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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) Information

  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) an ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior toward authority figures that goes beyond the bounds of normal childhood behavior...
  • When a child cannot seem to control his anger or frustration, even over what seems to be trivial or simple to others, the child will often react in violent or negative ways to his own feelings. A physician will commonly refer the child to a psychiatrist who will determine if the child frequently shows four or more of the following behaviors or signs of the disorder for more than six months: 1) Arguing with adults, 2) Losing temper, 3) Angry or resentful of others, 4) Actively defies adults' requests or rules, 5) Negative attitude, 6) Blames others for their own mistakes or behaviors, 7) Seems touchy or easily annoyed by others, 8) Deliberately annoys others, or 9) Acts spiteful or vindictive.

    This disorder is more prevalent in boys than girls. Some studies have shown that 20% of the school-age population is affected, but most experts believe this figure is inflated due to changing cultural definitions of normal childhood behavior and other possible racial, cultural, and gender biases.

    Onset typically occurs by age 8. The cause of this disorder is unknown, and may be due to a combination of biology and parenting or environmental factors.

    The best treatment for the child is individual psychotherapy. The parents should also learn behavioral management skills. Medication may be helpful if the behaviors occur in the course of another condition (such as depression, childhood psychosis, or ADHD).

    Punitive treatments like boot camps and "behavioral modification" schools which restrict contact with parents and place the child among other disturbed children can do more harm than good.

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Health Blogs

The debate, about whether or not to use corporal punishment as a disciplinary method, rages on, despite the fact that no reputable study has ever shown its use to be beneficial. Spare the rod, spoil the child is an antiquated notion that went out with rotary phones and yet some parents still resort to spanking. I get it. I understand the ... Read More »
Nature vs. nurture? Genetic abnormalities give weight to the nature argument and five common psychiatric conditions have been found in a recent study to have a shared “genetic risk focus.” What this means is a specific part of the genome has been found as the area to blame for the presence of certain common psychiatric conditions. So now ... Read More »
Every well child care visit (AKA physical) I have with toddlers and even on up to the teenagers, I spend a few minutes discussing screen time. And with screen time, I’m referring to television (TV) viewing, IPAD use, smart phone use, video games, etc. Now the research has shown that the average U.S. toddler watches about 4 hours a day of TV ... Read More »

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