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Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a disruptive behavior disorder that emerges during childhood or adolescence and is characterized by persistent angry or irritable mood, unruly and argumentative behavior, and vindictiveness. It frequently manifests in hostility toward authority figures.

All children display defiant behavior at some point, especially when tired or stressed. Oppositional behavior is in fact normal in toddlers and in early adolescents. The behavior of a child with ODD is much more extreme and disruptive than normal, however, and occurs much more frequently than the type of childhood stubbornness and rebellion that children may display over the course of development. The oppositional behavior of ODD is not only persistent but occurs across a wide array of situations and interferes with children’s social, family, and educational life.

The condition affects about 3 percent of children and occurs more frequently in boys than girls before adolescence, but not after, according to the DSM-5. It often co-occurs with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, and with anxiety and mood disorders.

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