox
Dr. Fox’s professional training took her throughout the Four Corners area, which inspired her practice name. In 2009, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, graduating summa cum laude. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Denver in 2012, and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology in 2016. Throughout her training, Dr. Fox has had an extensive assessment background, including conducting diagnostic, forensic, and educational/achievement evaluations with adolescents and adults. She completed a predoctoral internship at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan, and completed her postdoctoral work in private practice in personality and psychoeducational evaluations. Collectively, Dr. Fox has completed hundreds of evaluations covering a diverse range of issues. Dr. Fox is licensed as a Psychologist in the state of Colorado (#4709), and is also nationally certified as a Health Service Psychologist by the National Register (#55849). She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Colorado Psychological Association, and Colorado Assessment Society.