What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) can cause a child to frequently exhibit anger, irritability, and defiance against their parents and other authority figures. Children with this disorder often argue and act spitefully or vindictively, making it difficult to maintain relationships and causing issues at home, at school, and in other areas of life.

ODD Causes & Risk Factors

Researchers are still working to determine exactly what causes oppositional defiant disorder, but studies suggest that it may result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A child may have a higher risk of developing ODD if their parents are mentally unstable, neglectful, or abusive, or if the discipline they receive at home or school is inconsistent.

ODD Treatment Options

After diagnosing a child with oppositional defiant disorder, a medical provider will recommend a customized course of treatment. This often involves individual- and family-based therapy. A therapist can help the child manage their anger, express their feelings in a healthier way, solve problems, and improve their social skills, and they can also teach parenting skills. Although medication isn’t generally used to treat ODD on its own, it may be recommended if the child has a related condition (for example, ADHD, anxiety, or depression).

Get Help With ODD

If your child has been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, we may be able to help. We have extensive experience working with children who have ODD, and we offer both individual and family therapy sessions to help treat this disorder. Contact us today to learn more about our practice and schedule your first therapy session.